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SMC Baseball Lighting Up The Night!

Baseball at Spartanburg Methodist College is looking a lot brighter these days…and nights, thanks to a generous gift that was specifically designated for lighting the C.B. (Slim) Mooneyham Baseball Field.

The lights are in honor of SMC Alum J. Wesley Sparrow, Jr. and former SMC Director of Admissions Henry B. Sparrow, II as well as the SMC baseball teams of 1977 and 1978.  Baseball is of great interest to the Sparrow family and John Sparrow donated the major gift with baseball specifically in mind. Wesley Sparrow served as the student manager for the SMC baseball team in 1977 and 1978. In fact, the opportunity to serve as the student manager was the deciding factor for Wesley attending SMC over Charleston Southern.

“This gift is transformative for SMC! Our players will no longer have to miss afternoon classes or labs because of games that could only be held in the daylight; afternoon or morning rain outs can be rescheduled for evening games and rain delays won’t be game-ending,” shared SMC President, Dr. Colleen Perry Keith. “The list could go on. It’s a big deal for us and serves to make SMC more competitive as our complex will be improved.”

Keith commended Bob Fuzy, VP of Institutional Advancement, SMC Baseball Coach Tim Wallace and former SMC President Charlie Teague for their assistance in working with the Sparrow family for such a wonderful gift…a gift that will forever change the game of baseball at SMC.

The Mooneyham Baseball Field is one of three facilities composing the Olin D. Johnston Outdoor Athletic Facility, named in honor of the late Mr. Johnston who was a graduate of Textile Industrial Institute and served as Governor of SC and as a U.S. Senator.  The other facilities include the Fred Nash Soccer Field and the William C. Buchheit Tennis Complex.

SMC is planning a dedication ceremony for the lights during a double header against Surry Community College on Saturday, February 8.  The 3:30 p.m. dedication, which will follow the 1 p.m. game, will include the installation of the official naming plaque, as well as appearances by players, coaches, support staff of the ’77 and ’78 teams and other SMC supporters, will be held in Ellis Hall.  Terry Floyd, Coach of the SMC 1977 and 1978 teams, is expected to throw out the first pitch at the 5 p.m. game.

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SMC’s Tim Wallace named to 2014 NJCAA Hall of Fame Class

Spartanburg, SC –  The NJCAA Baseball Coaches Association has announced its 2014 Baseball Hall of Fame class and Spartanburg Methodist College’s Tim Wallace is one of four inductees.

Other inductees include current head coach Eric Brown of Suffolk County College, New York, Steve Ruzich of South Suburban College, Illinois, and previous NJCAA World Series assistant tournament director, Thomas Rogers.

The four inductees will be honored at the pre-tournament banquet of the 2014 NJCAA Division I World Series on May 23rd in Grand Junction, Colo.  Since 1938 the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) has been the governing body of two-year college athletics, offering athletic and academic opportunities to college students. Now entering its 75th anniversary, the NJCAA is the second largest national intercollegiate athletic organization in the United States with over 500 member schools in 43 states. Each year 60,000 student-athletes compete in one of 28 different sports and the organization sponsors 48 national championship events and nine football bowl games. NJCAA Headquarters has been located in Colorado Springs, Colorado since 1985.

Wallace currently is in his twenty-third season at the helm of the SMC Pioneers baseball program while also serving his second stint as Athletic Director.  His previous teams have produced a 984-307 record with NJCAA Region X Championships in 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2001, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012 and 2013.  His .764 winning percentage ranks him among the leaders of those actively coaching at the NJCAA level.

Dr. Colleen Perry Keith, President of SMC elaborated on Coach Wallace, “He personifies what it means to be an excellent coach. If evidence of this is needed, one need look no further than the Slim Mooneyham Baseball Field at SMC on any given afternoon: he gets great players and he gets them to play great. He teases out the best in his players, and they respond by living up to the high standards he sets for them, both on and off the field.  I don’t think his players show up here because of who he is, though; they show up because of who they can become because of what he does. Could there be a better recommendation for a Hall of Famer than that?” Keith continued, “Coach Wallace is a winning coach, but beyond that, he is a coach who doesn’t take shortcuts, he does things the right way, and he expects the same of his players. I see it time and time again. They admire him and whether or not they realize it, they learn far more from him than how to consistently hit well or how to steal a base.  Almost without exception they become better baseball players but they also learn that they can become better men, who act with integrity and care.  If he had a personal mission statement as it relates to who he is as a coach, it might read: ‘to develop principled men.’ His success comes not from what SMC is providing him (he coaches at one of the smallest colleges in the NJCAA, with one of the smallest budgets, and a coaching staff of only one other individual), it comes from his integrity, his determination, his commitment to his players, his principled leadership, and his knowledge of baseball.”

Wallace has garnered many awards, included being named Region X Coach of the Year (1992, 1998, 2000, 2008, 2010), Carolina’s Junior College Conference Coach of the Year (1992), Louisville Slugger Coaches Award (1993, 1996, 1997, 2001)  and Diamond ABCA Regional Coach of the Year (2001, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012, 2013) .  In 2001, Wallace earned his first Eastern District Coach of the Year award as his 49-12 club sported the best record in Grand Junction, Colorado at the NJCAA World Series. He earned his second Eastern District Coach of the Year award in 2003, when his club posted a 50-16 record. His 2007 squad earned him his third by posting a school record 54 wins while finishing third at the Junior College World Series. A fourth was awarded after the 2009 squad finished 5th at JUCO with a school record 55 wins.  Number five came after the 2012 Pioneers again earned a trip to Grand Junction for the Junior College World Series. 2013 made it back to back trips to the World Series and Wallace’s sixth District coaching award.

Wallace was inducted into the Spartanburg Methodist College Athletic Hall of Honor in 2012. In addition to having successful teams, Wallace has helped individuals realize their potential.  Three Pioneers have participated on the NJCAA All-Stars, a group put together to face international competition.  Of the three All-Star participants, Derrick Clay and Marty Gantt were named Offensive MVP’s of their respective groups. Sixteen players have been named NJCAA All-Americans during his tenure, while 68 have signed professional contracts.  Of these 68, 114 are actively playing and pursuing a shot at the Major Leagues. In 2002 Coach Wallace had his first player reach the majors, 1998 graduate Orlando Hudson with the Toronto Blue Jays. Hudson was a three time Gold Glove winner and four time All-Star second baseman. A second Pioneer under Wallace, Lee Gronkiewicz, made an appearance at the big league level in 2007.  Also during the Wallace era, players have signed letters of intent with or gone to play at major NCAA Division I institutions such as South Carolina, Clemson, Tennessee, Kentucky,  North Carolina State, College of Charleston, Coastal Carolina and East Carolina (just to name a few).  Numerous others continued their careers at the NCAA Division II level.

Prior to his coaching career, Wallace was a standout player himself.  A former second round pick of the St. Louis Cardinals, he played professionally for seven years.  This included a two-year stint in Italy, where he led the league in hitting and homeruns.  While playing in the States, Wallace was named an All-Star for both the Appalachian and Florida State leagues and also was team MVP for the 1983 St. Petersburg Cardinals.  This continued a streak of team MVP awards that included two Lancaster High School, one Post 31 American Legion, one Baptist College and two Wofford College seasons.  It was at Wofford where Wallace attracted professional scouts.  During his two seasons there he posted records for career batting average (.456) and longest consecutive game hitting streak (37).  He also led NAIA District 6 and the state of South Carolina in hitting as a sophomore with a .472 average.  For his efforts, Wallace was inducted into Wofford’s Hall of Fame in 2000.

Wallace returned to Wofford after his playing career and completed his B.A. in Sociology.  He then earned an M.A. in Physical Education from Gardner-Webb University.

Marty Woods

Martin Woods named Director of Facilities for SMC

Spartanburg Methodist College is pleased to announce Martin Woods has joined the college staff and will serve as Director of Facilities.

Woods comes to SMC from Presbyterian College where he served as Director of Facilities. Prior to PC, he served as Facility Operations Coordinator at BBA Fiberweb in Grey Court, SC and was a team leader/trainer for Albany International in Simpsonsville, SC.

Woods will be responsible for overseeing the maintenance, repair, and renovation of SMC buildings and maintaining compliance with all federal and state codes relating to fire and building standards. He will supervise all maintenance and housekeeping staff and the daily operation of the College physical plant and facilities management area.

Woods will also serve as liaison with contractors and vendors that provide services to the College in addition to working with consultants, architects and engineers on capital and non-capital building projects.

“Marty possesses the knowledge of the construction trades and modern building cleaning methods as well as fire safety codes and other compliance areas involving OSHA and EPA requirements,” shared Dr. Colleen Perry Keith, President of SMC.   “But more importantly Marty  is a highly motivated and results-oriented leader who focuses on providing quality service and consistently exceeding expectations.”

Woods holds a Bachelor of Arts from Liberty University and an Associate of Applied Science from Piedmont Technical College.  Marty and his wife, Kelly, live in Laurens with their son Justin.

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SMC turns unused phones into Hope

On Friday, January 31st, Spartanburg Methodist College donated over 60 cell phones to SAFE Homes-Rape Crisis Coalition, a non-profit organization serving victims of domestic violence and their dependent children in Spartanburg, Cherokee, and Union counties, and victims of sexual assault in Spartanburg and Cherokee counties.

Upon discovering old Blackberry Smartphones and accessories the college no longer used, Trey Arrington, SMC’s new Executive Director of Information Technology, had Yvonne Harper, SMC Director of Public Information, reach out to the community for potential new homes for them. “Within minutes of contacting Sheriff Chuck Wright’s Office and 7th Circuit Solicitor Barry Barnett’s office both stressed the urgent need for such phones for area domestic violence victims and pointed us to SAFE Homes,” Harper stated. “Sadly one agency in Cherokee County was down to their very last phone.”  Upon hearing this fact, the college encouraged its staff, faculty and students to donate their unused cell phones, too.

SAFE Homes provides phones to local domestic violence agencies or local government and law enforcement agencies for use with their domestic violence clients and victims, many of whom live in shelters, to provide immediate access to emergency services. According to Lynn Hawkins, Executive Director, SAFE Homes-Rape Crisis Coalition, donated phones, with all prior customer data removed prior to distributing them for reuse, help victims of abuse feel safer and less isolated by giving them a way to call emergency or support services. “Phone donations given locally benefit victims of abuse within our communities – they provide Hope.”

“SMC, like SAFE Homes, envisions a community liberated from all forms of domestic violence and sexual assault.  The donation of our no-longer-used phones for such a new purpose embodies the positive environment of caring SMC seeks to instill in our students and our community,” shared SMC President, Dr. Colleen Perry Keith. “SMC is humbled to play a role in providing hope and perseverance – and we hope our actions will unite and inspire the public to play an active role in domestic violence awareness, prevention and victim recovery.”

 

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SMC’s Ellis Hall receives LEED certification

Spartanburg Methodist College is pleased to report that their Edgar H. Ellis Hall has received official LEED certification.

LEED (which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a building certification process developed by the U.S. Green Building Council to enhance environmental awareness among architects and building contractors, and to encourage the design and construction of energy-efficient, water-conserving buildings that use sustainable or green resources and materials. According to the USGBC, there are nine key areas measured by LEED:

  • Sustainable Sites
  • Water Efficiency
  • Energy and Atmosphere
  • Materials and Resources
  • Indoor Environmental Quality
  • Location and Linkages
  • Awareness and Education
  • Innovation in Design
  • Regional Priority

Constructed in 2012, the 48,000 sq. ft. building houses 9 academic classrooms, academic offices, including the English Department, the Humanities Department and Office of Academic Affairs, the writing center, student publications, the Sub Connection café venue, and the Gibbs auditorium which seats 275 and also serves as classroom space. The Ellis building was made possible by donors to the College’s “Pioneering the Future” capital campaign. The building is named in honor of Rev. Dr. Edgar H. Ellis, Jr., a United Methodist Minister, trustee, alumni (SJC class of 1956), and strong advocate of Spartanburg Methodist College.

Certification involves third party verification that a building is designed and built to achieve high performance in key areas in human and environmental health, including: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiencies, material selection and indoor environmental quality.  The $11 Million building, designed by MPS and constructed by Harper Construction, is considered a 100-year building. Construction began in July of 2011 and was complete in November of 2012 with the building officially in use for the 2013 Spring semester.

SMC President Dr. Colleen Perry Keith recognized Eric McDonald, VP for Business Affairs, Rick Jolley, former Director of Facilities Management for SMC, and the team of architects and building contractors for their work in making certification possible, “we have a solid 45 points. A minimum of 40 is required for LEED certification. We could not have met this milestone without their dedication and commitment to our vision. Ellis Hall represents SMC’s pledge to provide an outstanding academic experience for our students; and affords us with an opportunity to host events for the entire Spartanburg community.”