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21 March 2018

Award recipients of the annual Ethel Fortner and Sam Ragan Arts Awards at St. Andrews University were presented March 15 to Ms. Janet Kenworthy and Dr. Douglas Orr.

Ms. Kenworthy, Aberdeen, NC, started and runs the musical theater known as The Rooster’s Wife. She was presented with the Ethel Fortner award by St. Andrews University president Paul Baldasare for her active role in the arts including music, literature and cinema. Settling in Aberdeen with her family in 1991 following work and living in New York City, she shares that she “has lived a story with a soundtrack, and a broad sensibility to all things artful.” Trips to New Orleans created a visceral reaction to what she perceived as a lack of affordable live music in her community.

Experiencing first hand the restorative effects of music and the arts led Ms. Kenworthy to open her home to give musicians and music lovers a way to building community. Weekend concerts, now over 300, of all musical genres fill the Rooster’s Wife located on Knight’s Street in Aberdeen. Created to serve the community by preserving the cultural heritage and presenting the talent of the next generation, the Rooster’s Wife is committed to offering affordable programs for every age to enjoy.

The Ethel Fortner Arts Award was established in 1986 to honor the legacy of Ms. Fortner—a poet, critic, editor, arts promoter and benefactor of St. Andrews press.

President Baldasare presented the Sam Ragan Arts Award to Dr. Doug Orr, president emeritus of Warren Wilson College, a liberal arts college in Asheville. Prior to that, he served as vice chancellor and faculty member at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where he was a recipient of the teaching excellence award. He has served as board chair of the North Carolina Independent College and University Association, and board chair of the Association of Presbyterian Colleges and Universities.

Dr. Orr was recognized by the governor of North Carolina with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine Award, the state’s highest civilian honor. While at Warren Wilson he founded the Swannanoa Gathering summer music program that has become one of the nation’s most popular such events, attracting about 1500 participants each summer from all over the world for the five theme weeks.

He and his wife Darcy reside in Black Mountain, NC, and perform traditional Celtic and Appalachian music. They recently published through the UNC Press the New York Times best seller Wayfaring Strangers: The Musical Voyage from Scotland and Ulster to Appalachia, co-authored with Fiona Ritchie, host of NPR’s The Thistle & Shamrock weekly radio program.

The Sam Ragan Arts Award was created in 1981 to honor Samuel Talmadge Ragan, North Carolina’s first Secretary of Cultural Resources.



St. Andrews University President Paul Baldasare presents the Ethel Fortner Arts Award to Janet Kenworthy (l) and the Sam Ragan Arts Award to Dr. Douglas Orr (r).

Psychology Research Night

20 March 2018, 2:57 pm Written by

Congratulations to Dr. Jennifer Gianico for her Psychology Research Night, March 20. “I estimate that 40 individuals participated in the event.  We actually had to end early and send an email to the student body at 8:15 because we ran out of pizza,” she said.  

Here is a snapshot of most of the PSY 202 Researchers, along with Phillip Alden and Gaby Stephens (Psych Club officers), and Psi Chi grant winner Reinatou Saidou.

Ethics Bowl Results

16 March 2018, 10:43 am Written by

St. Andrews University students, Dean of Students Dr. Tim Verhey and Assistant Professor of Religious Studies Tanner Capps competed in February at the North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities annual Ethics Bowl in Raleigh. Although not the eventual winner (Salem College/Winston-Salem), St. Andrews students distinguished themselves in a number of rounds among 24 college teams.

St. Andrews competed against schools including High Point, Wake Forest, Methodist University, Campbell and Queens University of Charlotte.

The goal of the NCICU Ethics Bowl is to emphasize applied ethics as a hallmark of the student experience at North Carolina’s 36 independent colleges and universities which includes St. Andrews.

The NCICU ethics Bowl is designed to provide an academic experience that increases awareness and discourse in applying ethics in leadership, decision-making, interpersonal relations and carious issues in today’s society. Sponsors included Duke Energy and Wells Fargo. Over 70 volunteer judges and moderators participated representing corporations, media, business and legal firms.

Each college team competed in four rounds with the final competition focusing on cyber communities and how to exercise personal responsibility to ensure ethical standards and practices in social media.

“As a liberal arts institution, St. Andrews is committed to the education of the whole person. We prepare students not only to become economically successful, but also to become good people and engaged leaders in society. The NCICU Ethics Bowl was a great opportunity for our students to grow as professionals, people, and leaders. Moreover, I am proud to say that their performance showed that they are well on their way,” Dr. Verhey said.

St. Andrews students competing were Timothy Aiken (GA), Edwardo Andrade (NC), Cheyenne Ball (NC), Nina Havelka (NC), Kerri Anne Paschal (NC) and Nathan Rivas-Blackwell (CA)





(photo l-r)

 Edwardo Andrade, Nina Havelka, Timothy Aiken, Cheyenne Ball, Kerri Anne Paschal, Dr. Tim Verhey. Not pictured Nathan Rivas-Blackwell.


St. Andrews alumnus, the Reverend William Robert (Rob) Martin, III, (’86), has been called to be the next Pastor/Head of Staff for the Laurinburg Presbyterian Church.  He is married to alumna Doreen “Do” Rogers Martin, and they both worked as Residence Assistants in campus dorms in 1986.  Rob also served as Director of Alumni Relations following graduation.  Rob’s father, Rev. Dr. Robert (Bob) Martin, was the St. Andrews Chaplain in the 1980s, and his mother, Billie Martin, worked in the student life office.

For the past 15 years, Rev. Martin has been serving the First Presbyterian Church in Palo Alto, CA, and they will be moving to Laurinburg at the end of April.

The Committee on Ministry of Coastal Carolina Presbytery on Feb. 6 examined Rev. Martin and officially approved his call to Laurinburg Presbyterian Church.

Laurinburg Presbyterian Church’s Pastoral Nominating Committee was chaired by Dr. David Herr, Liberal Arts Department Chair.


15 Feb. 2018

St. Andrews faculty and staff gathered on Jan. 31 in the Vardell Atrium to show their appreciation for Dr. Robert J. Hopkins’ years of service as Vice President of Academic Affairs (2003-2017).

Dr. Hopkins graduated from Tennessee Tech University with a Bachelors in Science in 1968. He then furthered his education receiving a Masters in Science from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville in 1970. Finally, Dr. Hopkins received his Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville in 1972.

Beginning his journey at St. Andrews in 1983, he first became a member of an interdisciplinary team that developed and taught introductory freshmen level courses. Dr. Hopkins maintained membership on various committees including the Tenure Review Committee and the Retention Task Force Committee. As Chair of the Faculty Committee, he assisted the Board of Trustees with their search for a new president for St. Andrews Presbyterian College in 1987. Continuing to excel in leadership roles, Dr. Hopkins was a recipient of the Seers Faculty Leadership award in 1990.

He left the St. Andrews faculty to become Deputy Manager and Education and Training Manager for the Laurinburg Electronic Commerce Center (ECRC) in the late 1990’s. Through the ECRC, which was funded by the Department of Defense, Dr. Hopkins worked congruently with St. Andrews Presbyterian College. Returning as a faculty member at St. Andrews in 2001, Dr. Hopkins was once again placed at the forefront for redefining the General Education Program adopted in January to better serve the needs of St. Andrews students. In 2001, Dr. Hopkins also served as Chair of the General Education Program until 2003 when he began his role as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College.

Dr. Hopkins returned for the 2018 semester and is teaching Business Ethics, Macroeconomics and Sage 240: Human Culture and Thought.

At the Jan. 31 reception, St. Andrews University president Paul Baldasare presented Dr. Hopkins with a plaque that read in part, “For his years and dedicated service to the University and its faculty and students as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean, 2003-2017.”

(By Kiah Cheatham for COM 454 and Dr. Henery)

St. Andrews Western Equestrian Team Wins

12 February 2018, 12:41 pm Written by

Release and team photo

St. Andrews Western Equestrian Team

In Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association competition in January, St. Andrews Western team continued to excel and claim numerous awards. Leading the team was Connor Smith with three firsts in reining and open horsemanship plus earning high point rider and in a second show, was reserve high point rider. Riders who received firsts included Kaitlyn Lomax (novice horsemanship), Amanda Steskal (intermediate II horsemanship), Beth Ann Tate (novice horsemanship) and Marcos Nogueira (intermediate I horsemanship). Thirteen St. Andrews equestrians won ribbons, contributing to their first team placing against schools including North Carolina State, Liberty University, Virginia Tech and Appalachian State. And for January, this team led their regional team standings over North Carolina State and Liberty. They are coached by Carla Wennberg.

A major Western show takes place at the Equestrian Center this weekend, beginning on Saturday.

RELEASE/6 Feb. 2018

St. Andrews University Equestrian

In recent equestrian competitions, St. Andrews students continue to maintain their success with high team placings and individual champions.

At last Saturday’s home Dressage competition, the team of Gaby Stephens, Caroline Johnson, Juliana Moore and Isa Duckett finished first with Johnson as reserve high point rider.

Senior Alex Varisco won four shows and qualified for Dressage Nationals at Lake Erie College (OH) in April.

In all events that day, St. Andrews equestrians garnered 17 ribbons and claimed first in team placings over seven colleges including (2) North Carolina State and (3) Virginia Tech.

At the UNC Wilmington Hunter Seat show on Feb. 3, St. Andrews riders picked up 13 ribbons that captured first place, both in overall team points and show team. Their competition included NC State, Duke, UNC Chapel Hill and Elon. SAU rider Sabrina Vlacich collected two first place wins and was the high point rider.

A Hunter Seat show fills the arena at St. Andrews Feb. 10 and the Dressage team will be at Averett University (Danville, VA).

The Legacy of John D. Currie, Jr.

6 February 2018, 8:39 am Written by


St. Andrews University and Scotia Village retirement community announced today that the Estate of John D. Currie, Jr., over the past two years, has distributed gifts totaling more than $2.7 million to the two Presbyterian based organizations located in Scotland County. Mr. Currie was a resident of Scotia Village at the time of his death in 2014 and was a long-time trustee of St. Andrews. The philanthropic legacy Mr. Currie leaves behind is a demonstration of his faith, his belief in education and his desire to provide a safety net for his fellow neighbors.

“Once in a great while someone comes along who devotes a lifetime to helping others and then goes on to leave a legacy that will benefit generations to come. Together we celebrate the life, the vision, and the extraordinary generosity of John D. Currie, Jr.,” said Paul Baldasare, President of St. Andrews University and Allen Johnson, Executive Director of Scotia Village in a joint statement.

The gift from the Currie Estate directed to St. Andrews University has already been used in large part to support academic programs and to make needed capital improvements to the campus; the balance is being used to establish a named professorship. The gift directed to Scotia Village retirement community will benefit the Caring and Sharing Endowment which is used to provide financial assistance for residents who have outlived their personal financial resources.

“John Currie embodied what it means to be a ‘servant leader.’ As a St. Andrews trustee, he served with wisdom and great passion, as a long-time donor he gave generously and with enthusiasm to the causes he cared deeply about, and as a friend he was always there in times of need. St. Andrews could not have had a more loyal trustee and friend than John Currie,” said Paul Baldasare, President of St. Andrews University.

“John Currie was quiet yet extremely intelligent. Our conversations were a treat as he would continually challenge my perspective. Mr. Currie believed in the mission of Scotia Village. His legacy gift generously supports the advancement of our mission and confirms that it is worthy of perpetuation. We will strive to honor Mr. Currie’s belief in our important work,” said Allen Johnson, Executive Director of Scotia Village.

In his later years, John Currie was a resident of Scotia Village. He was deeply engaged with his time and philanthropy at both St. Andrews University and Scotia Village which are situated on adjoining campuses in Laurinburg. Mr. Currie served on the Scotia Village Board of Trustees for nine years and for part of that time as the Treasurer. His service to St. Andrews included 10 years as the Secretary of the Board of Trustees and President of the Board of Visitors.

Mr. Currie’s family has a significant history with St. Andrews University. Pate Hall was named for John’s Uncle Edwin Pate, Avinger Auditorium was named for his Great-Aunt Ina Avinger and the Morgan-Jones Science Building was named for two Scotland County leaders, one of whom was John’s cousin, Halbert Jones.

John D. Currie, Jr. was born on August 5, 1936 in Fayetteville, N.C., the son of the late John Duncan Currie and Mary Pate Currie. He was a graduate of Woodberry Forest School in Virginia, Princeton University and Columbia Graduate School of Business. In his early career Mr. Currie was with The First National City Bank of New York and The First National Bank of Atlanta. He later sold residential real estate in Moore County and was a Director of Z.V. Pate, Inc. of Laurel Hill N.C., and various other related family owned businesses. Mr. Currie was a member of Brownson Memorial Presbyterian Church in Southern Pines, N.C.

A committed philanthropist, Mr. Currie spent much of his adult life volunteering for organizations that offered education or other ways of improving the quality of life in the communities where he lived. Among his many commitments, he was a long-term member of the Princeton University Schools Committee, Board Member of Cape Fear Museum Historical Complex in Fayetteville, N.C. and Vice-Chairman of Bethesda, Inc., a group home that assists those recovering from substance abuse, in Aberdeen, N.C.

“I worked closely with John for many years.  He never wavered in his passion to help others especially in the area of education.  He made sure his estate would help others for generations to come.  John was a very intelligent, generous and caring person,” said David L. Burns, close friend and business associate of John D. Currie, Jr.


Horses, Science, and Scottish History!

25 January 2018, 11:13 am Written by

Perhaps not a typical weekend at St. Andrews University, but certainly an upcoming flurry of activity coming to Scotland County will bring hundreds of people to campus that stretches from the Belk Center to the Scotland Heritage Center to the Morgan Jones Science building and, finally, to the 300-acre equestrian center.

   That's what is happening over St. Patrick's Day weekend, March 16-18, with perhaps as many 1,000 people in Laurinburg to attend and participate in three major events that will be drawing visitors from all parts of the United States.

   The science faculty will once again host a regional Science Olympiad as it has since 1974. In fact, St. Andrews was the first university to initiate this state and national competition that concludes each May with some 7,800 teams in 50 states.

   Eight or more middle and elementary schools from six counties will converge on St. Andrew’s campus to compete in 23 events. That’s approximately 300 middle school students, parents and teachers who will spend all Saturday in competition.  Students, often dressed in specially designed T-shirts and other decorations in support of science, will, among other things, test bridges they have built, fly hovercraft, investigate crime scenes, solve chemistry problems, act as disease detectives and identify anatomical structures as their teams participate in the competitions.  The winning teams then go on to the state finals at NC State University and hopefully a national championship this spring in Colorado—and it all started at St. Andrews.

   Rooney Coffman (class of ’68) is St. Andrews Director of Logistics and university photographer and one of the founders of the Science Olympiad and whose organization of volunteers is rewarded with the results of the science extravaganza and the return of schools year after year.

   The second event, now in its 30th year, belongs to the well-known Scottish Heritage Center that will be hosting visitors both at its center on Elm Drive and to weekend presentations in the Belk Center on campus. Director Bill Caudill fills the weekend with scholars who present topics relative to genealogy, history and culture of the Scots who settled in this region. He expects over 100 attendees who come from throughout the US and Canada.

   This event started as a celebration of the 250th anniversary of the coming of the first organized group of Highland Scots to this region, the now famed "Argyll Colony" in 1739.  Information and costs can be found by contacting the Scottish Heritage Center.

   The equestrian center is accustomed to hosting major equine shows at the arenas on Hasty Road. But this March and the same St. Patrick’s Day weekend, a new event arrives that appears to be a huge undertaking, according to equestrian director Peggy McElveen. The Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) is hosting their Zone 3 Hunter Seat Finals at St. Andrews University Equestrian Center.  Twelve classes are held for team riders and twelve classes for riders who have qualified individually.   Approximately 250 middle and high school students will be competing at this event. Zone 3 consists of IEA riders from Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina.

   Parents, grandparents, teammates, riders and coaches will begin arriving on Friday, March 16, for the official schooling of the horses that will be held at the equestrian center. The competition including jumping and equitation classes for the individual riders will be on Saturday, March 17, and for team riders the next day.

   Riders will have the opportunity to qualify for the IEA National Championship by winning their class at the IEA Zone Finals. The IEA National Championship in 2018 will be held in Syracuse, NY.

   All faculty involved with each of these events remark that in addition to the competitions, these opportunities lend themselves to recruiting not only future students to the campus, many for the first time, but by bringing parents and friends to Scotland County and Laurinburg where they are introduced to what is available without necessarily having to travel to Lumberton or Aberdeen.

   And if those events are not enough, the St. Andrews baseball team will be playing four games on campus that weekend against Bryan College (Dayton, TN).

   It's a great weekend showcase that will bring all ages, activities and multiple states to St. Andrews and Scotland County with expectations that once they have come to compete or watch, they will return. St. Andrews and their motto of “traditionally different” applies well to the community as they introduce many people to what they have to offer and the resources of Scotland County.

(Courtesy of Dr. James Henery)

MLK Day 2018

17 January 2018, 8:14 am Written by


St. Andrews University joined the nation Monday night, Jan. 15, by celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day in a campus and community-wide celebration held in a packed Avinger Auditorium.

The program began with instrumental selections on guitar and violin by faculty member and biologist Dr. Tracy Feldman and then a drum processional by St. Andrews pipe band drummer DJ Street.

Following a welcome and remarks from university president Paul Baldasare, the stage was set for a comprehensive and joy-filled presentation of speeches, readings and music.

Notably, the featured speaker for the evening was the Rev. Garland E. Pierce, the NC House District 48 representative for Scotland County, who selected the well-known Luke passage of the Good Samaritan emphasizing “who is my neighbor?” as his theme and comparing it to daily social problems. President Baldasare presented Rev. Pierce with a St. Andrews award in appreciation of his support and service.

St. Andrews students Shaqueena Kemp and Nathaniel Blackwell read selections from Dr. King’s writings.

Music provided another connection to what faculty member Dr. Rona Leach McLeod would later say “what we are about tonight is community” as choirs from Bright Hopewell Baptist Church (Rev. Pierce’s church) and Sandy Grove Baptist Church Hands of Praise sang and involved the audience.

A special dramatic program by actors Mitchell Capel and Sonny Kelly (who also served as the master of ceremonies) featured storytelling, poetry and portrayal of black Union soldiers fighting in the Civil War for their freedom. Their presentation, part of a larger drama called The Color of Courage, included poetry, music and narratives that were both humorous and somber. It provided for those attending a visual and moving account of struggle then and the application to the evening’s focus on celebrating the life and service of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. –30--