GBHEM Recognizes SMC Professor with Exemplary Teaching Award

GBHEM Recognizes SMC Professor with Exemplary Teaching Award

Long-time Spartanburg Methodist College (SMC) music professor, Dr. Lanny Lanford, was recognized by his peers for his dedication to his students and craft as they selected him as the 2021 recipient of the Exemplary Teaching Award.

“To be chosen as the recipient of this award is deeply humbling, to say the least.  ‘Exemplary Teaching’ has been a requirement of us all this year,” Dr. Lanford said. “Many years ago, I became aware of the desire to make a difference in the lives of college students.  I had answered a call to ministry, which took the form of Music Ministry, but after only a few years, that call shifted over to teaching and conducting.”

The honor is a part of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) of the United Methodist Church. Each year, the GBHEM’s school members select one faculty member who exemplifies excellence in teaching, civility, and concern for students, the institution, and the community.

Fellow faculty recognized Dr. Lanford for his hard work to continue to provide music courses and maintaining the SMC chorus throughout the pandemic. He thoroughly researched, planned, and executed a choral program that was safe and enriching for students.

“Through it all, Dr. Lanford maintained his commitment to the safety of the students and his work with helping students grow as individuals and as singers,” said Dr. Kris Pratt, religion professor and chair of the Department of Humanities at SMC. “There were certainly bumps along the way, but through it all, Dr. Lanford continued to care for his students, to think of new ways to accomplish the goals of the course, and to adapt on the fly when necessary.”

Interim Provost Kris Neely also praised Dr. Lanford’s commitment to his craft as both an educator and musician.

“Lanny is the consummate professional and the very essence of a colleague. His musical talent knows no bounds and he is a great ambassador for Spartanburg Methodist College,” Neely said.

Dr. Lanford started at SMC in 2011 after stints as the Minister of Music at several churches, choral directorships, composer in residence posts, and music professorships at a number of colleges. His list of awards and accolades speaks to his commitment to music, including the winner of the International Choral Composition Competition for Les Chevaliers du Tastevin, which debuted in San Antonio, Texas, and continues to be performed throughout France. He has 33 published compositions and has composed music for films and an ebook.

Dr. Lanford commended all of his colleagues for their work in such a challenging year and expressed his excitement for a new year and the opportunity to impact more lives in his classes.



Dr. Lanny Lanford seated at piano

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