Dear Colleagues and Friends:

As we dedicate this issue of Upstate Magazine to Dr. John Stockwell, it is my privilege and honor to provide this introductory note. In this issue, we acknowledge Dr. Stockwell's retirement, but more importantly we celebrate with joy and admiration the extraordinary accomplishments which have occurred during the tenure of his leadership.

I think John would agree that everything in his professional/academic career prior to becoming Chancellor of USC Upstate prepared him for the challenge of leading this important institution, which so well serves young people and non-traditional students of Upstate South Carolina and cost effectively makes higher education available to a broad segment of our region.

While implementing the Metropolitan Mission, authored by Dr. Stockwell and approved by USC Board of Trustees, enrollment has doubled, minority enrollment has tripled, and the square footage of capital facilities dedicated to students and faculty has doubled. Private gifts and sponsored support have increased dramatically, the academic reputation of USC Upstate has been enhanced beyond measure and we all witnessed the opening of the George Dean Johnson, Jr. College of Business and Economics in downtown Spartanburg. The name of our University changed from USCS to USC Upstate - reflecting the character of the region we now serve.

USC Upstate has established exchange partnerships with colleges and universities in 22 countries. The recently enacted Upstate Direct Connect initiative facilitates seamless transfer of students from technical, junior and community colleges across our region, enabling those students to more easily attain a baccalaureate level education.

John Stockwell is a highly regarded, visionary educator who set forth and complied with the letter and spirit of his commitment to diversity at every level, to equity and fair play.

From serving as a member and chairman of the Spartanburg County Commission for Higher Education, and having worked closely with Dr. Stockwell on a wide assortment of initiatives, I know him as a man of character, integrity, moral courage, a gentleman in every circumstance and a person of commitment to family and friends.

We are all truly well served that John Stockwell passed this way.

James R. Smith, '72 Chairman
Spartanburg County Commission for Higher Education

Vision, Mission, Destiny

By Meg Hunt

Change begins with a vision. In 1967, a vision led community leaders to advocate the establishment of a regional campus in Spartanburg that offered an associate degree program in nursing when Spartanburg General Hospital chose to eliminate its diploma program for registered nurses. As advocacy turned to action, this vision broadened and the creation of a public two-year institution offering courses of study at the freshman and sophomore levels, as well as a nursing degree program, became reality.

Growth Expands A Vision

In 1975, as enrollment increased, this regional campus with one associate degree nursing program and other university credit courses grew to encompass additional programs at the baccalaureate level and officially become the University of South Carolina Spartanburg, a four-year institution.

Over the next few years, the university continued to increase enrollment, enhance programs of study, and experience physical change as additional facilities were built.

People Propel A Vision

In 1994, Dr. John C. Stockwell became chancellor and brought with him still a greater vision for what this university could be.

"This place was unique," he noted. "It had an ambition for its future that others didn't. It had tremendous potential."

With deep appreciation for that potential, Dr. Stockwell shared his vision right from the start, beginning with what was to become a mainstay of his tenure - the University Day Speech.

On August 16, 1994, Dr. Stockwell introduced himself and his vision to faculty, staff, Commission members and community leaders in a speech entitled "Reinvesting for Quality."

As new chancellor, he was committed to fulfilling what he recognized as the destiny of this still relatively young institution of higher learning.

"The university was ready for a clear idea about its future, a clear mission," stressed Dr. Stockwell. "It was still a ‘new' school, under 50 years old, and still thought of as a satellite school. We were going to change that and overcome this perception."

In outlining his vision, he focused on the school's mission, its students, faculty, location, and image - internally and externally. The concept of becoming a metropolitan university was presented, as was the potential that this model held for USCS.

In that 1994 speech, he said, "There are public colleges and universities around the nation similar to ours in many ways. They embrace the historical values and principles which define all colleges and universities, but which make of themselves - by virtue of their locations - major intellectual resources for the metropolitan regions and corridors they serve.

"These metropolitan universities affirm the creation, interpretation, dissemination, and application of knowledge as their fundamental function, but they accept a broadened responsibility to bring these functions to bear on the needs of their metropolitan regions. In other words, they commit themselves to be responsive to the needs of their metropolitan areas by providing leadership in addressing metropolitan problems, through teaching, research and professional service."

Commitment Sustains A Vision

With a belief and willingness to commit to this reinvestment of mission, students, operations, region, image, and community, the journey began; a journey that has led USC Upstate down the path toward what seemingly was always its destiny - to be a metropolitan university committed to "align academic programs with the unique needs and opportunities of Spartanburg, Greenville, and the Upstate."

"We were (and are) the only four-year public university on the I-85 corridor," said Dr. Stockwell. "This is where the economic development is occurring in the state. We either expanded to capture the market or stood to lose it to someone else."

The "metro mission," as it has come to be known, allowed the university to overcome its identity crisis. It gave clarity to the scope of purpose and fundamental expectation of being able to turn the vision into reality. It also laid the foundation for a move that culminated in reaching the pinnacle of such a metropolitan mission.

On June 30, 2004, USCS officially became the University of South Carolina Upstate.

"The concept of the broader nature of the Upstate is embedded in our metro mission," said Dr. Stockwell. "The Upstate is our footprint, our mission, so our name had to reflect that."

It not only had to reflect that mission, it had to be that mission. The growth and the opportunities, as a result of that vision in 1967, were coming together to form what can now be recognized as a cohesive destiny, a destiny that centers not only on investment in the community, but more importantly on the preparation and success of its students.

While intricately connected to the metropolitan aspects of the mission, the overarching effort of USC Upstate has been to continually endeavor to fulfill the summative paragraph of the university's mission statement: "USC Upstate strives to prepare its students to participate as responsible citizens in a diverse, global and knowledge-based society, to pursue excellence in their chosen careers and to continue learning throughout life."

"Opportunity," said Dr. Stockwell in his 2006 University Day Speech, "is the name of the help students realize their potential to succeed as students; to accomplish at high levels before and after graduation. Our success in preparing students is, when all is said and done, our only real measure of accomplishment."

Resolve Overcomes Threats To A Vision

Despite the constant constraints of funding challenges, student retention, facility improvements, and the ever-changing economic and political climates during his 17 years, Dr. Stockwell has maintained his resolve to clarify the mission and ensure the consistent effort in keeping that mission focused so that the success of each student was a priority in driving the university as it leads the way in Upstate South Carolina.

Clearly that resolve has been rewarded. His confidence in the students and faculty has helped propel USC Upstate into taking its place as one of the leading metropolitan universities in the Southeast. It has had the fastest growth rate among the state's comprehensive universities over the past 10 years. In fact, it has been ranked among the top five "Comprehensive Colleges in the South" by U.S. News & World Report for 10 consecutive years.

Enrollment here has doubled since the mid-1990s to more than 5,500 students, 65 percent of whom are from the metro corridor with the balance from across and beyond the borders of South Carolina. It is a diverse population comprised of students from 60 nations and a minority enrollment of more than 30 percent.

In keeping with its metropolitan emphasis, more than 75 percent of USC Upstate students have engaged in metro corridor internships, field service or clinical experience as part of their undergraduate degree programs.

USC Upstate also has the highest percentage of enrolled students graduating annually among all public universities in South Carolina with more than 85 percent finding success within the Upstate serving their communities as business and IT professionals, teachers, dentists, nurses, graphic designers, artists, scientists, sociologists, and ethical leaders in numerous fields.

"Dr. Stockwell's accomplishments at USC Upstate and on behalf of its students have been of extraordinary proportion, by any standard of measurement," said Jim Smith, chairman of the Spartanburg County Commission for Higher Education. "Dr. Stockwell personally developed Upstate's "metropolitan mission," recognized nationally as a unique model of academic excellence. He enjoys an extraordinary record of accomplishment and has provided unparalleled leadership, supporting the students, our community and the Upstate. The image, reputation, and engagements of our University have been enhanced beyond measure across South Carolina and beyond."

Clarity, consistency, and certainty have been keystones of Dr. Stockwell's 17 years as chancellor - clarity of mission; consistency in message; and certainty in the belief that pursuit of the mission could help change the world we live in.

"We may retire or we may die not really knowing that we have achieved it," he said. "But it's the striving that will matter."

And so, with grateful appreciation of the striving, not of one individual, but of the collective whole, the reinvestment of quality defined by Dr. Stockwell in 1994 has come to fruition and reestablished the foundation of purpose necessary to achieve the vision.

His is a legacy of commitment to the mission and reputation of this university that began with a belief that the mission's destination was worth the call...worth believing that "the future lies not in our old dreams, but in our new ones."

Among South Carolina's 10 comprehensive universities, USC Upstate is now second largest in the enrollment of South Carolina resident students (94% of our population), second to the College of Charleston; with the steepest growth curve in South Carolina undergraduate enrollment over the last 10 years.

USC Upstate leads all the comprehensive universities of the state in yield rate of transfer students, as well as in the actual number of transfer students whom we recruit, not only from the technical and community colleges; but also, and even more surprisingly, from all institutions including all comprehensive universities in the state.

Standing Tall At The Helm

Upon entering Dr. Stockwell's office for the first time, one quickly surmises that he is organized, well read, interested in a wide range of subjects, and proud of USC Upstate. It's a typical office...desk, couch, tables, bookshelves, lamps, pictures. Then, almost as an afterthought, you notice something a little different. It takes a minute. You can't quite put your finger on it, but there's definitely something different. Then it dawns on you - his desk is a little higher than most and there's no chair! When asked why he prefers a "stand up" desk, the answer was, simply, "It helps me focus. I work better if I can move freely." Dr. Stockwell has been standing tall for nearly two decades and certainly helped keep the focus on USC Upstate by freely committing to serve with extraordinary effort, example and enthusiasm.

Coordinated Effort Brings Master Plan To Fruition

Three short years after taking the reins as chancellor, Dr. Stockwell received approval for the 10-year, $185 million campus master plan from the University of South Carolina Board of Trustees.

In 1997, USC Upstate looked to a future that included capital developments in classroom space, academic support facilities, housing, athletics facilities, beautification initiatives, and the George Dean Johnson, Jr., College of Business and Economics in downtown Spartanburg.

Also on the drawing board of change was the desire to remove the literal - and figurative - tunnel entrance to campus. Talks with the City and County of Spartanburg took this seed of an idea and turned it into an entire garden of reality as USC Upstate now has:

In addition, consistency in design features and signage now marks major campus entrances, and expanded parking has helped accommodate a growing student population.

Whether designated for renovation or new construction, thanks to a coordinated and strategic effort, most of the objectives identified in 1997 have been reached with the remainder well on their way to being accomplished.

Now, in 2011, USC Upstate is a vibrant community borne from a commitment to a comprehensive master plan for its campus, its mission, and its future.

Borderlands, Panoramas, Reflections

By Meg Hunt

"...In vain does the dreamer rummage about in his old dreams, raking them over as though they were a heap of cinders, looking in these cinders for some spark, however tiny, to fan it into a flame so as to warm his chilled blood by it and revive in it all that he held so dear before, all that touched his heart, that made his blood course through his veins, that drew tears from his eyes...!"

- Excerpt from Fyodor Dostoevsky's "White Nights"

Coincidence or destiny? Who can say or know? Either way, some people get the rare opportunity to experience that which has, even unknowingly at first, been a dream or "heap of cinders" from which the flame of fascination was fanned in order to "revive all that he has held so dear before."

In Dr. Stockwell's case, the answer may be destiny. A destiny that came from an opportunity made available when the University of South Carolina president and board of trustees granted him a sabbatical leave in the fall of 2006.

This three-month journey would take him to Ukraine, Russia, Mongolia and China. Part business, part pilgrimage, pure adventure, it all started, how else, but on USC Upstate business.

The first stop was Ukraine, which translated means "borderlands." A country with centuries-old history that aptly reflects the meaning of its name, it is situated between Western Europe and Russia. Long recognized for migration and trade routes, fights for control of its borders have been long, difficult, won and lost, but returning full circle to independence through the strength of a fiercely proud people determined to maintain their identity.

Following six days of presenting papers, touring the new facilities at Ternopil State Medical University in Kyiv (Kiev in Russian), conducting meetings and attending banquets, Dr. Stockwell set his sights on fulfilling a lifelong dream.

With passport, visas and suitcase, the long-awaited journey begins. Five additional days to explore Kyiv are on the itinerary...five days to see, smell, taste, hear, and feel the spirit of a regional capital in a country that's soul has been one of survival since the fifth century A.D.

Each of the five days is spent discovering significant connections of integral points during this capital's history...St. Sophia's Cathedral with its mosaic of the Virgin Mary dating from the 11th century; the square where citizens in 1648 welcomed the Cossack regiments of Khmelnitsky after their victory over the Poles, memorialized with a statue in 1888; Kreshchatyk, modern Kyiv's central street famous for rows of chestnut trees that soften the lines of its post-war Soviet architecture; the Glory to Ukraine monument; a skyline of churches punctuated by the onion domes of the great Pecherska Monastery, one of the oldest religious structures in all Russian Orthodox Christendom; St. Andrews Church; St. Michael's Church; and the city market with an array of produce, fish, meat and flowers.

Five days pass quickly and after a late night flight in early October, Dr. Stockwell arrives in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Venturing out into a cold, gray morning, the magnificence that pervades this grand city cannot be dampened. From the vision of Peter the Great in 1703 rose a city that would and has stood the test of time as evidenced by the numerous churches, monuments, buildings, and avenues still standing.

First on the itinerary is The Smolney Institute, chosen as Bolshevik Headquarters by Vladimir Lenin in 1917 during the October Revolution. It is now St. Petersburg's city hall.

Crossing the Neva River, it's on to the Fortress of St. Peter and Paul. Originally built for protection as the city was being built, it later housed the city's garrison serving as a high security czarist prison. Some famous residents have included Dostoyevsky, Gorky, and Trotsky. The Peter and Paul Cathedral stands in the middle of the fortress. It is the burial place of all Russian emperors and empresses from Peter the Great to Alexander III.

A walk down the famous Nevsky Prospekt brings to his mind the writings of Dostoyevsky and Gogol. The Church of Spilled Blood, built on the spot where Czar Alexander II was assassinated, stands out with its Russian style and adorned with brilliant colors and mosaics. More cathedrals and monuments, including St. Isaac's Cathedral, the mother church of Russian Orthodoxy, and The Bronze Horseman mounted on a single 1,600 ton stone commissioned by Catherine the Great to enshrine Peter the Great.

The culmination of this leg of the journey is 15 hours absorbing The Hermitage Museum. From the staircase and throne rooms to the galleries and salons, the architecture, the detail of design and, of course, the collection...paintings and artwork from artists of all periods and places... descriptions in words cannot do it justice.

The midnight walk to the train station for the overnight trip to Moscow heightened the anticipation and expectation of the primary trip objectives, but Dr. Stockwell knew there was a need to observe a more colorful Moscow than he saw in 1990.

Observations noted a city of streets filled with European, Japanese and American cars; shops worthy of Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, California; signs of construction; a spectacularly refurbished State Museum on Red Square; St. Basil's Cathedral opened to the public; the Kremlin, still central to all Russia as the seat of government, and home to all the ball gowns of the 18th century Czarina Elizabeth and a collection of famed Faberge eggs exchanged by the czars' families at Easter.

Finally, the time had come; the purpose that drove the dream this far. Three words...Trans Siberian Railway.

From Moscow to Beijing, it was a journey often dreamed of; a journey requiring extraordinary patience, courage and fortitude; a journey that had to be made. It was a journey of three weeks, seven time zones, three countries and limited options for disembarking along the way.

This leg provided images of Nizhny Novgorod (formerly Stalingrad), Kirov, Perm which was the location of Josef Stalin's largest gulag, and Yekaterinburg where the Romanov family was murdered following the 1917 revolution. It filled the dirty window panes of the train with beautiful panoramas of the Volga River, the Ural Mountains, Siberia, Lake Baikal, Mongolia, the mountains of the Gorkhi- Terelj National Park, the Gobi Desert, the Great Wall and the Forbidden City.

It was an experience of a lifetime, yes, but also reflections not of the mountains in the lakes, rather of dreams, hopes and understanding of a lifetime.

It was an experience that "touched his heart" with recognition of a destiny for the child called a "victory baby" by his mother hopeful that the "war to end all wars" was nearing an end; a destiny for the child raised in the fullness of hope of the 1950's; and a destiny for the man in the 21st century who could still see, despite major problems in the world, that there is still a spark of hope in us all.

Among South Carolina's comprehensive universities, USC Upstate has the second highest percentage of enrolled students who graduate each year. Our number of graduates has doubled in the last decade, and it should easily double again in the next.

The admissions office processed over 6,600 applications for fall 2010, once again the largest applicant pool in our history. We have registered our largest freshman class with more than 900 students, having an average high school GPA of 3.6. Transfer student enrollment is at record levels, with well over 700.

The Relevance Of Thinking Internationally

"I believe that global education is one of the true imperatives of higher education in our time, like no other time," said Dr. Stockwell in his 2006 University Day Speech. "Real, substantive international education so students learn the deep currents within and among nations over time, with opportunities to study those currents from varying disciplinary perspectives."

That belief has not wavered in the five years since that speech was given. On the whole, global education, international studies, however you choose to look at it or whatever you may want to call it, plays a vital role in the Upstate. The "metro corridor" is characterized by a highly diverse and internationalized makeup of business and industry.

From the outset of his tenure, Dr. Stockwell recognized the unique potential of what this would mean for USC Upstate. Directing the transition to a metropolitan university mindset also meant factoring in the advantages of not only recruiting international students, but encouraging faculty and students to broaden their perspectives by exploring opportunities for foreign study.

The benefits can be mutual and have proven so for USC Upstate. Currently, 60 nations are represented among the student body; faculty members have been invited to participate in a variety of international conferences and workshops as experts in their fields; and many of the more than 75 percent of students engaging in metro corridor internships or field service have done so with some of the Upstate's international companies.

"USC Upstate is a truly amazing community for international students," said Abbas Fidahussein, a nursing student from Tanzania. "The University offers a world-class education, professors who go out of their way to help, excellent facilities, an exceptional school spirit, and a campus where everyone knows everyone else. And, the Center for International Studies is like a guiding light to everything that USC Upstate offers."

As USC Upstate's reputation continues to grow, so does the commitment to expand understanding and acceptance of the value of international education; what it means for the individual, the university, the community, the state, the world.

Investing In The Educational Needs Of Greenville

By Tammy E. Whaley

"The Upstate is our footprint, our mission," said Dr. Stockwell. From the beginning of his tenure as Chancellor of USC Upstate, Dr. John Stockwell recognized that there were citizens in Greenville who had earned 60 hours or more of undergraduate credit, sometimes from two or three colleges, for whom a college degree would be possible only if courses for completion of that degree were available in Greenville. Many of these citizens worked until 5:00 p.m. at businesses, industries, or other locations in Greenville, and they could be in class only if the location was central to their workplace.

Efforts to meet the undergraduate needs of these students became a priority for Chancellor Stockwell. He invested in growing programs at the USC Upstate Greenville Campus. The Chancellor emphasized growth of professional degrees such as teacher education, nursing, and business. Other programs from the College of Arts and Sciences such as informatics, engineering technology management, and interdisciplinary studies were added to meet the needs of adult students. With 10 academic programs, USC Upstate is the largest provider of undergraduate degree programs at the University Center of Greenville.

Since 1990, credit hours produced at the USC Upstate Greenville Campus have increased from 749 credit hours and 11 classes to 10,720 credit hours and 212 classes being offered in 2010.

"Clearly, the USC Upstate Greenville Campus is serving significant educational needs in Greenville," said Dr. Judith Prince, vice chancellor for the USC Upstate Greenville Campus. "Many teachers, nurses, business leaders and others in Greenville who have received degrees from USC Upstate by taking courses on the USC Upstate Greenville Campus credit Dr. Stockwell's vision of the importance of a presence of USC Upstate in Greenville as the primary reason they have been able to earn bachelor's degrees."

Additionally, the Chancellor invested in community initiatives in Greenville, sponsoring five Upstate Together issue series, funding participation of USC Upstate senior leaders in important Greenville programs such as Leadership Greenville and the Diversity Leadership Institute, and providing leadership for Upstate regional planning initiatives. The Chancellor currently serves as Chair of the Ten at the Top Vision and Values Committee.

Development of a more comprehensive presence in Greenville has also been a priority for Chancellor Stockwell and that may become reality sooner rather than later.

More than 75 percent of all undergraduates enrolled in the seven-member University Center of Greenville are enrolled in USC Upstate programs.

A Family of Blended Harmony

By Tammy E. Whaley

Married now for nearly 25 years, Dr. Diane Vecchio and Dr. John Stockwell's family is one of blended harmony. When the two scholars merged a household, each brought two children, a love for higher education, and a passion for travel to foreign lands.

"This marriage has been good for the both of us," said Dr. Vecchio, who is a professor of history at Furman University. "It has made me more understanding of the difficulty of college administration. It has made John more understanding of college faculty and the endless hours we spend grading papers. It has created a healthy respect for each other's fields. We are very compatible and approach problems from our disciplines and reach a consensus and understand where each person is coming from."

This is a big accomplishment considering they came from very different places.

Dr. Stockwell was born in Philadelphia and later moved with his parents and brother and sister to Waveland, Indiana, where his father served as a minister. Dr. Vecchio is from an Italian immigrant family and hails from Upstate New York.

Family has been a very important, if not the most important, component of their lives together. So the fact that their children have wonderful relationships with each other and gather together for the traditional Italian Christmas Eve celebration is of great consequence. Dr. Stockwell, a jazz trombonist, is known to entertain with musical melodies at such family gatherings.

According to his step-son, A.J., "I am always impressed at how selfless, considerate and genuinely thoughtful John is. He goes to great lengths to put family first and I think I admire that most."

Dr. Stockwell's two children are Ben Stockwell and Kelsea Turner. Ben, who lives in San Francisco, is an account executive for British Airways and is a graduate of Indiana University. Kelsea, who lives in Spartanburg, teaches at Spartanburg Day School and is a graduate of Indiana University. Kelsea is married to Todd, mother to 5-year-old Azra, and step-mother to Caroline and Rollins.

Dr. Vecchio's children are Adrien "A.J." Wilson and Cory Wilson. A.J. graduated from the University of Wisconsin and earned his law degree from the University of Miami. He is a partner in the firm of Hubbard, Wilson and Zelenkova in Madison, Wisconsin. A.J. is married to Elizabeth, who is doing her residency in anesthesiology at the University of Wisconsin Medical College. They are the parents of three year-old, Rocco. Cory, a graduate of USC Upstate, is an artist who draws and works in mixed media and cooks at Smiley's Acoustic Café in downtown Greenville.

"Growing up with a dad in public education, we didn't know that private colleges existed," said Kelsea. "We always knew that we would go to a public institution for college. Dad always talked about stepping outside your comfort zone so you will learn the most about what you can do. He inspired all of us to reach for our dreams."

Just as Dr. Stockwell served to inspire his children he so eloquently supports and praises his wife. A professor at Furman since 1996, she teaches courses in U.S. history, immigration history, and European women's history. Drawing on her Italian roots, much of her research and writing have been about Italian immigration. In 2006, Dr. Vecchio published a book entitled, Merchants, Midwives and Laboring Women: Italian Migrants in Urban America. She is currently writing about Jewish merchants and peddlers in the Upcountry at the turn of the 20th century, and black and white women in Spartanburg during Reconstruction.

So, with Dr. Stockwell set to retire from USC Upstate in just a few short weeks, how does this couple plan to spend the extra time?

"The greatest thing will be having summers free to spend more time with family members and traveling," said Dr. Vecchio.

The couple has already rented a 15th century Tuscan villa for the entire family, including their siblings and spouses. The extended family will enjoy the three week vacation dining on lots of authentic Italian food, exploring the sites, enjoying the views, and just being together.

Accepting The Challenge - And Succeeding!

Instead of opting to "think outside the box," Dr. Stockwell chooses to support the more realistic concept to "reconsider the shape of the box."

In many ways, this approach helped define the atmosphere and attitude among staff, faculty, Spartanburg County Commission for Higher Education members, community leaders and partners that have allowed USC Upstate to not only weather the constant economic and budgetary storms, but to do the seemingly impossible in such times - grow and expand facilities, programs and enrollment!

Certainly, this has not been as easy as it sounds. Of the many challenges faced and overcome during his 17 years as chancellor, Dr. Stockwell cites the budget constraints of these past three years as the one that stands out above all the others.

According to John S. Poole, president and CEO of Carolina Alliance Bank and member of the Spartanburg County Commission for Higher Education, "Dr. Stockwell has earned tremendous respect from University and community leaders for not only being a visionary but for also being an individual who is trusted and delivers on his promises to continue the momentum of the University even during trying times. The quality of the faculty and staff at the university has improved during Stockwell's tenure and with limited resources, honesty and integrity have played a major role in recruiting this key talent for the University's future."

"I think we've faced the most profound challenges with budgets that we've ever faced," he noted. "But we've been able to do so without resorting to Draconian methods."

Relying on experience gained from witnessing similar situations, Dr. Stockwell felt he had a unique understanding of how to combat the constant, and often unrealistic, expectations of raising tuition, eliminating programs or cutting positions.

"What I knew not to do was to panic," he stressed. "I think we've managed our way through it well. We've been able to keep jobs, keep capital projects going...we've made some trims, but not so much that the morale of faculty and staff has been negatively impacted."

Recognizing the value of mutually beneficial partnerships, as well as following more closely and addressing the funding allocation of the State, USC Upstate has certainly reconsidered the shape of its box and succeeded.

USC Upstate's largest academic programs are in the professional areas of business, education and nursing.

The financial aid staff administered over $55 million of aid, our largest to date. Ten years ago we disbursed $13 million in aid.

Commitment To The Bigger Picture Of Community

There are many ways to serve your community. You can volunteer to be on a committee, you can provide financial support, or you can take a leadership role.

Or you can do all of the above, as well as establish needed service organizations to help meet the changing needs of the community.

Since coming to Spartanburg in 1994, Dr. Stockwell has not been shy about getting involved and giving back to the community.

"In a larger arena, as leader of this institution, I believe that I have a fundamental responsibility to represent what I purport for our university," he noted.

As early as 1995, he found ways to do just that. He has served on the Board of Directors of the United Way of the Piedmont, the University Center of Greenville, the Spartanburg Regional Heart Board, the Arts Partnership, and the Community Indicators Project.

He was chair of the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors; founding chair of the Spartanburg Urban League, then served on its Regional Board of Directors. He also served on the Advisory Boards of South Carolina Women in Higher Education and American Council on Education's Commission on Women.

In addition, Dr. Stockwell chaired and authored "Spartanburg County Compact," a county-wide plan to increase adult baccalaureate degree holding rates in Spartanburg by 40 percent by 2030. With a vision to make Spartanburg County the best educated county in South Carolina, this "College Hub of Spartanburg County" endeavor has held special meaning for him.

Combating low levels of educational attainment and the lack of attention to dealing with the quandary it presents has long been a concern of Dr. Stockwell. In committing to this community vision, he has helped position Spartanburg County to meet the challenge and understand the vital role collaboration of schools, colleges, businesses, churches, agencies and families all play in achieving success.

Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce President and CEO David Cordeau said every community has a few special people who lead the way, inspire next-level thinking and raise the bar on community goals. "I applaud John Stockwell's efforts for seeking to engage the Spartanburg community in The College Hub of Spartanburg County. This plan has been called the most important education initiative in South Carolina by experts."

Stockwell's enthusiasm and contributions have not gone unnoticed, as he was awarded the 2010 Milliken Medal of Quality, the Urban League of the Upstate Humanitarian of the Year Award, and the South Carolina Order of the Silver Crescent. He was also named a Paul Harris Fellow by the Rotary Club of Spartanburg.

It's A Win-Win Move!

By Meg Hunt

Five short years ago, USC Upstate began exploring the possibility of taking its athletic program to the next level - NCAA Division I.

This potential move to Division I was a direct result of the growth of the university and its establishment as a metropolitan university within the Upstate region of South Carolina, as well as the continued success of its athletic teams. Expansion and infrastructure improvements to meet the demand of the growing student population also contributed to the decision to explore this option.

USC Upstate teams and student athletes had a long and proud history of success in athletics and academics. From the outset, the primary objective was to do what was in the best interest of the university.

"We will take every necessary step in the exploratory process to make the right decision for the university and its athletic program," said Athletics Director Mike Hall. "USC Upstate, under the vision and leadership of Dr. Stockwell, has changed, grown, and strengthened itself to become a truly unique and special place. Exploring Division I is a direct result of how far the university has come and an indication of where the university is heading in the future."

That future became clearer on May 16, 2006, when USC Upstate accepted an invitation to become a member of the Atlantic Sun Conference.

USC Upstate now competes in baseball, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's cross country, men's and women's golf, men's and women's soccer, men's and women's track and field, softball, men's and women's tennis, and volleyball.

The tradition of success continues.

The USC Upstate athletic department boasts an average GPA of over a 3.0, higher than that of the general student body, with 16 student-athletes earning a perfect 4.0 in each of the last three semesters.

By The Numbers

By Meg Hunt

USC Upstate added residential housing for nearly 40 percent of the student body where none existed before the mid-1990s.

USC Upstate increased minority enrollment from 12 percent in the mid-1990s to a sustained level of 30 percent today.

The USC Upstate Mary Black School of Nursing class of May 2010 passed their professional licensing exam with a rate of 92.41 percent - the highest ever. The national rate is 90.28 percent.