Mission Statement of Purpose
Anderson University is an academic community, affiliated with the South Carolina Baptist Convention, providing a challenging education grounded in the liberal arts, enhanced by professional and graduate programs and a co-curricular focus on the development of character, servant leadership, and cultural engagement. This is a diverse community that is Christ-centered, people-focused, student-oriented, quality-driven, and future-directed.
For God and humanity, Anderson University seeks to be an innovative, entrepreneurial, premier comprehensive university where liberal arts, professional studies, and graduate studies thrive within an uplifting, welcoming, and distinctively Christian community of diverse faculty, staff and students dedicated to intellectually rigorous learning, a caring and hospitable campus culture, and personal transformation.
Anderson’s vision represents a shared sense of the type of university we want to create. We are bound together as a community by this common aspiration. Values serve as guides that shape our daily actions. Everyone needs to know and understand the values of our organization; they are a guiding force in people’s hearts:
A Christian Community
The Liberal Arts
A Diverse Student Body
Anderson University’s commitment to its mission and purpose requires careful monitoring of progress toward achieving these goals. Students and other members of the campus community are expected to participate in various assessment activities. Information gathered from these assessments will enable the university to enhance its educational programs and services for future generations.
The University traces it origin to one of the first institutions of higher learning for women in the United States. The Johnson Female Seminary opened in the village of Anderson in 1848. The founder was the Reverend William B. Johnson, a Baptist minister who was the first president of the Southern Baptist Convention.
The school the Reverend Mr. Johnson founded was forced to close during the Civil War and did not reopen; but in time a new generation carried on what had been begun at that institution. A group of public-spirited citizens, desirous of having an institution of higher learning in Anderson, offered 32 acres of land and $100,000 to the South Carolina Baptist Convention at its meeting in 1910. The Convention nominated a group of trustees, and Anderson College was granted a charter in 1911 by the South Carolina General Assembly. In 1912, the college opened its doors and operated as a four-year college for women until 1930. In 1929, the South Carolina Baptist Convention approved the institution’s transition to a junior college, the first in the state. The College became a coeducational institution in 1930.
In December 1989, the Board of Trustees voted to return the College to its status as a four-year institution, beginning with the fall semester of 1991. This decision was subsequently affirmed by a unanimous vote of the General Board of the South Carolina Baptist Convention. The first four-year class since 1930 graduated in May 1993.
In October 2004, the Board of Trustees voted to begin the first graduate program. The Master in Education degree was unanimously approved by the Board and graduate students were admitted to the University beginning January 2006.
In May 2005, the Board of Trustees voted to assume university status to better reflect the quality, breadth, and maturity of the academic program and the entire institution. The name of the institution was changed to Anderson University in January 2006. This decision was also affirmed by a unanimous vote of the Executive Committee of the South Carolina Baptist Convention. On January 1, 2006, Anderson College officially became Anderson University, capping a year of unprecedented growth in both quality and quantity. The University welcomed its largest ever freshman class in the fall of 2005 (and has broken that record every year since) and was named for the first time to the top-tier of private comprehensive colleges and universities by U.S. News and World Report, a ranking it improved upon in 2008 and again in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 and 2016. In 2012, Anderson officially became a Level V university as it began its first doctoral program to compliment its masters and baccalaureate degrees. That same year, a brand new state-of-the-art School of Nursing opened with full classes of both traditional undergraduate nursing students and accelerated adult nursing students, the first of which graduated in December of 2013.
Anderson University boasts a lively campus atmosphere with dozens of organizations ranging from Baptist student groups to academic and service organizations. The University competes in NCAA Division II athletics and currently has more than 17 teams in a variety of sports including, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s tennis, baseball, volleyball, softball, cross country, and wrestling.
The year 2006 also saw the largest single building project in Anderson’s history as a new $7.5 million library was constructed, tripling the size of the previous library. In addition to badly needed additional space for the ever-expanding holdings of the previous library, the new library houses meeting rooms that are available for use by Anderson businesses and civic organizations, group study rooms, a cafe, a computer lab, a music lab, a spacious art museum, a multi-media lecture hall and late night study areas. The Thrift Library was dedicated in April of 2007 and has become a central gathering place and very popular student learning facility.
The University opened in the Fall of 2016 a 86,000 square-foot facility that eclipses even the library in scope and size. A new G. Ross Anderson, Jr. student center, more than twice the cost and size of the library, features a new dining commons, a 400-seat movie theater, a fitness center, bookstore and many other amenities while serving as the architectural anchor of the campus.
In the fall of 2007, Anderson University opened the first of five new residence halls to be constructed on land across the street from the front of campus. Four have been added since that time with the fourth and fifth halls double the size of the first three. While the new residences are modern and state-of-the-art, they are also carefully designed to blend in with and compliment the scenic Boulevard Historic District that surrounds them.
The 2008/2009 academic year was historic for the Anderson campus. Through two land acquisitions, one a gift and the other, the purchase of the former Anderson County Fairgrounds, the total acreage of the university increased from 68 acres to 271. The increased land holdings mean AU is no longer a “land-locked” campus and has abundant room for planned future growth.
The fall of 2016 marks the completion of the largest single construction project in AU history, the G. Ross Anderson Jr. Student Center. The 90,000-square-foot facility houses a brand new dining center, a fitness center, a banquet hall, a movie theater and many other offices and amenities for our students.
Anderson University’s enrollment has grown more than 100 percent since 2002 and now numbers more than 3,400 students. To maintain the same comfortable campus environment students have always enjoyed at AU, University officials continue to add state-of-the -art housing to keep pace with the growth.
The University sits on wooded land in the historic northeast section of Anderson, South Carolina. The Upstate of South Carolina, always known world-wide for its large lakes, the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains and overall scenic beauty, is now equally known for it’s growing reputation as one of the high-growth corridors in the Southeast.
The community of Anderson, having given birth to the University, has nurtured and supported the institution throughout its history. In turn, the University has provided intellectual, cultural, and recreational opportunities for the citizens of the Anderson area, and has made a significant contribution to the economy of Anderson County. The estimated economic impact of Anderson University to the local economy has been estimated to be between $80 and $100 million annually. In addition, Anderson students perform more than 15,000 hours of community service in the area each year.
The campus is in a residential section in the northeastern part of the city, within walking distance of the downtown business district, local churches, the county library, the Anderson Area Medical Center, and many other institutions and civic organizations. Nearly a hundred oaks grow on the campus, which is landscaped in a series of rising terraces, with flower bordered walks and driveways. Wisteria, dogwood, azaleas, a rose garden, and formal memorial gardens add to the natural beauty of the surroundings.
The heart of the campus is the cluster of three original buildings-the Merritt Administration Building, Denmark Hall, and Pratt Hall. Five major buildings serve the academic program of the College-the Olin D. Johnston Building; the Watkins Teaching Center; Vandiver Hall; Callie Stringer Rainey Fine Arts Center, containing Henderson Auditorium, the Gallant Art Gallery, the Homozel Mickel Daniel Recital Hall, the Belk Theatre, and the Gambrill Rehearsal Hall; and the faculty office building.
In 2007, the University completed what was then the largest single-phase building project in its history as the $7.5 million Thrift Library opened to students. The library contains over 50,000 square feet of space and features study rooms, a multimedia center, the information technology department, the Vandiver Art Gallery, meeting rooms, a music lab and a spacious computer lab.
Eight traditional style resident halls and three apartment style buildings are available for student housing: Boulevard Residence Halls; Royce, Clamp, Gaston, and Whitaker Halls, plus a newly constructed residence hall that has yet to be named. Denmark Hall, Kingsley Hall, Lawton Hall, North Rouse Hall, Pratt Hall, South Rouse Hall, Stringer Commons, and The Village Hall.
The Abney Athletic Center is home to the volleyball and basketball teams of Anderson University. On the Boulevard just south of the main campus, the large Athletic Campus includes several new athletic facilities including a brand new softball stadium, a tennis center with 8 courts, a recreational swimming pool with outdoor recreation area, both competitive and practice soccer fields, indoor softball and baseball practice, an indoor golf practice facility, and an intramural gymnasium with two full-sized basketball courts and a walking track.
The Rice Building (Anderson Central) houses financial aid and is located on Kingsley Road. The Admission Office is located adjacent to the front corner of campus across the street from the Sullivan building. Vandiver Hall, which houses the College of Business, has undergone extensive construction and now houses a State-of the Art School of Nursing.
The largest construction project in AU history is complete as the fall of 2016 marks the debut of the 90,000-square-foot G. Ross Anderson Jr. Student Center, which houses, among other things, a brand new dining center, retail food vendors such as Chick-Fil-A and Einstein’s Bagels, a fitness center, movie theater, banquet halls, a new campus bookstore, and meeting and gathering spaces for student organizations.
Anderson University academic programs are not confined to the main campus in Anderson however. AU programs can be found in Greenville, in the northern part of the state, all the way down to Charleston, in the Low Country.
Many of Anderson’s adult programs can be found at The University Center of Greenville, a consortium of South Carolina colleges and universities. Programs such as the MBA, The Graduate School of Nursing, Master of Divinity, Bachelor’s in Supply Chain Management and others can be found there. In Charleston, the Master of Criminal Justice degree is available beginning 2017 at The Low Country Graduate Center as AU’s Command College of South Carolina establishes a presence there. Finally, Anderson’s School of Public Service & Administration (formerly Criminal Justice) is housed in The Center of Excellence for Public Service and Homeland Security near the main campus in Downtown Anderson. In the C.O.E, AU’s undergraduate and graduate programs combine with the Anderson County Emergency Operations Center in a unique collaboration.
Accreditations and Affiliations
Anderson University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate, masters, educational specialist, and doctoral degrees. Anderson University also may offer credentials such as certificates and diplomas at approved degree levels. Questions about the accreditation of Anderson University may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 697-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website (www.sacscoc.org).
Policy on Substantive Change Reporting: Anderson University is committed to fulfilling all institutional obligations of its membership in the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Among these obligations is the notification requirement associated with any significant change in the University’s academic programs or mission. Anderson University has vested the responsibility for notification with the Office of the Provost. The University will provide the Commission with the requisite communication; e.g. letter of notification, prospectus, etc. in accordance with published deadlines for prior notification and/or approval.
Anderson University is accredited under the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) Standards through the CAEP Accreditation System, for a period of 7 years, from April 2015 to June 2022. Anderson University will seek accreditation under the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) Standards in Fall 2021. Formed in 2013, CAEP is the single specialized accreditor for educator preparation, and administers NCATE accreditation.
The National Association of Schools of Music, National Association of Schools of Art and Design, National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, and South Carolina State Board of Education (Teacher Education) have accredited specific programs.
Anderson University is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs to offer the following undergraduate and graduate business degrees:
Bachelor of Science Degree with a major in Business with Concentrations: Accounting, Computer Information Systems, Financial Economics, Human Resource Management, International Business, Management, Marketing
Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) and the BBA with concentrations in Computer Information Systems, Healthcare Management
Master of Business Administration (MBA)
The Organizational Leadership degree is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. It is not a business degree and is not accredited by ACBSP.
The Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing is approved by the South Carolina Board of Nursing and accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
(All documents related to Anderson University’s accreditation are available for viewing in the Office of the President.)
Anderson University also maintains affiliations with the following:
Association of American Colleges and Universities
International Association of Baptist Colleges and Schools
Council for the Advancement and Support of Education
The Council of Independent Colleges
National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities
South Carolina Association of Colleges and Universities
South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities
South Carolina College Personnel Association
North American Coalition for Christian Admissions Professionals (NACCAP)
National Association of College Admission Counseling (NACAC)
Council for Christian Colleges and Universities