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104th Commencement @ Spartanburg Methodist College will inspire all to claim the life to which the Spirit calls

Spartanburg Methodist College will hold their 104th commencement exercises at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 9th in Bridges Arena to celebrate an estimated 200 students who have successfully met the academic requirements for graduation. The class of 2015 boasts over 20 honor graduate students who have maintained a 3.5 or better grade point average and will be recognized as a Summa Cum Laude, Manga Cum Laude or Cum Laude graduate during commencement.

Courtney Tutterow, recipient of the Yandle Student Leader Award, will be the 2015 Student Speaker for commencement. Nominated by her peers and described as “an all-around outstanding person…Courtney has played soccer both years at SMC… and has also kept a 4.0 GPA. She is a Pioneer Peer, has great leadership skills and qualities and always has a positive attitude.”   Tutterow, daughter of Mike and Michelle Tutterow of Boiling Springs, SC was named a two-time all-region soccer player, an Academic All American and has served as a tutor and student mentor.  “Courtney personifies what it means to be a Pioneer,” stated SMC President Colleen Perry Keith, Ph.D.

Paul Roger Leonard, Jr. will be the 2015 Commencement speaker. Leonard s a man moved by a generous and loving spirit. His most recent work, When the Spirit Moves, is a collection of stories, poems, prayers and reflections that invite readers to look back on their lives, and witness all the ways the Spirit has prodded, poked, touched and moved them. Leonard wants his readers to laugh and cry with him, to get angry with things as they are, to pray for peace, to hope for a brighter tomorrow, to give thanks for every day and to reach out, touch, listen and love all who cross their path.  His goal for the book was for it to be more about you and your life, than it is about him and his, and together he wants us to claim the life to which the Spirit calls.

Throughout the book, Leonard shared the ups and downs and twists and turns of his adult life – spanning four decades, one wife, four children, eight grandchildren, lots of dogs, one cat and multiple jobs from minister to home builder and real estate developer. Leonard, who has worked for nonprofits and both privately and publically held for-profit companies, has served as interim CEO of Habitat for Humanity International, college trustee and board member.  His travels have taken him to all seven continents and over 60 countries and given him a global perspective on our world and its glories and sorrows—and render him a fitting speaker for the college’s 2015 commencement.

Author of WHERE IS CHURCH?-One Man’s Quest and MUSIC OF 1000 HAMMERS, Inside Habitat for Humanity, Leonard graduated Cum Laude with Honors in history from Davidson College, continued his studies, earning a Bachelor of Divinity from the University of Chicago and earned a Master’s in Business Administration from Emory University.   He first served at Trinity Presbyterian Church after which he founded a non-traditional church that focused on community action and service and eventually left the traditional ministry to work in city housing.  Leonard was recruited by the John Crosland Company, becoming the company’s president in 1984. After the company was acquired by Centex Real Estate Corporation, Leonard was appointed as its Executive Vice-President, responsible for the company’s southeast region. After retiring from Centex, Leonard was elected to the Board of Habitat for Humanity International; he served as Chairman of the Board from December, 2001 to December, 2003 and was employed as the Interim CEO of Habitat for Humanity.  Today he is a member of the US Council for Habitat for Humanity International.

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AdvanceSC Ensures Success for Student Careers @ Spartanburg Methodist College

Spartanburg Methodist College has been awarded a $75,000 grant from AdvanceSC for an SMC project entitled “Testing and Internships that Ensures Success for Student Careers.”

According to SMC President Colleen Perry Keith, Ph.D., “We received our first $75,000 grant to start the ‘Signature SMC Experience’ with up to 100 incoming freshman beginning in the Fall 2015 semester.”  Keith elaborated saying, “the experience involves career testing, comprehensive debrief of that testing, and use of the results in the advising and career planning for those students. It will also include some type of internship or career shadowing experience.”

AdvanceSC supports economic development, education, manufacturing and public assistance agencies in Duke Energy’s South Carolina service area. Established as a limited liability company by Duke Energy in 2004, AdvanceSC is funded with profits from the company’s BPM program and is managed by a board of Upstate S.C. leaders. Information about AdvanceSC is available on its website at www.advancesc.org.

Spartanburg Methodist is continuing to seek additional revenue sources for their “Signature SMC Experience” so that all incoming students have the opportunity to participate.

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Two SMC Students will be Pepping up NCAA Tournament

Many college students travel to Florida during the spring, but two Spartanburg Methodist College students will have their trips fully paid for – thanks to the NCAA Tournament!

SMC’s Jesse Davis and Jaaron Snyder will have the privilege of a front row seat (so to speak) at the tournament. Yes, all meals, transportation and accommodations will be covered by Wofford thanks to Wofford College being named the 12th seed in the West Region of the 2015 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. Davis and Snyder have been loyal participants with Wofford College’s WOCO Band during the 2014-2015 Wofford basketball season and most recently traveled and performed with Wofford at the Southern Conference Tournament in Asheville. Ron “Doc” Miller, Director of Athletic Bands at Wofford College, shared “both are excellent student band members and we are delighted to have them travel and perform with us.”

Ask any hoops fan and they will tell you there is “something electric” about the environment of a college basketball game. Packed arenas, bright lights, shiny wooden floors, the undeniable sound of screeching shoes on the court and of course, long before the opening tip-off, each team’s pep band filling the building with energy and excitement in anticipation for the on-court action to come.

Davis, a sophomore from Startex who attended Byrnes High School, never imagined while pursuing his associate in Fine Arts at SMC he would one day be performing during the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.  Snyder on the other hand, a freshman from Jonesville who attended Boiling Springs High School and is pursuing an associate in Arts with a major in film, said the invitation to attend the NCAA Tournament and perform was like something straight out of a movie.

“The fact that Jesse and Jaaron are able to do this probably means we have some pretty envious students left back here on campus! This is not an opportunity that comes along for our students all that often. We are all excited for them! It is also wonderful that SMC and Wofford, as sister colleges in the United Methodist system of higher education, are working together in this way,” shared Colleen Perry Keith, Ph.D., President of Spartanburg Methodist College.

The Wofford Terriers will play the Arkansas Razorbacks on Thursday, March 19 in Jacksonville, Florida. The winner of the game will play the winner of a game between North Carolina and Harvard on Saturday. Wofford is 28-6 this season and won the Southern Conference Tournament championship. The Terriers enter the tournament on an eight-game winning streak and have won 15 of their last 16 games. It is the fourth time in six years Wofford has made it to the NCAA Tournament.

Davis and Snyder are looking forward to being a part of the Terrier nation traveling to Jacksonville. Snyder, who plays the tuba, and Davis, who plays the alto saxophone, participate in the WOCO Band out of pure joy and love of music. Both are quick to say they realize they do have a job – they are responsible for not only amping up the crowd but also motivating the team and keeping the Terriers pumped up during the Thursday game – and hopefully the Saturday game, too. But both agree, you can’t beat a few days in sunny Florida with 80 degree weather, knowing your SMC classmates are sitting in class while you have an enviable seat at the Big Show!

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The SMC Players present August Strindberg’s Easter on March 26-27-28 in Gibbs Auditorium, Ellis Hall

In co-operation with the August Strindberg Repertory Theatre of New York, SMC will be presenting their successful 2013 adaptation, set in New York City in 1958.

Easter (1901) is a late play by August Strindberg, Sweden’s most famous playwright. The drama takes place on days leading up to Easter Sunday. The plot concerns the fortunes of the Morgan family, who are on the edge of ruin. The father is imprisoned for embezzlement and their youngest daughter, Lenora, is committed to a mental institution. The family has been ostracized by their friends and neighbors for the financial scandal, and Ellis’ job is endangered. Into this situation steps Lindy, to whom the family is greatly indebted thanks to their father’s malfeasance. At the moment of greatest turmoil comes a breakthrough of unexpected and, indeed, quite undeserved grace and mercy.

Easter is one of Strindberg’s late expressionist dramas. Typical of the genre, the characters display extremes of emotional suffering and spiritual awakening. Strindberg was greatly affected by the bankruptcy of his own father, and the character of Ellis puts the playwright’s own suffering at center stage. The character of Lenora, one of his finest female roles, was inspired by Strindberg daughter, whose sanity was only tentative. Lenora’s spiritual gifts anticipate the play’s happy conclusion.

SMC Cast:

Pierce Allen Burch as Ellis Morgan, a college instructor.  Pierce is a freshman theater major from Holly Hill, SC and a graduate of Holly Hill Academy.

Shakira Jackson as Christine, the fianceé of Ellis.  Shakira is a sophomore Fine Arts/Fashion Design major from Inman and a graduate of Chapman High School

Tatiana Sade Ferguson-Short plays Mrs. Morgan, the matriarch of the Morgan household. Tati is a freshman Mass Communications major and graduate of Union County High School.

Samuel Stockdale plays Benjamin, a scholarship student living with the Morgans. He’s a Dorman High School graduate from Moore, SC majoring in Speech and Drama.

Anna Elizabeth Barrett as Lenora, the youngest daughter of the Morgan family.  Anna is a sophomore education and biology major from Greenville, and a graduate of J. L. Mann High School.

Patrice Faith Haynes plays Lindy, a family acquaintance to whom the Morgans owe great deal of money. Patrice is a sophomore Performing Arts major from Columbia, and a graduate of Ridge View High School.

The production opens in Gibbs Auditorium on Thursday, March 26 at 8 p.m. and will also be performed on Friday, March 27 and Saturday, March 28 at 8 p.m.  Gibbs Auditorium is located inside Ellis Hall.

 

 

 

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Wells Shepard named Executive Director of Enrollment

Spartanburg Methodist College has named Wells Shepard Executive Director of Enrollment effective Monday, March 16, 2015.

The announcement was made by Danny Philbeck, SMC’s Vice President for Enrollment, who shared “We are thrilled to have Wells move into this position as he is understands the institutional mission and goals and he loves this College. I am confident he will operate at the highest level of integrity while providing inspirational leadership and serving as a role model for all colleagues.”

Shepard, a 1996 graduate of Spartanburg Methodist College, most recently served as Director of Retention Officer and Athletic Recruiter for SMC.  His new duties will include both admission and retention.  Shepard has 16 years of experience in counseling and recruiting students and previously worked as Director of Admission for both Wofford College and LaGrange College in LaGrange, Ga. He is well versed in the enrollment process at SMC, having previously served in the role of an Admissions Counselor, Assistant Director of Admissions and the Director of Admissions at the College.

Shepard, who holds an Associate of Arts degree from SMC and a Bachelor of Science degree in research psychology from Wofford College, resides in Spartanburg with his wife, Bobbie Jean Edwards. Shepard, and two sons, Hawkins and Gannon.