The Erskine Board of Trustees met on campus Thursday and Friday, Feb. 21-22. Highlighting the two-day gathering were opportunities for trustees to hear from students and faculty members.
On the first day, the College Committee heard from four students and several professors. Students who spoke to the committee were senior English major Elizabeth Bishop of Greenwood, S.C.; senior business administration Stokes Brownlee of St. George, S.C.; junior early childhood education major Ramsey Conner of Greenville, S.C.; and sophomore Paul Lawing of Maiden, N.C.
The students spoke about their love of Erskine’s family atmosphere and the freedom to discuss and live their faith. Dr. Alan Broyles, a trustee from Rock Hill, S.C., said, “Stokes Brownlee expressed a sentiment they all shared—‘Erskine is not for everyone, but I cannot imagine being anywhere else.’”
Also addressing trustees in the committee meeting were Assistant Professor of History Dr. John Harris, Professor of English Dr. Joan Little, and Assistant Professor of Psychology Dr. Briana Van Scoy. Erskine’s expectation that they integrate their faith into their academic disciplines was embraced by the professors.
“I especially enjoyed hearing about the Vocation and Calling class led by Dr. Van Scoy,” said trustee Catherine Tolbert Davis, a 2007 Erskine graduate from Mooresville, N.C. “Hearing from these and other students was the highlight of the board meeting for me.”
The afternoon session Thursday included a word from Shap Boyd, Erskine’s new football coach, as well as a spotlight on academic opportunities featuring three students who spoke about off-campus conferences and internships that have enriched the college experience for them.
“They talked about how valuable these experiences were for their personal growth,” said Board Chairman Jill Gazzaway of Davidson, N.C. The student speakers were senior chemistry major Cori Damron of Aiken, S.C.; junior American studies major Alex Leasure of Sumter, S.C.; and senior political science major Amanda Stevenson of Florence, S.C.
A campus ministry event in Bowie Chapel Thursday evening, arranged by Erskine Chaplain Paul Patrick, brought trustees together with students from Reformed University Fellowship (RUF), Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), Student Christian Association (SCA), and Baptist Collegiate Ministries (BCM) for worship in Bowie Chapel. The RUF praise band provided music, and two students gave their testimonies—senior athletic training major A.J. Mealing of Graniteville, S.C., and sophomore English major Kara Rabon of Lexington, S.C.
“It was a wonderful evening. What a blessing to hear their stories of faith,” Gazzaway said.
In their Friday meeting, the trustees considered options for expanding housing on campus in anticipation of a larger freshman class in the fall and voted on officers for 2019-20, with Gazzaway returning as chairman and Clint Davis as vice chairman, and David Smith elected secretary.
Other business included productive discussions concerning alumni and church communications, which will strengthen the Erskine community and further the mission of the institution. The board will therefore be presenting to the General Synod of the ARP Church recommendations about advisory, non-voting membership on the board for the president of the Alumni Association and the moderator of the General Synod.
Bridges to healthy communications with alumni, consistent vetting processes for all voting members, SACS compliance, and reliance upon Synod’s nominations process were all discussion points leading to these recommendations.