SMC Celebrates 100 Years with Centennial Convocation
Tuesday, September 6th, 2011 -- In a picturesque ceremony, Spartanburg Methodist College commemorated 100 exceptional years of higher education, a celebration punctuated by an official groundbreaking ceremony for a new academic building under construction on campus.
SMC, a pillar of learning in the Spartanburg college community, began as a work-study cooperative, founded on the vision of Dr. David English Camak. Camak sought to offer high school courses to mill workers, in order to prepare them for higher education. As time went on, the school developed into a two-year college offering associate degrees, and in 1974 became Spartanburg Methodist College.
Today, SMC continues its growth at a rapid pace, both on campus and off. Within the first few weeks of the 2011-2012 school year, SMC has cut a ribbon for a state-of-the-art microbiology lab, opened up a new coffee shop, revived a select traveling choir, and, of course, celebrated the new academic building, slated to be completed in the fall of 2012. These remarkable events coincide perfectly with SMC's centennial anniversary.
The Convocation service, opened by President Colleen Keith, was accented with a special performance by SMC's choir group, the Troubadours, led by Director of Music Dr. Lanny Lanford. Keynote speaker Mr. Jimmy Gibbs addressed the crowd, detailing his growth in Spartanburg and starting his business. Gibbs, President and CEO of Gibbs International, INC, is a leader in community philanthropic efforts. After closing remarks by President Keith, Dr. Lanny Lanford led the audience in a hymn of praise, and in singing the Alma Mater. The crowd recessed from Bridges Arena outside, where the stage was set for the groundbreaking ceremony.
Upon President Keith's surprise announcement of the new building's name -- the Edgar J. Ellis, Jr. Hall -- Rev. Ed Ellis commented with immense pride, "We've been here 100 years and We're not going anywhere." Ellis, a 1956 graduate of SMC, has been a longtime supporter of the school, and was invited to participate in the ground breaking ceremony. Also breaking ground were President Colleen Keith, Jeff Bannister, John Gramling II, Phyllis Buchheit DeLapp, Marianna Habisruetinger, Patsy Simmons, David Gibson, and Ryan Beckley.
SMC remains dedicated to its mission as a private, residential, 2-year liberal arts college. Founded by Reverend Dr. David English Camak, the school began as a cooperative program to educate textile mill workers. Over the years, SMC has grown into a diverse campus, offering 6 degrees and fielding 14 athletic teams, but retains its essence as an educational institution committed to providing quality education in an affordable way.
Well-recognized for its service in the community, SMC staff, faculty and students clocked over 5,800 hours of community service to the Spartanburg area. The school was included in the President's National Service Honor Roll for 2011.
SMC boasts over 800 students and a 19:1 student / faculty ratio. Classes are kept deliberately small, and SMC prioritizes its tradition of offering a very personalized educational experience. Over 90% of graduates continue their education at four-year programs across the nation.
For more information, please contact Clare Ball, Director of Public Information, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (864) 347-5780.