TIGERVILLE, S.C. – The North Greenville University Board of Trustees announced on Tuesday that University President Dr. James B. Epting would be taking sabbatical leave for the spring semester of 2015, with plans to retire at the end of the school’s fiscal year in May.
“We are deeply grateful to Dr. Epting for his 23 years of service and thankful for the miracles God has performed at the University under his leadership,” said Beverly Hawkins, Chair of the University’s Board of Trustees.
Epting’s tenure began in 1991 when he was named the seventh president of North Greenville College, then a two-year institution. Enrollment was at an all-time low of 329 students at the time and the school’s imminent closure was looming. Since Epting took office, the school has prospered, celebrating its 18th consecutive record enrollment this past fall with an enrollment of 2,632 undergraduate, graduate, and online students.
He directed the school through two capital campaigns. The Second Century Fund was set at $6 million in 1992, increased to $12 million, and surpassed the second goal in three and a half years. The school is currently at the close of its second five-year GIFT God Capital Campaign, for which the original goal was set at $25 million, surpassed, and increased to $42.7 million in just two years. With only one year remaining, the campaign total has reached over $42 million. As a result of these fundraising efforts, over $40 million in capital projects have been built on the northern Greenville county campus without burdening the school with development debt.
Under Epting’s leadership, the college began offering four-year degrees in 1994, and attained University status in 2005; its graduate programs began at the T. Walter Brashier Graduate School in 2006, and it added a doctoral degree in 2012. The school currently offers over 40 undergraduate, graduate and online degree programs. An additional satellite location was opened in 2014 at the Tim Brashier Center in Greenville. This location houses the school’s MBA program.
The NGU Board has named Dr. Randall J. Pannell, Chief Academic Officer, as spokesperson during this interim time.
The Board is in the process of appointing an interim president and also a search committee to begin a national search for the school’s eighth president in its storied 123-year history.