Lander University

Lander University is a public university in Greenwood, South Carolina. It is the state's second-smallest publicly funded baccalaureate institution.

Lander University
Old Main Building
TypePublic university
PresidentDr. Richard Cosentino
Vice-ChancellorDr. Boyd Yarbrough
Academic staff
Students3,227 [1]
Location, ,
United States

34°12′1″N 82°9′56″W
ColorsBlue and Gold


Lander University was founded 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. The college moved to Greenwood in 1904 and was renamed Lander College in honor of its founder who died in the same year. It remained a women's college until 1943 when men were first admitted.

In 1948, when the Methodist Conference, pursuant to a policy of consolidation of its education efforts decided to end support of Lander College, interested citizens of Greenwood formed the Lander Foundation as a non-profit corporation and leased the College from the Church.

In 1951, the Greenwood County 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 of 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.

In 1973, Lander College became a state-supported college and in 1992 its name was changed to Lander University. The institution is now completely co-educational.

Lander University has had twelve presidents serve since it has been founded. The presidents in order are: 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).[2]


Lander is situated on a wooded site near the middle of the City of Greenwood, of approximately 123 acres (50 ha). The Lander College Old Main Building consists of three distinct sections displaying an eclectic blending of elements of the Romanesque Revival and Georgian Revival styles. Two of the sections—Greenwood Hall and Laura Lander Hall—were built in 1903-04; Willson Hall was added in 1911. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.[3] In addition to six major buildings erected since 1973, campus improvements have included extensive renovations to a number of older facilities, new housing complexes, athletics fields and parking lots. Lander created a new 10-year Campus Master Plan in 2003. The first phase of the plan, the creation of a campus entrance, is complete, and a new residence hall (Centennial Hall) for 300 students opened in 2006. An expanded dining hall opened in January 2.


Lander University has eleven housing areas. They are sectioned off between freshman housing and upperclassman housing. All first time students are required to stay on campus in one of the four designated dorms. Freshman have a choice between New Residence Hall, Centennial Hall, Chipley Hall (females only), Brookside (with scholarship) and Williamston. These are all first-come, first-served. These dorms are for one year only with the exception of Williamston and Centennial Hall. These residence halls vary in styles from suites to apartment style living.[4] The costs for each housing varies. Upperclassman housing areas give students the independent-living feel. There are seven housing areas which includes Bearcat Village and the newest addition McGhee Court. These two are both located off campus. On campus housing includes Lide, Centennial Hall, Thomason, University Place, and Williamston. As of 2019, Landers housing is at 99.5% capacity. [5]


About 3,227 students are enrolled with gender distribution of 31% male and 69% of female. Lander University has 43.1% of its classes with fewer than 20 students. The most popular majors at Lander are business administration and management, nursing, exercise science, sociology, and early childhood education and teaching. But even though those are popular majors, Lander is known for being a liberal arts school. For the 3rd year in a row, this will be the largest freshman class in Lander's history. [6]


In the 2018 edition of U.S. News & World Report's Best Colleges rankings, Lander ranked 29 in Regional Colleges of the South and 6 in Best Colleges for Veterans.[6]


Lander has 438 full-time faculty members, the majority of whom hold terminal degrees in their areas.


More than 60 areas of undergraduate study are offered, as well as a diverse selection of master's programs.[7] Three programs are offered completely online: the R.N. to B.S.N. completion option, the criminal justice management bachelor's degree, and the health care management certificate.

The academic structure consists of five colleges,[8] each home to teaching and learning in a wide-ranging variety of subject areas such as:

  • College of Arts and Humanities
    • Department of Art
    • Department of English and Foreign Languages
    • Department of Mass Communications and Media Studies
    • Department of Music
  • College of Behavioral and Social Sciences
    • Department of Government, Criminology, and Sociology
    • Department of History and Philosophy
    • Department of Psychological Sciences
    • Department of Military Science and ROTC
  • College of Business
  • College of Education
    • Department of Teacher Education
    • Department of Physical Education and Exercise Studies
  • College of Science and Mathematics
    • Department of Biology
    • Department of Physical Sciences
    • Department of Mathematics and Computing

Within the 5 colleges at Lander there are 5 graduate study programs. They are; MSN, Clinical Nurse Leader; MS Emergency Management; MSM, Management; MEd Montessori Education; and MEd, Teaching and Learning.

Varsity athletic teams have reaped honors at district and national levels, including 12 national championships in men's tennis. A member of the NCAA Division II, Lander plays in the Peach Belt Conference and fields teams in men's and women's basketball, soccer and tennis; men's baseball and golf; and women's cross country, softball and volleyball. Lander also offers club sports that include equestrian, ultimate disc, rugby, bass-fishing, lacrosse, soccer, water skiing, running, Cross-Fit, baseball, women's volleyball and it has an intramural program open to all students, faculty and staff. In particular the men's soccer team is very successful. The men's soccer team holds the record for fewest goals conceded in the 2016 season in the NCAA. The men's soccer team also has two national titles, one was won in 1997 and the other in 2016. The baseball program was founded in 1998. This year is the first year lander will have Lacrosse and Wrestling.

Intercollegiate Varsity Sports
Men's Sports Women's Sports
Baseball Basketball
Basketball Cross Country
Cross Country Golf
Golf Lacrosse*
Lacrosse* Soccer
Soccer Softball
Tennis Tennis
Volleyball* Volleyball
rugby club rugby *These sports will begin competing in the 2019-2020 Academic Year.

Greek Life

Sorority and fraternity organizations are under two different councils being the National Pan-Hellenic council (NPHC) and the Lander Panhellenic Council (NPC) [9]




Religious Organizations

  • Methodist Campus Ministry[10]
  • Baptist Collegiate Ministry [11]
  • Chi Sigma Christian Sorority[12]
  • Collegians for Christ[13]
  • Newman Club - Bearcat Catholics


Lander University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award Baccalaureate and master's degrees.

College of Arts and Humanities it is accredited by:

National Association of Schools of Arts and Design (NASAD)

National Association of Schools of Music (NASM)

College of Business and Public Affairs:

Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)

College of Education:

Montessori Accrediting Council for Teacher Education (MACTE)

Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)

School of Nursing:

Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)

See also


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