SMC Faculty and Staff Recognized during Annual Service Recognition and Awards Luncheon

Spartanburg Methodist College recently recognized dedicated faculty and  staff at their annual service and awards luncheon. Twenty-one employees have 340 years of combined service to SMC!

Employees were recognized for 5-year increments of service, including Megan Aiello, Head Volleyball Coach; Harry Bayne, Professor of English and Chairperson of the Division of English; Jeff Brookman, Head Men’s Basketball Coach; Amanda Cheek, Library Assistant; Sue Onken, Counselor; David Revan, Adjunct Professor of English; Chris Roberson, Financial Aid Counselor; Jonathan Sedberry, Professor of English; Kelly Tillinghast, Admissions Counselor; and Paula Williams, Administrative Assistant to the Dean of Students, who celebrated five years with SMC. Jessica Harwood, Professor of Biology and Chairperson of the Division of Science and Health, was recognized for 10 years of service. Sherry Collins, Athletic Event and Budget Manager, and Johnny Worthy, Maintenance Technician, were recognized for 15 years of service. Steven Jeter, Tutor Coordinator for Student Support Services, and Dan Kenneally, Director of Soccer and Head Women’s Soccer Coach, celebrated 20 years of service; Jill Johnson, Registrar, and Barry Ward, Professor of Health and Physical Education, were recognized for their 30 years of service; Sharon Porter, Director of Student Support Services, and Mike Bowers, Director of Church Funding, celebrated 35 years of service and Harry Barnett, Senior Maintenance Technician, and David Gibson, Professor of Mathematics, were recognized for their unwavering 40 years of service to the College.

Janet Wilson, Professor of Mathematics and Chairperson of the Division of Business, Math, and Computer Science, was honored for her 37 years in the classroom that spanned the evolution from slide rulers to digital technology. Wilson is retiring from full-time responsibilities at SMC; but, she will return as an adjunct professor of mathematics.

Teresa Ferguson, Chief of Campus Safety, was awarded the J.L. Geddis Award for outstanding service to the College.  Geddis served admirably at SMC for 41 years, beginning in 1964 as a student at Spartanburg Junior College (present day SMC) and held many areas of responsibility during his 41 years here at SJC and SMC including: Business Manager, VP for Business Affairs, Faculty Member—teaching Accounting and Economics, and Men’s Golf Coach for 5 years. In 2007 the college established the J. L. Geddis Award to honor an outstanding SMC staff member each year.

Ferguson has been the Chief of Campus Safety for eight years and serves as one of only a few female chiefs in the State of South Carolina.  She has a M. S. degree in Criminal Justice Administration from the University of Cincinnati and a Bachelor’s in Liberal Studies from Limestone College. She has 20 years of  experience in law enforcement; six years as a School Resource Officer in a local public school district, and five years as a Community Patrol Officer.  Chief Ferguson is a graduate of the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy, is certified as a Class I Law Enforcement Officer, and is a State Constable.  In addition, she has extensive in-service training, is certified by the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy including as a Basic Instructor, and FTO Manager and has received advanced certification as a School Resource Officer.  She also is an adjunct instructor of the Freshman Year Experience at Spartanburg Methodist College. She is secretary and member of the Spartanburg County Police Chiefs Association.

The Dr. James S. Barrett Award was presented by his son, Rob Barrett, partner with the Holcombe Bomar, P.A. law firm.  The annual award is presented each year to recognize an SMC member who demonstrates exemplary service to and support of the Department of Institutional Advancement. Dr. Barrett served as president of SMC for 10 years, and his son shared that he could think of no honor that would please his father more than having this award presented in his name. “My dad would say about the recipient of this award that they ‘get it’; they understand that the true mission of SMC calls people to service that goes above and beyond. Our 2015 recipient certainly exemplifies that spirit and her title is certainly indicative of the vast amount of turf that she covers here at SMC. I think family friend Fletcher Thompson, local attorney and a very proud alumnus of SMC summed it all up very well when he said, ‘I have never known anyone who could do more things at the same time – and do them all well – than Yvonne Harper.’”  Harper earned a double major with a Bachelor of Arts in Business/Merchandising and Paralegal/Pre-Law Studies from Virginia Intermont College. She has served as Public Information Director for SMC since 2013, and as the College’s Director of the Paralegal Certificate Evening Program since 2004. Harper previously served the Upstate business community for 14 years as a program manager with the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Greenville Chamber of Commerce.


Alumni logo

SMC Recognizes Alumni with Awards

Spartanburg Methodist College hosted their annual Homecoming Alumni Weekend November 14th and 15th. The Class of 1964 celebrated their 50th reunion, as did several members from the Class of 1974, who were celebrating their 40th reunion. Each year, the Alumni Association honors and recognizes certain individuals who have demonstrated exemplary leadership and support of Spartanburg Methodist College. This year’s recipients included:

goodParker Drake Anderson, who was recognized as the 2014 Young Alumnae of the Year by Dr. Colleen Perry Keith, President of SMC. Anderson, class of 2010, is originally from Chesterfield, SC. According to Leah Pruitt, Director of Alumni Relations for SMC, “Parker chose to attend SMC because of a wrestling scholarship and he considers it one of the best decisions he ever made.”
After graduating from SMC, he attended USC Upstate, earning a BA in Mass Communications and worked as a photographer at a television station in Augusta, GA before coming back to the Upstate. He currently works as a new photojournalist with WYFF-TV, but recently accepted a position at KSTP-TV in Minneapolis as a sports photojournalist where he will be covering the twin cities’ four professional teams as well as the University of Minnesota. “You could say this is somewhat of a dream job where Parker will be traveling around the country with the pro teams, covering sports 24/7,” shared Keith.

Steve Denton, SMC alumThe 2014 Alumnus of the Year Award went to Stephen Denton, Class of 1984. A lifelong Spartanburg resident, Denton graduated from Spartanburg High School, studied criminal justice at SMC, earning his Associates Degree, and then a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of South Carolina Upstate. Denton was with the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Department for nearly two decades, serving as a narcotics and vice squad officer and homicide investigator before retiring as captain of the investigation division, where he supervised over 100 detectives. At the age of 43, Denton enrolled in the Charleston School of Law, receiving his Juris Doctor in 2010. After being admitted to the SC State Bar that same year, he ventured to the other side of the courtroom, and now represents defendants. Denton practiced law on his own for a year before joining the law firm of Harrison, White, Smith & Coggins, P.C., where he practices criminal law – his dream job. When not working 60-hour weeks, Denton enjoys riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle and spending time with his wife, Leigh and their two daughters.

Mookie Wilson, SMC alumWilliam Wilson, better known as Mookie Wilson was honored with the SMC Distinguished Service Award which is given each year to highlight the exemplary leadership that its recipient has given in advancing the mission of the institution. The award recognizes long-term loyalty demonstrated by a history of support to the College and continued interest and participation in SMC as well as community involvement. After retiring from Major League Baseball, Mookie, class of 1976, made helping and inspiring people his focus. He now serves as a minister, author, motivational speaker and mentor. Recently, he traveled to SMC to spend time with students and also delivered the keynote address at SMC’s Founders Day celebration.

Pruitt commented “SMC congratulates these award winners, and we wish each continued success in their futures. They make us proud to call them family.”

SMC Asks You to Ponder

Ask any grade school child and they will tell you Thanksgiving was first celebrated in 1621 when the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Indians shared a fall harvest. Some might even tell you that in 1863 President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of thanksgiving to be held each year in November, and that today in the United States, Thanksgiving is held on the fourth Thursday in November.

The very word “Thanksgiving” conjures up images of brilliant orange, crimson and purple leaves falling from trees; visiting family and friends; watching football and Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, either in person or on television; and without question – food. Turkey dinners with all of the holiday trimmings; including pies and stuffing, made for generations – one particular way.

Yet, Thanksgiving Day is more than a day of fond memories, parades, football and dinners. It is a day to remind us of the blessings, treasures and wonderful family and friends in our lives. Most will spend a few moments before dinner to give thanks, but for many the true meaning of Thanksgiving ends at the dinner table.

The meaning of Thanksgiving however, should not end after a few seconds of meditation or a prayer, it has broader significance. It is a reminder to slow down and take an assessment of our lives. “Thanks” – “giving” is a call to action in both thought and deed. It is a time for us to see, really see, and appreciate the abundance in our lives. This recognition allows us to express our gratitude and prompts us to share such blessings of wealth, time and talents with others.

On Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 27, as you sit down to dinner, spend a few moments giving thanks and pausing to reflect on what actions you can take in the next year to fully express and experience the true meaning of Thanksgiving. Can you free-up one hour each week and share that time with someone in need? Can you increase your charitable monetary giving? The very act of giving of your time and talent acknowledges that there is abundance in your life.

Spartanburg Methodist College prays this Thanksgiving Day you experience a new perspective on the true abundance of your life!

homecoming 2014

Congratulations to the 2014 Homecoming Court.

Congratulations to the following students who were voted by their peers to the 2014 Homecoming Court. A 2nd vote will take place next week to determine the King and Queen. The court will be presented and the king and queen crowned on Saturday, November 15th between the two basketball games!

King Nominees and the clubs/groups that nominated them:
Jesse Herrera – Pioneer Peers
Travis Goodjoin – POPS Programming Board
Jason Smith – Kappa Sigma Alpha
Thomas Sparks – SGA
Kendall Witt – Fellowship of Christian Athletes

Queen Nominees and the clubs/groups that nominated them:
Brookelyn Brockelbank – SGA
Amber Johnson – Volleyball
Ashley Rogers – Fellowship of Christian Athletes
Chelsea Seibles – Women’s Basketball
Brianna Wright – POPS Programming Board

Turning Point: The American Revolution in the Spartan District by Katherine Cann and George Fields Jr.

Hub City is throwing a launch party Thursday, October 2 at 7 pm at the Hub City Bookshop for its fifth title of 2014, Turning Point: The American Revolution in the Spartan District by Katherine Cann and George Fields Jr.

About the book

The British Army turned south in 1779, expecting to sweep through the region with the help of their Tory allies, setting the stage for victory in the American war for independence. Upon entering the Old Spartan District in northwest South Carolina, however, they ran up against tenacious opposition from locals and their military leaders. In a series of small skirmishes, the southern Patriots gained confidence and valuable combat experience that led to surprising victories at Kings Mountain and Cowpens, ultimately pushing the British back north toward surrender.

In Turning Point: The American Revolution in the Spartan District, historian Katherine Cann tells the compelling story of how inexperienced backcountry militiamen in the Old Spartan District bottled up the British and learned how to defeat a seasoned foe. George D. Fields Jr., a leading military heritage preservationist, provides color commentary as Fields’ Notes throughout, capturing both the emotion and the commotion of the time.

As a bonus, there’s a handy guide to the Spartanburg Revolutionary War Trail, a driving tour of twelve spots in the Spartan District that were central to the American victory.

Full of drama and memorable heroes, Turning Point is an important and accessible volume about a key moment in our nation’s struggle for freedom.


Kathy-Cann August 2014Katherine Cann is professor of history and chair of the social science department at Spartanburg Methodist College. She is a graduate of Lander University and holds advanced degrees from the University of North Carolina (MA in History) and the University of South Carolina (PhD in History). Dr. Cann is the author of Common Ties: A History of Textile Industrial Institute, Spartanburg Junior College, and Spartanburg Methodist College published by Hub City Press.

Dr_George-Fields - August 2014George Fields is a retired United Methodist minister who served as a pastor, an Army Chaplain rising to rank of Brigadier General, and president of Spartanburg Methodist College. He spends his retirement years researching and preserving Revolutionary War battlefields in South Carolina. He provided leadership in preserving twelve sites, serving as the Military Heritage Director of Palmetto Conservation Foundation.