NGU News

Greenville County Sheriff Hobart Lewis Graduates with Honors From NGU

Posted on: December 11, 2023
By Billy Cannada,

Tigerville, SC (December 11, 2023) “Leaders have to be able to equip those around them with the tools they need to do the job. They also have to be willing to pick the tools up and do the work themselves.”

Those are reflections from Greenville County Sheriff Hobart Lewis, who graduated from North Greenville University with a degree in criminal justice on Friday, December 8.

Lewis has served the county as sheriff since 2020.

“I didn’t need a degree. I’d reached the pinnacle of any goal I’d ever set for myself in law enforcement. I wasn’t looking to get a college degree, and I wasn’t looking at North Greenville,” he said.

“The Lord just had other plans.”

Lewis cited Senator Tim Scott’s police reform bill, introduced in 2020, as the reason he decided to return to school.

“Part of that reform bill was that every deputy we hired had to have at least an associate’s degree or military service,” Lewis said.

The United States military veteran harkened back to a phrase he frequently told voters on the campaign trail.

“I ran on the fact that I would never ask somebody to do something that I wouldn’t do,” he said. “I couldn’t ask new hires to come in with a degree and not have one myself.”

Lewis found North Greenville and never looked back.

“I’m very thankful to have picked a university that was local, inside the county, and based on religious beliefs that aligned with mine,” he said. “The education has been valuable, and I’ve certainly sharpened my skills. The professors and other students took a vested interest in me and my success, and I was able to accomplish something that I’m extremely proud of.”

While the road has been challenging at times, it has also been rewarding.

“Sheriff Lewis been able to bring his life experience, his campaign experience, and his administrative experience to the classes and to the discussion boards,” said Dr. Marti Glass, director for adult and professional studies at NGU. “The program is really designed for working professionals. It’s taught by people who have actually worked in the field. These are professionals who have been out there and know what it’s like to be in the line of duty.”

Joined by his family and fellow law enforcement officers, Lewis was presented with a diploma on Monday, December 11 at the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office.

“School has been a challenge on top of the very busy three and a half years I’ve had as sheriff,” Lewis said. “With as much stress as it can bring, studying at North Greenville has been a great outlet for me. I’ve had some tough days, but this has been a great way to end those days—connecting with like-minded people who want to serve the community. Pursuing this degree has made me a better person and a better leader for the sheriff’s office.”

As the Class of 2023 prepares for their future endeavors, Sheriff Lewis is doing the same.

“To be honest, I really don’t want to stop,” he said. “I would love to continue learning and improving my skills, I’m not sure where this ends for me.”

Offering a discount to first responders and fully online courses, NGU’s Criminal Justice and Legal Studies degree is designed for professionals who are already working in the field, as well as those who are just beginning their careers in law enforcement. For more information on the program, visit here.

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