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Lilly named president of Presbyterian College

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Staff Report
Published June 15, 2012

Claude C. Lilly, the dean of the College of Business and Behavioral Science at Clemson University, has been chosen to become the 17th president of Presbyterian College.

A former Georgia assistant deputy insurance commissioner, Lilly also has served as chairman of the board of the Charlotte division of the Richmond Federal Reserve Bank and as president of the Southern Risk and Insurance Association.

Claude C. Lilly, named president of Presbyterian College
Claude C. Lilly, named president of Presbyterian College
Lilly also has been a corporate director on numerous boards, including TIAA-CREF FSB — one of the nation’s largest financial services corporations, serving nonprofit organizations in the academic, medical, cultural, governmental and research fields.

Lilly was unanimously elected by the board of trustees to succeed John V. Griffith, who has served as president of the private, four-year college in Clinton since 1998. Lilly will assume his role of president on July 15.

“Dr. Lilly has an impressive record of leadership in both the academic and private sectors and truly embodies the PC motto of ‘Dum Vivimus Servimus — While We Live, We Serve,’” said William B. Shearer Jr., chairman of the Presbyterian College board of trustees. “With a compelling vision for academic program development and community and financial growth, he will be a dynamic, creative and decisive leader committed to a strong future for Presbyterian College.”

Presbyterian College is a Carnegie One Liberal Arts College with a new graduate School of Pharmacy.

“I am honored by the opportunity to serve as the new president of Presbyterian College and look forward to building on the outstanding foundation laid by faculty members, trustees, staff, students and alumni under the leadership of President Griffith,” Lilly said. “My wife, Fran, and I are eager to become a part of the Clinton community and a PC environment that inspires learning.”

Presbyterian College has earned a reputation as one of the leading liberal arts colleges in the Southeast, placing many of its graduates in medical and other scientific graduate schools.

Lilly has had a broad career in higher education and the private industry. His 39 years of administrative and teaching experience includes posts at Texas Tech University, the University of Southern California, Florida State University and as dean of the Belk College of Business Administration at the University of North Carolina from 1998 through 2007.

“In my opinion, Claude Lilly has the ideal background to be a successful leader at Presbyterian College,” said James Woodward, chancellor emeritus at UNC-Charlotte. “He and Fran will no doubt be welcomed warmly and become a source of pride for all who care about PC.”

Since 2007, he has served as dean of the College of Business and Behavioral Science at Clemson University. There he directed the growth of the college, accomplishing several critical tasks, including relocating the MBA, the MBA in Entrepreneurship and the M.S. programs to downtown Greenville.

"It has been a privilege to work with the outstanding leadership, particularly President Barker and Provost Helms, at Clemson University, and I will cherish many fond memories of my time there,” Lilly said.

In addition to his commitment to excellence in education and ethics in business, Lilly has served on numerous boards, including Habitat for Humanity, the Urban League, Men for Change, the Metrolina Health Initiative, and the Ruth and Billy Graham Children’s Health Center.

During his tenure in the Upstate, he has served as a board member for Greenville’s Urban League, on the board of Artisphere and as chairman of the 2012 American Heart Association Ball.

The Lillys are members of the Fort Hill Presbyterian Church; Lilly most recently completed a four-year appointment to the Presbyterian Church Board of Pensions.

A native of Georgia, Lilly earned his doctorate from Georgia State University in risk management with a minor in international finance. He received both his masters’ degree and his undergraduate degree from Georgia State University, and has studied at the Institute for Management and Leadership in Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Lilly’s wife, Fran, holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from Florida State University and has held key human resource positions including assistant vice president of human resources for First South Bank in Florida and assistant vice president of human resources at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte.

Griffith, the current president, leaves the college with a substantial list of accomplishments.

Griffith led the Presbyterian College community in a yearlong strategic planning initiative that resulted in a plan that guides the college through the first decade of the 21st century as it seeks to be the top liberal arts college in South Carolina and one of the recognized leaders in the Southeast. During his tenure, the college launched a $160 million campaign, established a doctoral program in pharmacy, recruited a Confucius Institute, and positioned the college to transition from NCAA Division II to NCAA Division I.

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