Dr. Evans Whitaker is the twelfth president of Anderson University. He has served Anderson since 2002. Under his leadership Anderson has:
- More than doubled the enrollment from 1,608 to 3,500
- Increased academic selectivity to the #2 spot among 21 private universities in South Carolina (Princeton Review)
- Quadrupled the campus from 68 to 275 acres
- Implemented 23 graduate programs
- Led over $70 million in capital improvements, including five residence halls, athletic facilities, two new academic buildings, a new library, and a new student center
- Been recognized twice by Apple, Inc. as an Apple Distinguished School
- Founded the South Carolina School of the Arts
- Founded the Undergraduate Center for Cancer Research
- Been recognized by U.S. News & World Report in the Top Tier of America’s Best Colleges and Most Innovative Schools
President Whitaker is a native of Shelby, North Carolina. He earned a bachelor of science (B. S.) degree in business administration in 1983 from Gardner-Webb University. In 1986, he earned a master of education (M. Ed.) degree from the George Peabody College for Teachers of Vanderbilt University, and in 1999 he earned a doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) degree from the Vanderbilt University Graduate School. His dissertation on organizational commitment was published in 1999 and won two awards from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) as the best dissertation of the year. Because of his extensive work in the discipline of organizational science, he has had faculty appointments in the Jack C. Massey Graduate School of Business at Belmont University, and the College of Business at Anderson University. He holds the academic rank of Professor of Management.
He is serving or has served in numerous leadership capacities, including:
- Chair of the Presidents’ Council of the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities
- Chair of the Presidents’ Council of the South Atlantic Conference
- Member of the Board of Directors of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU)
- Member of the Board of Trustees of the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS-COC)
- Chair of the Board of Directors of the International Association of Baptist Colleges and Universities
- Member of the Board of Trustees of Brookgreen Gardens
- Member of the South Carolina Tuition Grants Commission
- Member of the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education
- Member of the Board of Trustees of the University Center of Greenville (UCG)
President Whitaker and his wife, Diane, reside on the AU campus. The two met in Nashville, Tennessee. The Whitakers have two dogs – a Scottish Terrier named Maddie, and a West Highland Terrier named Carson. An accomplished musician and former real estate professional, Ms. Whitaker works in the Admission Office and is affectionately known and appreciated for the famous chewy chocolate chip cookies she bakes for students during each semester’s final exams. (President Whitaker is known for being married to Mrs. Whitaker!)
Serious about Scholarship, Serious about Faith
In addition to academic innovation and record growth, Dr. Whitaker has led the campus in deepening its commitment to the Christian values and identity upon which AU was founded. He is often quoted as saying,
Students are not comprised of intellect alone; they are a combination of mind, body, and spirit. C. S. Lewis said it well: “You don’t have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.”
Far too many colleges and universities put supreme importance on intellectual development at the exclusion of faith development. Their end goal is to mainly address the knowledge, “What do I know?”
At Anderson, we educate the whole person. We want to nurture our students to grow in their knowledge, personal health, and in faith. Anderson addresses a lot more:
- What do I know?
- What have I done?
- What am I called to do?
- And most important, what kind of person do I want to be?
That’s what college was meant to be.