Monday, May 19, 2014
The College of Charleston Board of Trustees announced today that it has finalized South Carolina Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell’s contract to become the 22nd president of the College of Charleston. The Board of Trustees had voted on March 22 to offer Lt. Gov. McConnell, a 1969 College of Charleston graduate, the position.
“We are very pleased that President McConnell has formally accepted our offer to become the next president of the College,” said Greg Padgett, chair of the Board of Trustees. “President McConnell has an unparalleled track record of leadership and service to the state of South Carolina, and we know that he possesses the vision and dedication that will lead the College of Charleston through its next era of progress and success in educating our students and serving our community.”
“As I told the Board of Trustees during my interview, the College of Charleston is in my DNA,” said President McConnell. “Any success I have enjoyed throughout my legal, business, and legislative careers started with the excellent liberal arts education I received at the College. I look forward to serving and leading my alma mater in a new chapter in its history marked by greater diversity, sustainability, relevance, and accountability. When future graduates reflect upon their lives, I hope they, too, will value their experience at the College as one that propelled them to success no matter what personal and professional paths they choose.”
A native of Charleston, S.C., and a distinguished alumnus of the College of Charleston, McConnell served more than 30 years in the South Carolina Senate. He is regarded as one of the most respected, influential, and effective leaders in state government.
He was first elected to the South Carolina Senate in 1980 and went on to serve in several key leadership posts, including Chairman of the Rules Committee and Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. In 2001, he was elected the first Republican President Pro Tempore of the South Carolina Senate by a bipartisan vote. During his legislative career, McConnell earned a reputation as a skilled parliamentarian and mediator able to forge political compromises between opposing sides and bring people together. As the incumbent Senate President Pro Tempore, he ascended to the office of Lieutenant Governor on March 13, 2012 upon the resignation of former Lieutenant Governor Ard and vacancy of the office.
Though Lieutenant Governor McConnell personally wished to remain in his Senate seat, his strong commitment to the State Constitution and public service made it impossible for him to remain in his influential seat as Senate President Pro Tempore and Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Honoring his oath of office and upholding the State Constitution, he took over the part-time position of Lieutenant Governor and head of the Lieutenant Governor’s Office on Aging. As chief advocate for seniors and adults with disabilities, his work with aging programs has received recognition and awards, both statewide and nationally.
As an undergraduate student at the College of Charleston, McConnell served as Student Body President and as a member of the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science in 1969. He went on to earn a Juris Doctorate from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1972 and was admitted to the South Carolina Bar that same year. He holds honorary degrees from the College of Charleston, the University of Charleston, the Citadel Military College of South Carolina, Francis Marion University, and the Medical University of South Carolina. The McConnell Residence Hall on the College of Charleston campus is named in his honor. McConnell was also a recipient of The Founders Medal, the highest award bestowed by the College.
About the College of Charleston
The College of Charleston is a public liberal arts and sciences university located in the heart of historic Charleston, South Carolina. Founded in 1770, the College is among the nation’s top universities for quality education, student life and affordability. With more than 11,000 students, the College of Charleston offers the distinctive combination of a beautiful and historic campus, modern facilities and cutting-edge programs.