Our community has navigated the start of the spring semester — one filled with highs and lows — with a commitment to our mission and core values, and I appreciate you and your contributions.

On March 1, Mr. Jerry Richardson ’59 passed away. As a student, Mr. Richardson was a psychology major, resident assistant, captain of the football team and member of Kappa Alpha Order. After graduation, he played football in the NFL before opening a Hardee’s franchise, launching a business career that led him to NFL team ownership. He often talked about the impact that Wofford had on him, and it’s that impact that inspired him to establish scholarships, construct buildings, fund a compensation increase for hourly staff and support dozens of other projects designed to ensure student success and Wofford’s sustainability. He mentored students and alumni, and the college continues to receive stories of his generosity. Our community sends condolences to Rosalind Sallenger Richardson, trustee Ashley Richardson Allen, Mark Richardson and other members of the family. A service will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, March 18, in the Jerry Richardson Indoor Stadium. This is a public celebration of Mr. Richardson’s life, and all are invited to attend.

Update following the Board of Trustees winter meeting
The winter meeting of the Wofford College Board of Trustees held Feb. 23-24 was productive. In addition to discussing a major investment in a new ERP (enterprise resource planning) system to manage HR and other major administrative processes and a new compensation study, the board approved the 2023-24 budget, with increases in academic programs, athletics, operations and high-impact programs. Some of this is the result of the endowment return on the $150 million gift from Mr. Richardson. Inflation remains a factor with costs rising in food service, utilities and medical/insurance premiums.

The board heard presentations on the changes proposed by the college’s Interim working group and the NCAA Division I transformation committee. In addition, the enrollment report noted that applications are the third highest in the college’s history and deposits are up; we are on track to enroll 480 students in the Class of 2027. The college also has updated Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion progress, and that information will be posted to the website (Wofford.edu/strategicvision) within the month.

Capital projects this summer will include a renovation of the Reeves Tennis Center thanks to a $250,000 matching gift from Ed Reeves and generous donations from Maria and Tom Bower ’74, Rhonda and Howard Coker ’85, Justin ’96 and Anna Habisreutinger Converse ’95, and Mary and Wade Keisler ’80. We are repurposing the old bookstore space to create a collaborative work area for students; student organizations such as the Bohemian and Old Gold and Black will be invited to use these spaces when renovations are complete. The human resources staff will move into the back section of the building. This will allow the DuPré Hall lounge to once again be used as a student gathering space. The Office of Philanthropy + Engagement will get a refresh of their space in the Papadopoulos Building, and we will replace windows in Main Building.

The board meeting concluded with the dedication of the completely renovated Blackwell-Quattlebaum Center for Wellness and Counseling Services in the Hugh R. Black House. We are grateful for a major gift from the Quattlebaum family, with additional support from the family of Dorothy Beadles Halligan, for making this original campus home more serviceable and beautiful than ever. We appreciate their generosity!

Finally, I’d like to congratulate and thank our student-athletes and coaches on the women’s and men’s basketball teams. Both represented us well in the Southern Conference Basketball Tournament. The women lost in a hard-fought matchup in the finals, and the men proved scrappy and competitive to the end in the semifinals. Baseball is off to an exciting start this season, and we have all enjoyed watching other spring sports such as lacrosse and tennis in action. Athletics competitions, plays, gallery exhibits and a range of speakers are all good reasons to visit the campus.

In all things, I appreciate your patience and support.

Go Terriers!

Nayef H. Samhat
11th President of Wofford College