TIGERVILLE, S.C. — The Board of Trustees of North Greenville University has elected Dr. Gene C. Fant, Jr., to serve as its next president, it was announced at a media event on Thursday.
“The Presidential Search Committee undertook a nationwide search with the assistance of the team of Price Harding, III, a partner and founder of CarterBaldwin Executive Search of Atlanta, Ga., a search firm with wide experience in higher education and especially in Christian higher education,” said Bill Tyler, Chairman of NGU’s Board of Trustees and Presidential Search Committee. “We evaluated nominations and applications from over 60 qualified candidates. In the end, it was about the candidate that would be the right fit for North Greenville and its mission.”
Fant, 53, has a long record of leadership in Christian higher education, most recently at Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, Fla.
“Lisa and I are profoundly humbled,” Fant said, “to be invited by the Board of Trustees to serve alongside this marvelous faculty and staff in this Kingdom work. North Greenville’s Christ-honoring heritage has impacted our region and indeed the world since its beginning, and I look forward to leading the university as we follow God’s calling on our shared lives.”
Fant noted that he was attracted to the position by NGU’s history of producing transformational leaders for church and society.
“Throughout my career, everywhere I go, I run into people whose lives have been touched by NGU and its alumni, students, faculty, coaches, and staff. I hope to build on that solid foundation of influence and extend it into new areas,” said Fant.
Fant will complete the spring semester in his current role as the Provost and Chief Academic Officer at Palm Beach Atlantic University, assuming his duties at NGU on June 1.
Fant has left his mark on Palm Beach Atlantic University. He has led the campus in a renewed commitment to its Christ-first mission, joining unapologetically Christian dedication to unflinching academic excellence. About a dozen new academic programs have been launched in healthcare, business, and science, and he was instrumental in the launch of the Titus Center for Franchising, which benefits from a $1.5 million startup gift.
As Provost and Chief Academic Officer of PBA, Fant has been an innovative academic architect, an elite and insightful talent scout, a strategic thinker, a resourceful idea generator, a passionate advocate of intellectual discipleship, a significant sculptor of the PBA experience, but most importantly, an extraordinary Christian scholar and Christ-follower. He understands the transformational nature of Christ-first higher education. At all times, he remains student-focused and faculty-friendly, with a keen understanding of the importance of both the liberal arts and professional studies. Additionally, he is known as one of the best storytellers.
“This is a historic time in the life of North Greenville." NGU Chairman Tyler said. "In 1991, it was about survival. Today, it is about taking a Christ-centered institution with a very strong foundation and moving it into the future in order to equip students to go into the world and impact the kingdom by having a strong biblical worldview no matter what their educational discipline may be. We are not looking back, we are moving forward.”