Founded in 1872, Lander University is a co-educational, state-assisted, comprehensive, regional, four-year university in Greenwood, S.C. With approximately 2,700 students, Lander provides exceptional educational opportunities within its traditional liberal arts and science programs, and its professional programs in business, education, and nursing.
Grounded in the belief that education is a liberating force which makes it possible for the individual to live a life of meaningful activity, of personal satisfaction, and of service to others as a neighbor and a citizen, Lander University has chosen teaching and learning as its principal concerns and providing a challenging education for qualified students as its mission. Through its liberal arts programs and its professional schools of business, education, and nursing, the University offers an undergraduate curriculum that combines a broad liberal education with specialized study leading either to an immediate application in a career or to more advanced study. The undergraduate programs provide opportunities for students to achieve competence in a major discipline and to explore a broad core curriculum designed to assist them in developing the ability (1) to gather and critically analyze information from a variety of fields and to use that information as a basis for reasoned judgments and for effective problem solving, (2) to synthesize diverse ideas and information, and (3) to understand and convey ideas clearly. In addition to its undergraduate programs, Lander provides a limited number of master’s programs and post-graduate courses that respond to critical needs of the immediate region and the State. Supporting the University's role as a teaching institution and recognizing that scholarship is essential to establishing and maintaining the excellence of instruction, Lander faculty engage in scholarly and creative activities appropriate to their teaching fields. In addition, the faculty and staff recognize Lander’s responsibility to the public and to the local economy; therefore the University serves as an intellectual and cultural center and cooperates with various agencies, schools, and businesses. The University, situated near the center of Greenwood, a small South Carolina city, combines urban with rural and traditional with modern features. Proud of its identity as a small, student-centered public four-year university with a nurturing educational environment, Lander is committed to gradual but limited growth to a size of approximately 3300-3500 students. Because student success depends in large part upon readiness, the University reserves admission to those students who can demonstrate adequate preparation for higher education either through a predicted GPA or through previous success at another post-secondary institution. While Lander serves primarily students from a seven-county area (Greenwood, Laurens, Edgefield, Abbeville, McCormick, Newberry, and Saluda) and reflects the demographic diversity of this constituency, it strives to draw students from every region of South Carolina as well as from other states and foreign countries because a geographically diverse population better serves the educational interests of all students enrolled. Lander predominately attracts qualified traditional full-time students but also welcomes non-traditional and part-time students. Lander University’s commitment to extending educational opportunities to these varying constituencies reflects its belief that citizens of a free society have a right to the enriching benefits of higher education.
- Approved by the Lander University Faculty: March 19, 1997
- Approved by the Lander University Board of Trustees: March 20, 1997
- Approved by the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education: October 9, 1997
Lander University is committed to a comprehensive program of institutional effectiveness: the intentional, systematic, analytical and on-going process of collecting, analyzing and making decisions based on data and information related to the goals of each unit and of the University. The Office of Institutional Assessment and Effectiveness is responsible for coordinating the assessment and institutional effectiveness efforts of all units within the University, including academic and support units. The Strategic Plan Goals Report Card is the culmination of an annual, university-wide effort to determine to what extent the Strategic Plan goals, defined by the Board of Trustees, are being achieved. Lander University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC) to award Baccalaureate and Master’s degrees.
The Lander University Story
Lander University was founded as a college for women by Methodist clergyman Samuel Lander in 1872, as Williamston Female College in Williamston, South Carolina. It remained a private institution for 26 years. In 1898, the college gained the support of the South Carolina Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. In 1904, the college was relocated to Greenwood, S.C., and was renamed Lander College in honor of its founder. Men were admitted in 1943, and the institution is now completely coeducational. In 1948, when the Methodist Conference, pursuant to a policy of consolidation in its education efforts, decided to end support of Lander College, interested citizens of Greenwood formed The Lander Foundation as a nonprofit corporation and leased the college from the church. In 1951, the county of Greenwood obtained the College name and property from the Methodist Conference. The South Carolina General Assembly created the Greenwood County Education Commission, known as The Lander Foundation, to serve as the board of control for the College. Lander thus became the only four-year liberal arts college in the United States to be controlled and financed by a county government. On July 1, 1973, Lander College came under the control of the Board of Trustees of the State Colleges of South Carolina, making Lander a state-assisted college. The State College Board of Trustees governed Lander, the College of Charleston, and Francis Marion College. Effective July 1, 1988, governance Lander was vested in the Lander College Board of Trustees. On July 1, 1992, by the action of the Board of Trustees, the institution became Lander University. The University has been served by twelve presidents: Samuel Lander (1872-1904); John O. Willson (1904-1923); B. Rhett Turnipseed (1923-1927); R. H. Bennett (1927-1932); John W. Speake (1932-1941); John Marvin Rast (1941-1948); Boyce M. Grier (1948-1966); E. Don Herd, Jr. (1966-1973); Larry A. Jackson (1973-1992); William C. Moran (1992-2000); Daniel W. Ball (2000-2015); and Richard E. Cosentino (2015-present). Lander University subscribes to a policy of equal educational and employment opportunity for all.
The Lander Foundation
Since its birth in 1948, The Lander Foundation has played a major role in the life of Lander University. For 25 years, The Foundation was the policy-making board of the University. When Lander moved from private to state support in 1973, the Lander Foundation was reorganized into an independent, nonprofit organization operating solely to support Lander. As a public institution, Lander University receives state funds to ensure that its students are provided with a strong, basic education. Lander, however, is committed to offering an education that goes beyond the basics. Friends of Lander who share that vision are helping provide, through The Lander Foundation, the funding that makes the difference between a very good education and one that is truly excellent. Making a difference—that is what Lander University and The Lander Foundation are all about.