SPARTANBURG, S.C. – R. Michael James, founding partner of WEDGE Capital Management in Charlotte, N.C., and a 1974 Wofford College graduate, and Craig Melvin, national correspondent for NBC’s Today Show and a 2001 Wofford graduate, have been elected to the Wofford Board of Trustees while six others have been re-elected to four-year terms. James and Melvin also will serve four-year terms.
The appointments were made last week at the Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church of South Carolina held in Florence.
James and Melvin replace C. Michael Smith (class of 1975) and John B. White Jr. (class of 1972), whose terms have expired.
Re-elected to new four-year terms were: The Rev. John W. Hipp (class of 1975), James M. Johnson (class of 1971), Stewart H. Johnson (class of 1967), Dr. Daniel B. Morrison Jr. (class of 1975), J. Patrick Prothro (class of 1996) and Joe E. Taylor (class of 1980).
At the May meeting of the board of trustees, these officers were elected for the 2015-16 year: J. Harold Chandler (class of 1971), chair; James M. Johnson (class of 1971), vice chair; and Laura Jackson Hoy, secretary.
A native of Charlotte, James lettered for two years as a member of Wofford’s track team and was selected to Who’s Who and the Blue Key National Honor Society. Upon graduation, he began a career in banking, earning a reputation for keen insight in the investment arena. He rose to seniority in investment and trust management, eventually serving First Union National Bank as its director of fixed income and securities trading. In 1984, James and a group of partners formed WEDGE Capital Management based in Charlotte, an investment firm serving a broad range of clients, largely in pension, profit-sharing plan and endowment management. Today, the firm has more than $9.4 billion under management.
James retired from WEDGE Capital Management in 2012.
James served on Wofford’s Investment Advisory Committee from its inception in the early 1990s until 2012. He was elected to the board of trustees in 2000, serving 12 years, and he served as one of the board’s vice chairs. He chaired the committee on finance for many years. He chaired the Presidential Search Committee in 2012-13, which led to the hiring of Dr. Nayef Samhat as Wofford’s 11th president.
James and his wife, Katherine, have generously supported numerous capital and endowment projects at Wofford. Among the most notable is the R. Michael James Student Managed Investment Fund, an organization that provides students at Wofford with real-life investment experience by managing a stock portfolio. The group has funded microloans for entrepreneurs and peanut farmers in Haiti.
James’ daughter, Abigail – the oldest of three – is a Wofford alumna.
In addition to being a national correspondent for the Today Show, Melvin is an occasional host of NBC’s “Weekend Today.” He was the featured speaker at the 2015 Commencement Exercises for Wofford in May.
Most recently, Melvin was on the ground reporting from Dallas, Texas, on the Ebola outbreak and in Ferguson, Mo., in the aftermath of the Michael Brown shooting. Previously, he anchored “MSNBC Live” on Saturdays and Sundays. Prior to joining MSNBC in July 2011, Melvin was a weekend anchor for WRC, NBC’s owned-and-operated station in Washington, D.C. Previously, Melvin earned acclaim as an evening news anchor for WIS in Columbia, S.C.
Melvin is widely recognized for his reporting on topical issues that matter most. He has covered a wide range of events, including the Republican and Democratic National Conventions; election night coverage for TVOne in partnership with NBC News; the Asiana Airlines 214 crash in July 2013; the George Zimmerman trial; the deadly tornado in Moore, Okla.; the Sandy Hook school shooting; and a series on the future of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Melvin received two Emmy Awards for his reporting at WIS and also was named “Best Anchor” by the South Carolina Broadcaster’s Association.
His journalism career began during high school when he served as an “Our Generation” reporter for WIS. In that role, he became one of the youngest recipients of an Associated Press award for a report on innovative teaching. He received a B.A. degree in government from Wofford College.