Memoirs of an NGU president: Q&A with NGU's former president Dr. Jimmy Epting

Graphic by Ethan Sullivan

Graphic by Ethan Sullivan

Biding farewell to their beloved president, this summer North Greenville University says goodbye to Dr. Jimmy Epting. Epting opened his home and his heart to answer questions conducted by The Vision Magazine's Alex Kern, about NGU, his personal life and future plans. 

What is your fondest memory at NGU?

“After one year of being here, they brought me the financial sheet, and it showed we were in the positive.” He said seeing that sheet showed the progress they’d made when one year earlier, they had been near closing the school.

What aspect of being president are you going to miss most?

“Hugging my students. Watching my students in plays or playing music, attending cultural events. Anything involved with students I already miss.”

If you could meet Jesus face to face right now, what is the first question you’d ask Him?

“Let’s go walk on the water together. I love reading about the crystal clear water in heaven, and I’d like to have enough faith to walk on the water with him. So my first question would be: ‘When are we going to walk on the water?’ My second question would be: ‘Why are there mosquitos in the world?’”

What do you look forward to doing now that you don’t have to work so much anymore?

“I look forward to being with my grandkids more and doing more of what I want to do with my schedule rather than what my job calls for in my schedule.”

Do you plan on staying in the area?

“Yes, we plan on it until God lets us know what to do next. I’m hoping the Lord has one more good challenge for me. If that means hanging out with grandkids, that’s fine with me!”

Where do you hope to see the school in 10 years?

“I hope to see the school having 3,500 to 4,000 students on campus, another 3,000 to 4,000 online, and I hope to see more students’ lives changed and more students serving. I’d like to see Tigerville turn into a little town with specialty restaurants and shops. I want people to come to Downtown Tigerville instead of Downtown Greenville. I’d like to see NGU offer more majors and programs, such as a medical school and a law school. In 10 years, I’d like to see our athletics go into Division 1 and play in national championships. I’d like to have our own television station. I’d like to see every academic area and program move to the next level.”

Out of all the stories and encouraging words the students, faculty and staff have heard from you over the years, what do you want to stick with them the most?

“The good Lord can do anything without us. The key to it all is to make yourself available. Realize it isn’t about you; it’s about God. If you have enough faith, you can move mountains.”

If you were to go into space for 10 years, what 3 things would you bring with you?

“I would bring my Bible, Mountain Dew and photos or videos of family or NGU, something that would remind me of my memories and loved ones.”

What is your dream vacation?

“I would like to travel to the most popular spots in the U.S. and see all the states.”

What is something about you that might surprise people?

“I like country music, and I really like Blake Shelton.”

If you could have dinner with any celebrity, who would you choose?

“Blake Shelton.”

How do you want to be remembered?

“He was always interested in seeing one more life saved, one more life changed. It has always been about one more. Just one more.”