Dr. Matthew vandenBerg
Matthew vandenBerg, former vice president for advancement and external relations at Alma College (Alma, Mich.), is the nineteenth president of Presbyterian College.
vandenBerg, a Certified Fund Raising Executive, led a team responsible for Alma College’s constituent engagement and fundraising programs. These programs include major and planned gifts, annual giving, corporate and foundation partnerships, alumni and parent initiatives, donor relations, and stewardship, advancement services, government relations, community partnerships, and employer relations.
During his tenure at Alma College, vandenBerg led the five most productive fundraising years in the college’s history. Alma College averaged raising $17 million a year since vandenBerg arrived in 2015.
As Alma College’s chief external relations officer, vandenBerg worked closely with the Alma, Mich., community in a variety of ways, including promoting economic development, facilitating community service projects and internship opportunities, and meeting with elected officials.
vandenBerg was selected by PC’s Board of Trustees on Oct. 28, 2020. He succeeded Bob Staton on February 1, 2021.
“Dr. vandenBerg embraces the Christian faith and is a lifelong member of the PC (USA),” said E. G. Lassiter ’69, chair of the PC Board of Trustees. The Presbyterian Church (USA) is a denomination of the Presbyterian Church with which PC is affiliated.
“He sought a presidency at a church-related liberal arts college, and specifically PC, as our mission of developing well-rounded students is a driving force for him,” Lassiter said.
“With the many challenges facing higher education, Dr. vandenBerg brings a sense of urgency, initiative, and drive that is going to be needed to address and navigate the changes facing PC over the next decade. He has a personality that will make others want to join with him in that effort.”
Dr. Donald R. Raber II
Dr. Don Raber started as PC’s provost on January 2, 2013. Raber joined the PC faculty in 2002 in the Political Science Department and served most recently as dean of Academic Programs.
He earned his B.A. in political science from Furman University, graduating summa cum laude and receiving membership in Phi Beta Kappa. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from Harvard University, where he studied the presidency and the federal bureaucracy. Outside of his service to PC, Raber was a past president of the South Carolina Political Science Association and the former editor of its Journal of Political Science.
Even as Don went to graduate school at a research-oriented institution, he appreciated the value of a liberal arts education coupled with the individualized commitment to student success. Having spent time in South Carolina as both a student and a professor, Don recognized how PC stands out as an ideal place to teach, study, and work with young people. Now as Provost, he is energized by the chance to work with PC’s outstanding faculty and staff to pursue a first-class education for our 1,150 undergraduates and over 200 students in the School of Pharmacy.
Vice President of Advancement
Jacki Berkshire joined PC on July 17, 2017. A graduate of James Madison University, she continued her studies at the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia. Prior to joining the PC Leadership Team, Jacki served as Vice President of Operations and Chief of Staff of the VMI (Virginia Military Institute) Foundation where she was responsible for the day to day operations of the Foundation and the Uncommon Purpose Campaign. Her duties also included oversight of the Board of Trustees and liaison between the Foundation and the Institute. While at VMI Jacki developed the Donor Relations and Stewardship division of the Foundation and provided support to the communications department.
Berkshire’s professional background includes serving as the Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations at the VMI Foundation and Director of Annual Giving at Southeastern Louisiana University.
Vice President of Campus Life and Dean of Students
Dr. Joy Smith
Dr. Joy Smith joined PC as vice president for campus life and dean of students on January 18, 2013. Smith is the former associate vice president for student affairs and dean of students at Clemson University. She has a comprehensive background in all areas of campus life, including student learning and development, career services, student health services, and multicultural affairs.
Smith received her B.S. in administrative management in 1975 and master of education in 1977, both from Clemson University. She received her Ph.D. in higher education administration from the University of South Carolina in Columbia in 1991.
With her education, experience, and belief that educating and developing the whole person involves affirming the worth of every student as a wonderfully and uniquely created individual, Smith’s vision for campus life is a great fit for PC.
Vice President of Enrollment and Marketing
Suzanne Petrusch is honored to have joined PC in June of 2016. She is delighted to work with the talented members of the College’s admission, financial aid, and marketing and communications teams. Their collective efforts have resulted in a 13% increase in first-year students from 2017 to 2020 and enrollment of the most diverse incoming classes in the history of the institution. Prior to assuming the role at PC, Petrusch served as the Vice President for Enrollment Management at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, where she oversaw the Offices of Admission, including Graduate & Adult Enrollment Services; Financial Assistance; Enrollment Marketing; and Student Retention. Among markers of the division’s success, Petrusch notes the 28 percent increase in the size of the first-year class, the first enactment of a deposit wait list, and improvements in persistence of first-generation students.
Petrusch’s portfolio includes serving as the Assistant Vice President for Enrollment Management at the University of Dayton, as well as marketing and sales positions. She authored a chapter for a book on best technology practices in higher education, and enjoys sharing information about the use of technology as a critical component of sophisticated enrollment management and positioning strategies.
She holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Trinity University (TX) and a Master of Science in education from the University of Dayton (OH), and is a doctoral student in educational leadership and policy studies at The University of Texas at San Antonio.
Vice President for Finance and Administration
Jeff Scaccia comes to PC from the University of the Ozarks in Clarksville, Ark., where he served as vice president for finance and administration since 2013. Scaccia served as chief financial officer at the University of the Ozarks from 2004 to 2013.
While at the University of the Ozarks, Scaccia has had responsibility for finance, information technology, physical plant, as well as other areas of the college’s operation. Scaccia has also been active in a number of community organizations and the Arkansas Association of College and University Business Officers.
Before his career in higher education, Scaccia, a CPA, worked in public accounting and as an internal auditor from 1995 to 2004.
Scaccia earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Central Arkansas in 1995 and earned his MBA from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 2002.
He graduated from the Harvard Institute for Educational Management in 2015. Scaccia and his wife, Amy, have three sons: Jack, Trevor, and Cooper.
Robert Acunto brings more than 20 years of intercollegiate athletic experience to the position. He most recently served as senior associate athletic director for development and external relations at the University of Texas at El Paso.
While at UTEP, Acunto led and coordinated all external relations for the intercollegiate athletic department. He managed all departments that focused on athletic development, broadcasting, marketing and promotions, season ticketing, and graphic design and video production. He also supervised the football and men's golf programs. Acunto served in the athletic department at The Citadel for eight years before his tenure at UTEP. He became the assistant athletic director for compliance and academic services at The Citadel in 2010 before ultimately serving as interim director of athletics from December 2017 to July 2018.
As interim AD, he served on The Citadel’s executive leadership team and financial review board and led the intercollegiate athletic department. He also helped develop the initial draft of a comprehensive six-year strategic plan focused on cadet-student-athlete development and academic achievement, competitive excellence, and fiscal sustainability.
Before The Citadel, he served as assistant commissioner for business and internal operations for the Atlantic 10 Conference. And for more than five years, he served as assistant and associate director of athletics for compliance at American University in Washington, DC. While at American University, he also served a year as interim director of athletics and recreation.
He graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Bryant College in Smithfield, Rhode Island. He earned a Master of Education from Springfield College in Springfield, Massachusetts.
He and his wife, Jennifer, who is an operating room nurse, have been married for seven years. They enjoy spending time together as a family, which also includes one dog and two cats. Rob and Jennifer are looking forward to joining the PC and Clinton communities.
Director of Diversity and Inclusion
Dr. Booker T. Ingram, Jr.
Professor Booker T. Ingram received his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Winston-Salem State University in N.C. and received both his MA and PhD in political science from the Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio.
In 1987 he became the first African American to serve on the faculty at Presbyterian College, and where he was named Presbyterian College’s Professor of the Year in 2000.
He has completed post-doctoral studies at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas (1992); Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts (1999); and Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama (2001).
Professor Ingram was awarded an endowed academic chair at PC in 2002 when he was named the Charles A. Dana Professor of Political Science.
During a six-month sabbatical from Presbyterian College in 2009, he served as a guest lecturer at the University of Havana’s Center for the Study of the United States in Havana, Cuba.
He currently serves as the Chair of the Department of Political Science at Presbyterian College and was appointed to the position of Director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion in July 2017.
Chair of the Faculty Senate
Dr. Michael Nelson
Dr. Nelson came to PC in 2000 after finishing his Ph.D. at the University of Arkansas and teaching for a year at the University of Louisville. The major reason he came to PC was to be at a liberal arts college akin to his undergraduate experience at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN. There he majored in History and Social Studies Education. After graduation, he received his M.A. in Policy History at Bowling Green State University in Ohio and then spent four years at Arkansas.
Dr. Nelson met his wife, Susan, in Ohio. They have two boys and identical twin girls. He is an avid college football fan and loves to travel, read, listen to music, and spend time with his kids.
The Presbyterian College Board of Trustees is composed of 26 trustees who are charged with the overall governance and shaping of the policies that lead the College in its practices and in reaching its goals.
James H. Barnhardt Jr. ’67
George H. Cornelson
Kenneth R. Couch
White Stone, S.C.
William W. Gaston ’65
Rev. Allen C. McSween
Richard H. Monk
James H. Powell
William B. Shearer, Jr.
Miramar Beach, Fla.