It’s All About Outstanding

Richard Taylor

Richard Taylor ’14

Tell me about your background.

I spent the majority of childhood growing up in Spartanburg, SC.  My mother attended PC, and even though she is not here today, she constantly is a role model for me.  I knew what people said about her and her personality and had a feeling PC was a part of that.  That is a major reason I wanted to be a Blue Hose.

At PC, I played lacrosse, ran cross country, was a member of the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity, was a member of the ROTC program, was the VP for my class, and was involved in many other things. Only at PC would I have been able to be so involved, and I strongly believe each one of those things helped develop me throughout college.

Why did you choose to come to PC?

Presbyterian College having so many family ties to me was a big factor. I wanted to run cross country and play lacrosse. Presbyterian had those sports and offered me the opportunity to play both. Also, my family who went to PC and the students I met constantly reminded me of the close relationships I would build and how personal the professors were.  Plus, what would be better than getting a degree from Presbyterian College.

What do you think makes PC different from every other college/school?

PC is different because of how close students get with the professors and staff around campus.  Students truly become part of the “PC family.”  I never expected not only to relate,  but to become as close as family to the people around me whether in sports, Greek life, or those I met around campus.

How influential was your financial aid package in making your decision to attend PC? How would your college experience be different if you were not awarded any scholarship?

First, I was very excited to be able to attend PC.  I got a good amount of aid from the state as well as the school.  Once I got here, the athletic department, financial aid, and my fraternity, really went out of their way to help me when I needed them.  When I was awarded a ROTC scholarship, I was and still am very grateful.  I strongly believe I would not be where I am today without all of their help.

You participated in the Highlander ROTC program at PC. What is the most prominent lesson you will take away from that experience?

I was a part of the Highlander ROTC program for two years, and they built a new level of confidence in me.  The most important lesson I learned from the program is that anything is possible. If there is a goal you want to achieve, that goal is completely possible through hard work and dedication.

In May you were commissioned as an officer in the United States Army. Why did you make that decision?

I knew I wanted to make a difference in something.  Becoming an officer in the United States Army was a calling I felt I needed to respond to.  I am proud of who I am.  I want to lead others in the Army and in my community.  The biggest concept to understand, in the armed forces or not, is that everyone no matter rank, age, gender, or ethnicity is important and influential in everyday life.

How has your experience in the Highlander ROTC program shaped who you are today?

ROTC has helped me understand that through the basic things we are taught as children such as team work, dedication, motivation, and hard work, I can achieve any goal I shoot for.

Why do you think it’s important to give back to PC?

Giving back to PC is important because it gives younger generations the opportunity to be successful through programs we as alumni also experienced.  By doing so, we get to see a school we love succeed and continue to grow.

What is your best memory while being on campus at PC?

I have many great memories from PC.  I do not know if I can pick just one that stands out above all the rest.  If I had to narrow it down, I would say getting my acceptance letter and the day I walked from Neville to my seat on the front lawn for graduation with the many people whom I shared my four years with as a PC student.

Why do you love PC?

I love PC because I know that without this college I would not be the young man I am today.  PC formed me into the guy I knew I wanted to be.  As a very recent graduate I am confident in my future career and know I can handle what God has planned for me.  I also know that my PC family is behind me no matter what.

If you could personally thank the person whose scholarship funded your education what would you say?

If I had the opportunity to thank the persons whose scholarships funded my PC education and experience, I would be thanking a lot of people.  I am extremely thankful for all the help I received financially.  Being a PC graduate means the world to me, and I am grateful beyond words.  “Thank you” does not do my feelings justice.  I hope for those who will become a part of the PC family that they will have the same opportunities that I had.

Click Here to make a gift through the Annual Fund to support outstanding students at Presbyterian College.

Adam Herendeen

Adam Herendeen ’09- Head Coach of the Men’s Tennis Team

Tell me about your background (hometown, college, career)

I was born and grew up in Douglasville, Georgia (30 minutes west of Atlanta). I took a recruiting visit to PC during my senior year of high school and knew right away that this was where I wanted to come to school. After graduating I had the opportunity to stay around and coach as an assistant and have been here ever since.

What are your priorities as a coach?

The core values of our program are developing character, instilling work ethic and excellence, and developing tennis players. I am blessed to have a job where I can really get to know the people that I work with on a daily basis and have an impact on their lives. The goal is to use this unique relationship and the vehicle of tennis to help them become better people and prepare them for life after PC.

What is the funniest story you can tell about your team?

We have a team full of funny guys so there are so many good ones. One that sticks out from this year comes from the second of the big snow storms we had this winter. We missed a couple of days of practice because there was so much ice on the courts so the guys came out and spent over an hour breaking up the ice with whatever method they could find. They got pretty creative with it and actually helped the courts get dry in time for our conference match the next day.

Describe the type of player/person you look to recruit to come to PC?

When I am recruiting student athletes there are so many things to look at but one of the most important things is how they carry themselves on the court and how they interact with their parents and peers. It is very important for me to find players that fit into the PC community and seeing how they carry themselves is a huge step in that.

When you go out on the road and recruit players what are the most important things to tell them about being a student-athlete at PC?

I think that what makes PC and our program special is the way that elite academics and success on the tennis court complement each other. At many of the schools we compete against these two things are mutually exclusive, but at PC they work perfectly together and one does not have to suffer in order for the other to thrive. I think that our team’s success combined with a team GPA of over 3.4 for the past two years really proves that.

As a graduate of PC, a former men’s tennis player, and the current head coach your experience has really come full circle. What does that mean to you?

I am just finishing my ninth year with the program (four as a player, two as an assistant and three as the head coach) and it just makes the program mean that much more to me. I know firsthand the pressures and struggles that our players face and that allows me to help them. Being involved in all three aspects of the program also makes the recent successes more rewarding because I know where we came from and how hard those first couple of years in Division I were. I also think that being able to be a part of the last couple of Division 2 championships helped me to have the pride in our program and the belief that we had what it took to be the best in the Big South and to compete on the national stage.

How influential is a player’s scholarship or financial aid package in making their decision to attend PC? How do you think the college experience of your players would be different if they weren’t awarded any scholarship?

A player’s scholarship is something that is extremely important during the recruiting process of elite student-athletes. It is simply supply and demand. Elite players have a very high demand. However, at PC we are looking for a very unique combination of top academics, talent and desire to be part of something bigger and it is for this reason that every player on our team turned down other scholarship offers from bigger schools to come and play at PC. If players were not awarded scholarships they would not be able to learn nearly as much from the game and the school as they do now. When a player receives a scholarship they know that the school is making an investment in them and their future. For this reason they put everything they have into their academics and their tennis.

Why do you give back to PC?

I give back to PC because I have seen firsthand how powerful of an impact this school can make in the future of a young person. My four years as a student here were the most formative years of my life and have made me who I am today. If it were not for the gifts of alumni that helped cover my scholarship, I would have never been able to attend PC.

Click Here to make a gift through the Annual Fund to support outstanding coaches at Presbyterian College.

 

Dhmir Grant

Dhmir Grant’ 14

Share information about your background.

I am from Charleston, SC. At PC, I am involved in a variety of organizations and activities. I am the vice president of the Multicultural Awareness Committee of Student Union Board, a student representative for the Multicultural Awareness and Concerns Committee and a member of Celtic Cross. I was a part of the first group of students to live in the first Intentional Christian Community, also known as The Nest, on campus. I served as vice president of the Multicultural Student Union and as an International Ambassador for international students at PC.

 Why did you choose to come to PC?

I always knew that I wanted to be in an academic environment where the class sizes were small, where my professors knew my name and cared about my success. PC met all of those requirements and more. The students on campus were so nice and helpful. That is what stood out to me the most out of all the schools that I visited.

What do you think makes PC different from every other college or university?

The Student-Professor relationship — professors really do care about the success of students.

Why did you study abroad?

I am a Spanish minor at PC. I’ve always done well in my Spanish classes, but I wanted to challenge my skills a little more. With the encouragement of  the International Programs staff — Viet (Ha) and Liz (Dille), and my professor Dr. (Clinia) Saffi, I decided to study abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina. PC also makes studying abroad so convenient by helping you find a program and through the support they give you while abroad.

How influential was your financial aid package in making your decision to attend PC? How would your college experience be different if you were not awarded any scholarship?

A quality education comes with a high ticket price. If I was not given such a generous financial aid package it would have been difficult to attend PC.

Why do you think it’s important to give back to PC?

It is the best way to say thank you to an institution that helped you get to where you are today and taught you invaluable lessons in life.

What is your best memory about being abroad?

Visiting Iguazu Falls, which is one of the natural wonders of the world. It was the most beautiful and serene experience of my life.

What was the biggest thing you learned while abroad? What did you learn about yourself?

I gained confidence. Deciding to live in a country where you do not know anyone, the official language is not your native tongue, and maneuvering through a city of almost 3 million people takes a lot of courage. I feel like I can do anything now.

What is your best memory while being on campus at PC?

The experience that I had moving in freshman year. My family and I were welcomed by students who I never met before and they were so nice and helped me get settled in my dorm in 90-degree weather. That reaffirmed my decision on choosing PC.

 Why do you love PC?

PC helped give me confidence and all the tools necessary to be successful in the real world with honesty and integrity.

If you could personally thank the person whose scholarship funded your education, what would you say?

Education is one of the best gifts that can be given to someone because it can be used to help make the world a better place. I know that my experience here at PC has prepared me to enter into the real world and make a change. For that I want to thank the person who has helped me invest in my education.

Click Here to make a gift through the Annual Fund to support outstanding students at Presbyterian College.