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SMC shares “Why You and Your Student Should Visit Colleges!”

A campus visit is an opportunity to get a personal view of a college and life on that campus.  College catalogs, brochures or websites can only show you so much. To really get a feel for a college, you need to walk around the quad, sit in on a class, review the student newspaper, activity calendar and bulletin boards and visit the residence halls.

The importance of visiting college campuses cannot be over emphasized.Walking around the campus can give you a feel for what a college is really like and help you find a good fit where you can be successful,” stressed Mike Queen, Director of Admissions and Enrollment Marketing at SMC.

According to Queen, there are two kinds of visits: one is the “drive-by” informal visit that can begin early in the college search.  This type of visit can be made without a lot of hype and pressure and does not have to be the college to which the student will eventually apply. With a little planning the visit can be a welcome side trip during a vacation with the opportunity to walk around, see the facilities, eat in the cafeteria and visit the bookstore. This can be a very low-key, non-stress way of experiencing many different colleges and universities for the whole family, including younger siblings. You also can take advantage of campus tours and information sessions. The differences between campuses will soon become clear to all. If you are not able to travel long distances to visit this is an ideal way to get the feel of a small liberal arts school in a small town or rural area or a large metropolitan university with the city for a campus.

The second type of visit is the more formal visit, and is appropriate for seniors who have narrowed down the list of schools. It is best to visit when the college is in session and students are on campus. The visit should include a campus information session, a campus tour and time to simply wander around the campus. This gives potential students the chance to talk to actual students, faculty, coaches, financial aid and admission officers in person, sit in on classes, and see inside residence halls where the student might live.  (Campuses generally have residency requirements: specific halls for males, females, athletes, honor students, etc.)  Plus it allows answers to important questions regarding class size, instructors, meal plans, clubs and other student organization activities available.

Although visiting colleges may not be possible for everyone, it’s a good idea to make the trips, if you can.  Parents and other family members can participate in visits and informational sessions, and are great sounding boards for discussing the visit on the trip back home. Queen suggests creating a checklist to remind you of everything you want to do and see once you get on campus and make sure to allow plenty of time to explore and be sure and ask your tour guide or students you meet on campus: Why did you choose this college?  What do you love about this college?

Spending time on a campus helps you determine whether a college is a good personal fit.  SMC sophomore Sam Blackwelder, member of Kingstree United Methodist Church, Kingstree, SC, shared “I immediately felt comfortable and at home. I clicked with the students and the faculty.  SMC is everything I imaged college to be!”

A campus visit not only will help to narrow down the choices but it can have benefits such as acting as a real motivator for the student to do well academically as well as in extracurricular activities. Visits give a clearer picture about the college environment and it can act as an ideal opportunity for parents and students to talk about this very important decision. Ultimately, it’s your and your student’s decision. Listen to your heart.

Humble Tip

Christian Rapper Humble Tip coming to SMC on Tuesday, September 23rd

Righteous rhymes will ring out at Spartanburg Methodist College on Tuesday, September 23 as they host a Christian Rap Concert featuring Humble Tip. The 7 p.m. event will be held in the Gibbs Auditorium, located in Ellis Hall on the campus of SMC. The event is open to the public and admission is free.

Jason Lewis, aka Humble Tip, was born in Washington, D.C., and grew up in Capitol Heights, MD. Hip-hop music and culture were daily influences in this inner-city setting, but until college, Lewis never had any plans to enter the music industry. “I never wanted to do this whole rap thing,” Lewis said. “I wanted to go to school and become a sports agent. I never, ever saw myself rapping.”

Unlike many of his peers, he was fortunate enough to grow up with both parents in his household. They taught their three children the importance of family, church and faith, factors which heavily influenced Lewis to attend Liberty University after high school. While earning his degree in Health Promotions, he began writing basic lyrics after a DJ from Liberty University’s campus radio station 90.9 FM inspired him to try.

Although Lewis admits his first rhymes were horrible, he continued to develop his talents as a lyricist and eventually started rapping at on-campus events after his father all but forced him to take the stage for the first time. As others recognized his up-and-coming talent, he began creating CDs and music videos to share his passion.
“Especially in the hip-hop industry, everything is so materialistic. Everything is based off of financial wealth, pride, respect, sexuality,” Lewis said. “When you come up with something so anti-culture, sometimes it’s received well. A lot of the times it’s not.”

Armed with in-depth knowledge of God’s word, academic success, and a deep connection with and passion for this youthful generation, Humble Tip is determined and focused on making an impact on today’s culture. Lewis holds an Undergraduate degree in Health Promotions and a Master’s Degree in Health and Wellness from Liberty University, and currently resides in Lynchburg, VA with his wife Essence.

Humble Tip’s clearly Christian lyrics and higher calling transform him into something larger-than-life on stage. When guests leave a Humble Tip concert they are excited about the Gospel. Make plans to join us on Tuesday, September 23. The 7 p.m. concert is open to the public and admission is free of charge. The Gibbs Auditorium in Ellis Hall is handicapped accessible. Take advantage of this free community concert to learn about the distinct qualities of Christian Rap! For additional information, contact Yvonne Harper, harpery@smcsc.edu, 864-587-4278 or 266-7409.

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Dr. Ed Ellis Portrait Unveiling

On Wednesday, September 10, 2014 SMC faculty, staff, students, family and friends of Drs. Ed and Charlotte Ellis gathered together after SMC’s Convocation for a very special event to recognize Dr. Ed Ellis for all he and his wife continue to do for the College. SMC unveiled the portrait, created by artist Trish Lowe, that will hang in Ellis Hall.

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College Town partners with Live on the Green to sponsor QUINN SULLIVAN and BRUCE HORNSBY

College Town announced today that it has partnered with Live On the Green LLC to present the inaugural Live on the Green concert, featuring Bruce Hornsby and Quinn Sullivan, on Saturday, September 20, 2014, at Barnet Park in downtown Spartanburg.
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“College Town’s participation in this upcoming concert provides a terrific cultural opportunity for all of our faculty, staff and students and helps to energizes downtown Spartanburg. We are so proud of the growing vitality of the Spartanburg community,” shared Betsy Fleming, Converse College President, and current chair of College Town, a consortium of the seven colleges in Spartanburg (Converse College, Sherman College, Spartanburg Methodist College, Spartanburg Community College, University of South Carolina Upstate, Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine and Wofford College).

15-year-old blues guitarist, Quinn Sullivan, will open for legendary performer Bruce Hornsby, who will perform solo on the piano. Sullivan is quickly gaining quite a reputation among today’s most respected guitar players and musical artists. He has been touring the world with his mentor and friend, Buddy Guy, promoting his latest CD, “Getting There,” produced in Nashville with multi-Grammy winner Tom Hambridge. Since the age of seven, Quinn has been sharing stages with legendary players like Eric Clapton, BB King, and Buddy Guy at iconic venues like the Hollywood Bowl, Madison Square Garden, and Red Rocks. He has also performed at some of the world’s most prestigious festivals including Montreux Jazz, Austin City Limits, and Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival. “Quinn is undoubtedly one of the best blues guitarists of any age on the planet. His talent and repertoire will be the perfect complement to Bruce Hornsby’s performance,” stated Ben Graves, member of the Live on the Green executive committee.“

Tickets for Live on the Green are available for $10 to all faculty, staff and students with presentation of a valid College ID. General Admission is $20 ($27 at gate, day of event). Gold Circle Level seating is $35 with limited availability. Tickets are currently on sale and can be purchased through the event website, www.spartanburgonthegreen.com. Rain location will be the Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium.

Live on the Green was created by a group of young, business-minded individuals with a vision for Spartanburg as a more viable location for live music events. The organization chose Barnet Park as the event location in order to utilize the prominent Spartanburg space for its intended purpose. The event is being supported by sponsors throughout the community, including the City of Spartanburg. All funds are held and directed by the Spartanburg County Foundation. The event will be produced by Seven Hills Presents, a Virginia-based event production company.

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SMC instilling Leadership, Service and a Strong Work Ethic

SMC’s founder, Methodist minister Rev. Dr. David English Camak, had a vision to improve the lives of the men and women living and working in the Mill Villages of Spartanburg. His goal was to provide an education that would enlighten textile workers and enable them to overcome the social forces that threatened their lives and future generations. Camak believed that these young men and women were ambitious and, with the right training and encouragement, had the potential to become influential leaders in their community and industry.

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It is appropriate, therefore, to pause and recall both Camak’s vision and pay tribute on Labor Day to the creator of so much of the nation’s strength, freedom, and leadership — the American worker.

Spartanburg Methodist College continues to believe in the same vision and values, which served as guiding principles and the foundation for the college over 103 years ago. For the SMC community, the yearly national labor day tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country, is an ongoing observance and celebration and is echoed in their motto, To Be & To Do.

As part of the UM connection, SMC strives to develop a values-oriented atmosphere where students can develop a sensitivity to the needs of others. Each year, on the first full day that freshman are on the SMC campus, they are sent out into the Spartanburg community to help churches, schools, and non-profit agencies with landscaping, cleaning and organizing, feeding the hungry, working with the elderly, and easing the plight of the homeless. Kappa Sigma Alpha, SMC’s only fraternity, is dedicated to community service and participate in bimonthly service opportunities. SMC students are also invited to participate in Alternative Fall and Spring Breaks, led by the Dean of Students and the Chaplain, in which they are exposed to the multitude of needs found in a community. Students might work to improve the housing of low-income elderly residents, assist on a farm for recovering and retired horses, sort linens for a ministry that provides beds for children who would otherwise be sleeping on the floor, tutor children, work with nursing home residents, etc.

Students like Kaitlyn Pless, a 2014 graduate of SMC, who graduated Valedictorian of her high school class, report that SMC gives “access to knowledge beyond the walls of home and school. Volunteering my labor led me educationally towards a career and provided a gateway into the knowledge of theology, philosophy, and the history of Faith.”

Kaitlyn, who is actively involved in youth leadership at Sharon UM Greer, is currently enrolled in the University of South Carolina Upstate’s Mary Black School of Nursing for her BSN. She hopes to specialize in Hospice Care.

Martin Luther King, Jr. is quoted to have said “All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.” During the 2013-2014 academic year, Candice Y. Sloan, SMC Chaplin, proudly reported that SMC students, faculty and staff provided over 6,008 hours of volunteer labor to the community. SMC…doing all the good they can, by all the means they can, in all the ways they can, in all the places they can, at all the times they can, to all the people they can.