AU Founders Day set for Feb. 15

February 3, 2017

Anderson University’s annual Founder’s Day convocation will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 15 at 10:00 a.m. in the Henderson Auditorium of the Rainey Fine Arts Center.

Former South Carolina Governor David Beasley will deliver the Founders Day address. A native of Lamar, South Carolina, David Beasley first entered public service at age 21 when he was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives. During his 14 years of service in the State House, he became Chairman of the House Education and Public Works Committee, House Majority Leader, and Speaker Pro Tempore.

In 1994, Beasley was elected Governor of South Carolina as one of the youngest individuals to hold the office in the State’s history. As governor, Beasley set out on a conservative reform agenda that focused on education improvement, tax cuts, welfare reform, economic development, infrastructure development, reforming the criminal justice system, and promoting a return to traditional family values. The results were dramatic. During his administration, new records were set in job creation, the growth of personal income, and economic development. Welfare caseloads were cut in half and the cost of government operations was reduced, while investments in technology, infrastructure, and classroom education were increased.

In 1997, the nation’s 32 Republican governors elected Beasley as chair of the national Republican Governors Association. Under his leadership, the Association set fundraising records and the Republican Party continued to dominate the nation’s statehouses.

Since leaving office in 1998, Beasley has continued to make significant contributions to his state and nation.  In 1999, he was a fellow at the Institute of Politics at Harvard; and in 2003, he received the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award. He has also had considerable experience in the private sector serving as senior advisor to companies such as Merrill Lynch and General Motors, as well as working with his family’s banking business. 

Founders Day was created to honor the visionary Anderson area leaders whose desire for a college in Anderson and generous support led to the establishment of what is now Anderson University some 104 years ago. In addition to the former governor’s address, Anderson will honor two distinguished alumni. R. Dean Woods will be given the Alumni Service Award. This award is presented to an alumnus for his/her outstanding and unselfish service to his/her alma mater, community, and to humanity. Woods served the university for 28 years, most recently as Vice President for Principal Gifts and Special Assistant to the President. Dr. Edward Carney will receive the Alumni Achievement Award. He is currently lead pastor of the Riverland Hills Baptist Church in Columbia.