Ashley O’Shields (’04) boarded a one-way flight to Cambodia in July 2016.
She left behind her position with the School District of Pickens County, where she'd taught music for 10 years; her longtime home state of South Carolina; her family and friends; and even most of her possessions.
“I sold my house, my car, everything inside my house, furniture, clothes,” she says. “It didn’t matter to me, so I got rid of it all.”
“A winner never quits, and a quitter never wins” is a phrase that North Greenville University alumnus and First lieutenant Timothy Paul Scott (’14) heard his father repeat many times when he was growing up. No other phrase is more fitting to describe Scott’s most recent accomplishment.
After failing to meet a graduation requirement, Scott was denied entrance into the U.S. Army Ranger School. His persistence to not accept failure and the ability to try again caused him to do just that; as a result, he not only passed the entrance requirements, but also went on to emerge as the Officer Honor Graduate of his class.
“One of the most important words in my vocabulary is ‘persist,’” says Scott. “I whisper it to myself often.”
When she was a teenager, Mary Ann Nelson Williams (’49), Jim’s wife of more than 40 years, had a love for music and wanted to further develop her God-given talent by studying piano. However, the Nelson family of Fountain Inn, S.C., didn’t have the means to send all 10 of their children to college without financial assistance.
North Greenville, then a junior college, made it possible for Mary Ann to enroll in 1948 on a music scholarship.
After completing her associate’s degree requirements in 1949, Mary Ann continued her education at Limestone College, where she received a four-year degree in business administration.
Daniel Blackaby (’10) didn’t really plan to become a published author, he says. But in any case, five years after his first book, he’s just released his sixth — a new, complete compilation of the fantasy trilogy “The Lost City Chronicles.”
We asked Blackaby to tell us more about his journey as a writer, the impact of his experience in the English program at North Greenville University, and his latest novel.