Board Leadership Members Recognized for Service
On Thursday, November 16, five members of the NGU Board of Trustees were recognized by Chairman Bill Tyler for their term of service to the university.
Betty Jo Craft, from Columbia, has served numerous terms on the NGU Board since 2001. She attends Columbia First Baptist where she has taught Sunday school, been involved with the Women’s Missionary Union (WMU), and many mission opportunities through her church. She and her late husband, Ira, have been long-time supporters of North Greenville where they established a strong program of student missions and recruitment in the New England area.
Beverly Nix Hawkins (’83) from Easley, SC, attended North Greenville College from 1981-83 and graduated with an Associates in Science. While at NGC, Hawkins was elected as the president of the study body, an active member of Baptist Student Union, a resident assistant, and NGC staff member for two summers of Centrifuge Camp. From 1983 until 1986, she attended Clemson University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering.
Hawkins became a founder of Computer Software Innovations in early 1989. The company was sold and she retired in November 2012 as a Senior Vice President.
She most recently graduated from NGU in May 2017 with a master’s degree in Christian ministry. She was named NGU’s Alumni of the Year in 2007 and honored in 2015 with the Board Leadership Award. She served on NGU’s Council of Advisors before becoming a board member from 2007-2011 and 2013-2017 where she served as chairperson from 2015-2016.
Lucian Lee, a native of Greenville, SC, is a graduate of Clemson University. He is the owner of Hale’s Jewelers where he has had a 44-year career. During this time, he was named Retail Jeweler of the Year in 2012. Lee is married to Jeanie, his wife of 43 years. They have one son, Bruce, and two grandchildren – Parker and Andrew. They are also expecting a granddaughter in January, 2018. Lee is a supporter of NGU and has served multiple terms on the University Board.
Laura W. Messer ('67) is what we call a “local,” a “very local” in fact. She grew up on the edge of the North Greenville campus as the fourth of six generations of the Wood family in Tigerville. Her great-grandfather was the medical doctor for the area and traveled by horse and buggy. Her paternal grandfather ran the general mercantile store in Tigerville and volunteered as the bookkeeper secretary of North Greenville Academy in the early 1900’s. Her father was deputy sheriff and chief deputy for over 30 years.
She graduated from North Greenville in 1967 with her future husband Ron Messer. They moved away for 30 years to pursue a career in banking and retired to the area in the late 1990’s. At the time of retirement, Messer was the senior vice president at the corporate office of First Citizens Bank.
Messer shares that it has been a privilege to serve two previous terms on the NGU Board. She and her family have been long-time supporters of North Greenville.
Dr. G. Elton Todd of Greer was married for 55 years to Doris, who became deceased in 2014. Together they raised three children, who gave them seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. In April 2017, Todd was happily married to Mary Ellen Coleman, a long-time acquaintance, and choir member at their church, Edwards Road Baptist. Over the years he has served in various church related areas of service where he has been a member since 1975.
Todd’s career has been in the finance and real estate industry. He fell in love with NGU and became a supporter in the early 2000’s where he has served a total of 12 years as a member of the Board of Trustees. Todd has supported the school’s building program endeavors, and funding his private scholarship fund which provided scholarships for students entering a church related ministry. NGU recognized him on several occasions for his work and support.
Photo: From left, NGU President Dr. Gene C. Fant, Jr., Betty Jo Craft, Lucian Lee, Beverly Nix Hawkins ('83), Laura Wood Messer ('67), Dr. G. Elton Todd, and Board Chairman Bill Tyler.
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