North Greenville University (NGU) celebrated the achievements of 325 graduates as they received their degrees during the university’s Spring Commencement on April 29 in Melvin and Dollie Younts.
During the evening ceremony, NGU President Dr. Gene C. Fant, Jr. conferred 294 candidates for bachelor’s degrees and 31 graduate degrees.
After a welcome by President Fant, Mandie Boyd (’05), chair of the NGU Board of Trustees, led the invocation.
“Let me be the first to congratulate you on behalf of the Board of Trustees of North Greenville University for your graduation today,” Chair Boyd said. “I was where you are 17 years ago. One thing I can promise you is whatever life plan you have for yourself today, it will take a detour. But what I can also promise you is that God is faithful, and he will remain consistent and ready for you to draw close.”
After a musical selection by the members of the NGU Brass Ensemble, Andrew Reynolds (‘ 22) from Simpsonville read Jeremiah 29:11-13 and Colossians 3:17.
Dan Adams, co-founder of The Capital Corporation in Greenville and one of the Southeast’s largest and most influential merger and acquisition boutiques, was the keynote speaker for the ceremony.
Adams is the son of the late NGU alumnus Rev. William Carey “Bill” Adams (‘ 57) and the late Shirley Adams. On the Tigerville Campus, the Adams Family Lobby in the Craft-Hemphill Building is named for his parents.
“Bill believed in mentorship and cultivating the next generation of youth. That lobby is a place where students are able to mingle with each other and where faculty and students can be together for mentorship. We are so appreciative of the generous spirit the Adams family has provided North Greenville and other causes across our state,” said President Fant in Adam’s introductory remarks.
Adams shared reflections about his dad and his own life experiences that he hopes will help the Class of 2022 as they start their career.
“I am a Christian businessman in the Greenville area, and I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” said Adams.
Adams encouraged the graduates to remember three things: be generous, be humble, and be redemptive.
“You may be asking what can I do [to share God’s love]. God uses the common people. We can all do our part to change this world.”
Just as Adams attempts to follow in his dad’s footsteps, so does a member of the Class of 2022.
Like Father, Like Son
Adrian McGee (’20, M.B.A.’ 22) from Greer had a football in his hand since he was three years old. He played football from the age of five. This past season was his 17th straight season playing. He grew up hearing what a great football player his dad, Lamar, was. Lamar (’96) played running back for North Greenville in the nineties.
“I’ve always wanted to do something [make a name for himself] like that too,” Adrian said.
Lamar said Adrian is trying to “fill my shoes, but they were kind of big.”
Adrian followed his dreams to play for a state division one program, but after a year, he said his head was not in the right spot, and he was not going in the right direction, he decided to transfer.
“Being able to talk with Coach Farrington and get the opportunity to come to play football here and run track pushed me back in the right direction,” said Adrian.
He said seeing how close the football and track teams were and the whole campus, in general, got him back on track – and was changed for the better.
“When he decided to come [to NGU], I was happy because I know there are good people here. It was more like a business when he was at a state school. But when he came to North Greenville, it was more like family,” Lamar said.
Lamar said students are not just a number at North Greenville, and the professors take an interest in you.
“My teammates constantly invested in me. They pushed me to make sure I got better every day. Not only to get better in one thing but also to make sure I’m striving to be more Christ-like,” Adrian said.
When Adrian first visited North Greenville, his dad said he came home amazed at how friendly everyone was on campus. He assured Adrian that North Greenville is a good place. “It’s a good place to go to school.”
Adrian said being on campus made him feel like he could breathe and knew that the school would care for him. It was a relief.
Adrian said he could work in law enforcement with his undergraduate degree in criminal justice. With the master’s degree he received in business administration on April 29, he can pursue a career in marketing.
“The education I’ve received at North Greenville has opened up many doors for my future,” said Adrian.
About North Greenville University
NGU offers more than 125 areas of study across certificate, bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and early college opportunities. Online. In-person. At our main campus in Tigerville, SC, the Tim Brashier Campus in Greer, SC, or several educational centers around the U.S. One university, many locations. Every day. Epic. Learn more.