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Pfeiffer University News

2015 Heart of Grace Award to be presented to Lynne and Elizabeth Safrit

HOG 2015 color logoOn Wed., April 15, Pfeiffer University will present the 2015 Heart of Grace Award to the dynamic mother-daughter duo of Lynne Scott Safrit, president and COO for Castle and Cook, LLC, and leader of the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis, and Elizabeth Safrit, 2014 Miss United States.


Dr. Colleen Perry Keith Named Pfeiffer's Next President

CperryDr. Colleen Perry Keith has been named the tenth president of Pfeiffer University. The announcement was made earlier today by Pfeiffer’s board of trustees. Dr. Keith, who has served since 2009 as president of Spartanburg Methodist College (SMC), Spartanburg, S.C., will begin her term at Pfeiffer on July 1.

Regarded throughout the field of higher education as a thoughtful and effective leader, Dr. Keith has achieved extensive and noteworthy administrative and fundraising success over the course of her career. In 2010, she was named South Carolina Career Woman of the Year by the South Carolina Business and Professionals Woman’s Foundation.

Under her leadership, SMC updated and implemented its master and strategic plans, launched and completed a $15 million capital campaign; started two new academic programs; initiated new construction, renovated existing space and acquired property for expansion; enhanced public relations and marketing efforts that resulted in the doubling of inquiries from prospective students; and increased annual giving by 249 percent. 

“I am honored, pleased, and excited that Dr. Colleen Keith has accepted the position of president of Pfeiffer University; she is absolutely the right person to lead Pfeiffer,” said Samuel “Chip” Asbury ’78, ’87 (MBA), board of trustees chair and leader of the Presidential Search Committee. “Dr. Keith has a demonstrated passion for students and their educational experience, a consistent track record of success in regard to student recruitment and fundraising, and an inherent understanding of the United Methodist tradition that will undoubtedly have a positive effect on two of our largest strategic initiatives: increasing enrollment for all educational programs and growing the institution’s endowment. This is a great day for Pfeiffer University and I look forward to welcoming Dr. Keith and her husband, Barry, to our community.” 

Dr. Keith earned a bachelor of arts degree in political science from State University of New York, Binghamton; master of education, education counseling from University of Pittsburgh; and doctorate of philosophy in higher education administration and student affairs from The Ohio State University. Prior experience includes executive director of development, Ohio University; director of development, Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation; executive vice president, vice president of development and assistant to the president/capital campaign director for Methodist Theological School, Ohio.

To complement her administrative expertise, Dr. Keith has taught at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, specifically MBA and master of communications courses as well as qualitative research and data analysis for doctor of ministry students and university survey and orientation courses as part of undergraduate students’ introduction to college.

She currently serves on the boards of the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce, which she chairs; Mary Black Foundation; Greer Education Foundation; Arts Partnership; Spartanburg Academic Movement; Spartanburg Regional Hospital’s Hospice Home; and Habitat for Humanity of Spartanburg County. On the state level, she chairs the President’s Council for the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities organization and is the secretary for the South Carolina Tuition Grants commission. She also serves on the advisory board for South Carolina Women in Higher Education. On the national stage, she is past president of the National Association of Schools and Colleges of the United Methodist Church and continues on its board. 

Pfeiffer students learn about branding at Charlotte Hornets symposium

HornetsRecently Pfeiffer Sport Management students attended the Collegiate Business Symposium hosted by the Charlotte Hornets. The symposium provided a behind the scenes perspective, through a panel discussion, of the rebranding from the Bobcats to the Hornets.


Pfeiffer students compete at 2015 NCICU Ethics Bowl

team 4bOn Feb. 6, the Pfeiffer University Ethics Bowl Team participated in the 4th Annual Ethics Bowl Competition, sponsored by North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU), at Campbell University School of Law, Raleigh. They joined students from 19 other North Carolina independent institutions as they debated the theme Ethics in Education.


Kristen Welsh '10 looks to save lives through communication

Kristen WelshKristen Welsh ’10 is looking to go Beyond Boundaries and save lives. Now a graduate student at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida, Welsh was recruited to continue her education in the blossoming field of Human Factors. She is beginning her dissertation research with a project on creating a safer operating room for open heart surgery.


Pfeiffer establishes Alpha Mu Delta honors society

ThetaThe Department of Religion and Practical Theology at Pfeiffer University is proud to announce the founding of Alpha Mu Delta, a chapter of the national Religion Honors Society Theta Alpha Kappa. Pfeiffer joins over 300 institutions recognizing academic excellence in the study of religion.
“Encouraged by Marilyn Sutton-Haywood, dean of arts & sciences, we are glad to promote and reward achievement among our Religion students by offering opportunities for society membership, awards, scholarships, and potential student publication in the Journal of Theta Alpha Kappa,” said Kevin Taylor, assistant professor of religion.


Pfeiffer mourns the death of Emeritus Professor J. Griffin Campbell


Dr. J. Griffin “Griff” Campbell, who taught English at Pfeiffer College from 1956-85, died suddenly on Mon., Jan. 12, 2015. He was 95.

During his tenure at Pfeiffer, Dr. Campbell, who at the time of his death resided in Burlington, N.C., with his wife, Mary Elizabeth (Betty) Fellers Campbell, was named an honorary alumnus of the class of 1965, a group he served as faculty advisor. While at Pfeiffer, he served as chair, division of Language and Literature; head of the English department; chair of the library committee; member of the presidential search committee (1968) and faculty sponsor for Order of the Sundial. He was a founder and former chair of the board of directors for Pfeiffer Friends of the Library. Upon his retirement, he was awarded emeritus professor status by the board of trustees.


Pfeiffer University earns 2015 Community Engagement Classification

Carnegie CEC digital sealPfeiffer University has been selected by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching to receive its 2015 Community Engagement Classification. This designation is among the highest honors a college or university can achieve in recognition for the impact of its community service and engagement efforts.

Pfeiffer, classified initially in 2008, is among 157 colleges and universities nationwide to be reclassified for this honor and is joined by 83 new institutions receiving the classification for the first time this year and 121 others that were named in 2010. It is one of six private universities in North Carolina –among a total of 18 universities statewide—to hold this distinction.


Pfeiffer hosts annual Angel Tree celebration for local families

Group SantaPfeiffer University hosted its sixth annual Angel Tree Celebration, a student-run event through the Francis Center for Servant Leadership that sponsors families and children in need at Christmas time in partnership with the Stanly County Christian Ministry.

This year, 70 students participated in the event for 120 local children at Open Door Baptist Church, Richfield. In addition to traditional gift sharing, a Christmas dinner and party were organized for 18 Angel Tree families. The church provided an inflatable bounce house and magician. Various Pfeiffer student clubs and organizations sponsored booths where kids could write letters to Santa, decorate cookies or have their face painted.


Pfeiffer University selected as a top school by Military Advanced Education

MAE LogoPfeiffer University has been designated by Military Advanced Education (MAE) as a Top School in its 2015 MAE Guide to Colleges & Universities. The guide, which measures best practices in military and veteran education, is available in the December issue of MAE and online at


Pfeiffer Sport Management active at ACC Football Championship Game

ACC ChampionshipFor the third consecutive year Pfeiffer Sport Management students were active in serving the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) at their annual football championship game in uptown Charlotte at Bank of America Stadium.

Lacy Lange, Volunteer Director of the ACC Football Championship expressed her appreciation in partnering with Pfeifer University, “Pfeiffer’s Sport Management students who volunteered for the 2014 Dr Pepper Football Championship played a vital role in the success of Championship Weekend. We can’t thank them enough.”


Pfeiffer students and professors roll up their sleeves for “I Love My City”

DSCN0963A group of 35 students and faculty members from Pfeiffer’s business management and leadership program recently participated in “I Love My City,” a designated day of service during which volunteers help homeowners in Concord, Kannapolis and China Grove, North Carolina, make repairs to their homes and property that are too costly for them to make individually.