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Fall 2013 Convocation






GAFFNEY, SC – An overflow crowd gathered at Fullerton Auditorium on Thursday, Aug. 29, as Limestone College president Dr. Walt Griffin, during his annual Convocation, welcomed students to campus for the 2013-2014 school year.

There was not an empty seat to be found as Dr. Griffin announced record enrollment figures during the event that also recognized new faculty members and the achievements of students and athletic teams from the previous year.

Dr. Griffin noted that Limestone currently has a record total of 1,030 day students, which is a 16 percent increase over a year ago.  Of those, 500 are a combination of freshmen and new transfers.

Including its extended campus and internet students, Limestone boasts of an overall enrollment of 3,500, making the Gaffney-based liberal arts institution the largest of the 20 regionally accredited private colleges in South Carolina.

Also, Limestone has another 50 combined students from Gaffney High and Blacksburg High who are taking college-level courses at the school.

It was also noted that with the addition of football, which will have a red-shirt year in 2013 before taking the field in its inaugural season in 2014, Limestone now has 25 intercollegiate sports teams, making it the largest athletic department in all of NCAA Division II.

With the addition of the football program, a new marching band has been formed, and currently has 60 members, including 30 new students and 30 existing students.  The competitive cheerleading squad has also been expanded, and a new dance squad has been formed.

Dr. Griffin also noted that increased enrollment numbers can also be tied to Limestone’s new scholarship program designed specifically for women.  Named in honor of one of Limestone's longtime professors, Dr. Montague McMillan, the McMillan Scholars are women from South Carolina who have high school grade point averages of 3.0 or better, and who major in Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, Professional Communication, Music, Art, Theatre, English, or History.

Also during the Convocation, new members of Alpha Chi, Limestone’s premier Honor Society, were introduced, as were the honor society students for criminal justice, history, business administration, and athletics.  Awards were also handed out for Academic Excellence from last year’s freshman, sophomore, and junior classes.

Dr. Griffin also recognized the achievements of the Limestone athletic teams that captured championships last year.  Those included men’s basketball (Conference Carolina’s co-regular season champions), women’s basketball (conference regular season champions), men’s lacrosse (conference regular season and tournament champions, plus national semi-finals appearance), women’s lacrosse (conference regular season and tournament champions, plus national championship appearance), men’s soccer (conference co-regular season, tournament champions), men’s outdoor track and field (conference champions), and men’s tennis (conference tournament champions). 

Several other highlights were mentioned during the Convocation:

·       Limestone is operating with a balanced budget for the 21st straight year.

·       With a new food service provider in place, the snack bar at the Dobson Center has been renovated and now includes a deli and Starbucks coffee shop.

·       Funded by that same new food service provider, the Stephenson Dining Hall will undergo a $1 million renovation next summer.

·       A $12 million capital campaign is underway to build a new library (to be located between Montgomery Hall and the Carroll Fire Arts Building), and  athletic facilities improvements to include a new field house that will provide locker room space for 70 percent of the school’s student-athletes.  Ground-breaking on the field house is expected in the coming weeks, with completion anticipated for next fall.  The capital campaign will also include new synthetic turf on the lacrosse/soccer field, along with lighting and added seating.  There will also be improvements made to the baseball and football practice fields.

In his remarks at the Convocation, Student Government Association President Donta T. Ingram told the students that this academic year will provide them with the opportunities to make new endings instead of new beginnings, and to achieve their goals, and ultimately taste success.

“It’s a great time to be a student here at Limestone College,” Ingram said.  “Many student bodies across the nation would love to stand and be in the position that we are in today.  It’s time, as a student body, that we must make the choice to be a part of history.  It’s time as a student body that we set and create new traditions that will stand the test of time.

“I challenge all of you to be unique, to be extraordinary, but most importantly, to be a Saint.”