Presbyterian College ushered in a new academic year on Tuesday, Aug. 27 during its Opening Convocation at Belk Auditorium.
Students moved onto campus over the weekend, with help from faculty, student and staff volunteers. Before classes began on Wednesday, they filled the auditorium joined by parents and other friends for convocation. The event marked the beginning of PC’s 140th academic year.
“It is great to be with our outstanding faculty, members of the class of 2020 and 2023, as well as parents and friends of PC,” said President Bob Staton ’68. “Today marks a day of great expectations and anticipation for all in attendance and for Presbyterian College.”
Dr. Amy Davis, director of Academic Success and Retention, provided the convocation address, urging both new and returning students to take advantage of their “spectacular now.”
“Even though you are all on a path to the same long-term goal of earning a degree from Presbyterian College, none of your journeys are or will be identical,” Davis said. “You are assuming responsibility for your own lives, which can be scary, yes, but also empowering, and spectacular.”
Davis told students she wanted them to connect the word “now,” “to the important process of setting and accomplishing short-term goals.”
She offered each group of students from first-years to seniors examples of those goals. They included recognizing and using campus resources, getting involved, as well as preparing for graduation and life after PC.
Davis reminded faculty and staff they are a vital part of PC students’ experiences. She added the PC Way and Honor Code also play an important role in achieving goals and success.
“Students, your success will be earned with hard work, but the foundation of your success and your development as a citizen, we expect, will be guided by your ethics, decency, integrity and honesty,” she said.
New students, faculty and staff recited the PC Honor Pledge during Convocation and signed the Honor Code following the ceremony.
PC’s First Lady Receives Service Award
During Convocation, Staton and the Rev. Jeri Perkins ’81, pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Clinton, presented the Martha Anne Green ’69 Service to Church and College Award to Phyllis Staton, the first lady of Presbyterian College.
The Martha Anne Green Service to Church and College Award was established by First Presbyterian Church of Clinton and Presbyterian College to recognize the contributions Martha Anne Green made to two communities – her college and her church.
She inspired all of us with her humility, her joy, and most of all, her leadership as she embodied our motto, Dum Vivimus Servimus, President Staton said.
Each year, Dr. Perkins and the provost spearhead a group to identify candidates for the award who are from Clinton and whose lives of service on behalf of the church universal and PC reflect Martha Anne Green’s commitment to both institutions.
Phyllis Staton was recognized for her service to the First Presbyterian Church of Clinton, Presbyterian College, and assistance agencies and non-profit organizations throughout Laurens County.
She is a Ruling Elder for First Presbyterian Church, serving as a member of the Congregational Care Committee and College Ministry Committee and participating in service events.
She and President Staton offer their home to the campus and community for events and celebrations; the first lady also provides leadership in organizations in Clinton and Laurens County including the Laurens County Cancer Association Board, the YMCA Board, the United Way Board, reading in local elementary schools, and serving as Chair of the Clinton Rotary Club.
In her remarks, Phyllis Staton thanked the campus, church and community for the welcome she and President Staton received when they arrived to serve the College four years ago.
“It didn’t take long for me to love this place I call home,” she said. “I love First Presbyterian Church, and only those of you who have never met me don’t know that I love Presbyterian College.”
As she continued, she told the new students she hasn’t met that she looks forward to meeting them soon.
“The students at PC, you are on an extraordinary journey, and I do know that I’m so excited and I’m happy to even play a small part in that journey,” she said. “PC students: You are why we’re here, and I’m happy that you have chosen to be a part of our Blue Hose family.
“I’m really honored to be the recipient of this award. It’s humbling, and it’s incredible to be given an award for doing what you love, in a place you love, for people you love.”
Several student awards were presented during the morning, and new faculty, officers, directors and head coaches were also recognized at the program.