Nancy Monson and Dr. Keith

Local alumni writer gives back to Spartanburg Methodist College

Nancy Monson came to Spartanburg Junior College in 1959 on a Rotary Club Scholarship and was searching for ways to support another SMC student like herself.  It all came together for her when she decided to write “The Longest Bridge.”

The novel had been in the making for about twenty years, as she moved across South Carolina with her Methodist minister husband, Robert Monson, and taught in the SC public school system.  Once retired, those hundreds of pages came together as an historical fiction about two mill hill boys, Billy Joe and Charlie, who grow up in a mill village in Spartanburg.  Appropriate since SMC was started for mill people and Nancy grew up near a mill and her dad worked at Beaumont Mill. 

Monson, a member at Central United Methodist Church, where none other than former SMC President Charlie Teague is in her Sunday School Class, has already sold many books and the book is available at Hub City Book Store in Spartanburg.  Thanks to book signings and good reviews, Nancy returned to SMC on Thursday, April 3 to present a check for future student scholarships to SMC President Colleen Perry Keith.

Monson left Spartanburg Junior College after one year to marry her husband, who was attending Wofford at the time.  She worked as a bookkeeper at JF Floyd Mortuary while her husband finished Wofford and Duke.  “Spartanburg Junior College made a big impression on me, and there was never a doubt in my mind or my husband’s that I wouldn’t go back to college,” shared Monson. “SMC was my savior, it gave me my start in life and helped make it possible for me to return to colleges and universities across the state and eventually earn my Master’s degree.  Thanks to all those who helped me in 1959.  It feels wonderful to establish this scholarship at SMC today.”  Monson has already started a sequel, for additional information, visit


Dr. Gloor and Dr. Keith

SMC Professor Dr. Brian Gloor earns United Methodist Award for Exemplary Teaching

Spartanburg Methodist College awarded Dr. Brian Gloor with the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church Award for Exemplary Teaching on Friday, April 4th.

Gloor was recognized by President Colleen Perry Keith during the April faculty meeting.  Each spring Dr. Ann Bowles, SMC’s Vice President for Academic Affairs and the three previous annual award recipients weigh the teaching excellence of all full-time teaching faculty members.  The award includes a monetary prize that allows the recipient to pursue professional development. ”SMC is honored to have such a passionate and gifted instructor as a member of our family.  Dr. Gloor inspires students by making chemistry fun and relevant,” shared Bowles.

Gloor, Professor of Chemistry at SMC since 2012, holds a B.S. from Texas State University, a M.S. and a Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame. In 2013, Gloor was the recipient of the SMC James S. Barrett award for unselfish service in campus fundraising efforts.


Why I chose Spartanburg Methodist College by Kaitlyn Leanne Pless

I was baptized into the Methodist church in October, 1994. This act deems me a lifelong member of the Methodist church and as a child I learned many Christian values and ways of living, yet I never really understood that I was a Methodist. That understanding came with my Confirmation. The Confirmation process was my chance to dive into the mystery of faith located within the Christian religion and Methodist denomination. At the end of this process I was able to make my first lifelong decision and that included whether I was to join my church and profess my faith as a Methodist or to profess myself as something totally different.  Obviously I chose to remain a Methodist and grow in my faith and belief as I grew physically into the woman of faith that I am today.

I graduated Valedictorian of my class and pretty much had the opportunity to go anywhere that I wanted to go – provided the scholarship money was available. Yet, I applied to one school and one school only – Spartanburg Methodist College. This decision first and foremost was based on its affiliation with the Methodist Church and my decision to live a life set aside for the glory of God following His will. I stereotypically placed this college in the category of a typical Christian College, but upon my arrival I realized that SMC is so much more. Here I have found that it is not just a school. SMC is a 103 year old college that has successfully grown in number and in size and definitely flourished without changing the grounds on which it was built or discounting the faith of its founders.

SMC has given me access to knowledge beyond the walls of my home and high school, leading me educationally towards a career and providing a gateway into the knowledge of theology, philosophy, and history of Faith.  SMC gives you access to faculty and staff members that appreciate the same values and are people of faith, as are you. The relationships you build help you to grow and become independent in your faith and belief and help you develop into the person you want to become.

Once you decide to attend an institution of this stature you become set apart in a positive Christ-seeking, self-seeking manner that inevitably changes most lives for the better. If the will to be a dedicated follower and believer of faith exists within your soul then it could only benefit future lives and decisions by attending SMC based on, connected to, and dedicated in expanding that same belief.

(Kaitlyn, a graduate of Calhoun Falls High School, is the daughter of Angela Pless, and has been accepted to the University of South Carolina Upstate’s Mary Black School of Nursing for her BSN.  She hopes to specialize in Hospice.)

baseball reunion

SMC welcomes back the 1964 Spartanburg Junior College Baseball Team

Spartanburg Methodist College is pleased to announce the 1964 Spartanburg Junior College Baseball team will be holding their 50th Reunion in Spartanburg on Friday, April 4th and Saturday, April 5th.

“Welcoming these former players back to campus is very special to us at SMC. We want them to know they always have a home here, and we want them to feel connected to today’s baseball Pioneers,” shared SMC President Dr. Colleen Perry Keith.

Confirmed players from the 1964 team,  led by Coach Jimmy York, who passed away several years ago, who will be attending include, David Boyter, Candler, NC; Jantzen Childers, Union, SC; Joe Cox, Moore, SC; Frank Mathis, Greer, SC; Tommy White, Sumter, SC; and Neil “Hank” Rogers, Phil Holden and Don Tate, Spartanburg, SC. 

This elite group of athletes will kick off their weekend with a Managers Reception at Comfort Suites, in memory of former team members:  Jimmy York, coach, Clark Owens, manager, Keith Crow, and Walter Irick.  The reception, which will feature a welcome by current SMC Baseball Coach Tim Wallace and SMC President Colleen Perry Keith will be followed by dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings.  The reunion festivities will culminate with former players attending and being recognized at the SMC Baseball double header with USC Sumter on Saturday at 1 p.m.   Former catcher, Tommy White will throw out the first pitch. 

Dr. Colleen Perry Keith

SMC’s Dr. Colleen Perry Keith to speak at Spartanburg High School’s Academic Excellence Awards Program

Spartanburg High School will hold their 2014 Academic Excellence Awards Program on Monday, March 31 at 7 p.m. in the Spartanburg High Gym.   Last year one hundred and seventy-seven students in 10th-12th grade were recognized for being National Merit Finalists/Semi-finalists, National Achievement Finalists/Semi-finalists, achieving a Perfect

SAT/PSAT Score, Straight A’s, 4.12+ and 4.50+ GPR, and for their selection to the Governor’s School (Academics).

The SHS Academic Awards Program, established in 1990, honors students who have excelled in a variety of academic pursuits and in addition to recognition, the event allows students to have an opportunity to hear distinguished speakers who have excelled in their careers.  Prior speakers have included such personalities as Bruce Littlejohn, Chief Justice (Retired) South Carolina Supreme Court; Richard W. Riley, Former US Secretary of Education, Jean Toal, Associate Justice SC Supreme Court, George Dean Johnson, Jr., the Honorable Trey Gowdy, US House of Representatives, as well as many other community and state leaders.

The 2014 address will be provided by Dr. Colleen Perry Keith, who has served as President of Spartanburg Methodist College since July, 2009.  Her talk will challenge those in attendance to pay attention to the historical time they are in, and bring their talents to bear to offer solutions to issues as each chooses what career path they want to follow.

A native of northern New York, Keith has more than 25 years of experience in higher education, in capacities including student service roles, program development, teaching, fund raising, and administration. Dr. Keith earned a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration and Student Affairs from The Ohio State University, a Master of Education degree in Educational Counseling from the University of Pittsburgh and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from State University of New York, University Center at Binghamton.

Under Dr. Keith’s leadership, SMC successfully completed a $15 million capital campaign ahead of schedule; built an $11 million academic building; launched two new academic degree programs; implemented new bridge programs and articulation agreement with senior institutions; led efforts resulting in a 249% increase in annual donor gifts and pledges; energized marketing efforts resulting in the doubling of annual prospective student inquiries from 3,000 to nearly 6,000; and received national recognition for SMC service initiatives involving faculty, staff and students.  

Keith, an active presenter and panelist, is the current President of the National Association of Schools and Colleges of The United Methodist Church, and a current member of the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, College and University Personnel Association, and the Association of Governing Boards.  She serves on the Advisory Board, South Carolina Women in Higher Education (partner organization of The American Council of Education’s Office of Women in Higher Education); is the 2013-14 Secretary of the South Carolina Higher Education

Tuition Grants Commission; and is a member of the Executive Committee of the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities, in addition to serving on their President’s Council and Finance Committee.

She currently is a member of the Diversity Leaders Initiative Advisory Committee for the University of South Carolina School of Medicine;  Board of Directors, Mary Black Foundation; Board of Directors, Greer Educational Foundation; Board of Directors, Hospice Division, Spartanburg Regional Hospital Foundation; Board of Directors, The Arts Partnership, Spartanburg, SC, serving on both the Financial Policies and Governance Committees; Board of Directors, College Town Inc., Spartanburg, SC; Board of Directors, Habitat for Humanity; and is a member and lector of The Roman Catholic Church of Jesus Our Risen Savior.

In January, Dr. Keith began a two-year term as Chair of the Board of Directors, for the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce, where she also serves on the Public Affairs Committee and Workforce Education Committee.