Adam Kelly, Assistant Editor
Since NGU President Gene Fant arrived at North Greenville University in June 2017, he has accelerated efforts to enhance the school’s academic programs and campus life. Even after he was inaugurated as the eighth president of NGU on April 13, his work will continue on through the years.
His charisma and passion to improve the university have moved many people as he truly believes in what he says. He has built a great rapport with many of the students and faculty through attending as many events on campus as he can. NGU’s student government association has capitalized on this by creating an event just for students. It is known as the “Fant Forum.”
Playing off of the president’s name, the event began in the fall of this school year and occurs once a semester. Students are able to have an up close and personal conversation with the president and ask any questions they have for him. The past two have gone very well and discussion is always had between president and student.
Last semester, there was a decent turnout of around 40 students who came to listen to Fant. It was a very informative session and many students wanted to have another event similar to it.
This spring, the Fant Forum was held in the president’s dining room, while coffee and desserts were offered for guests. There was less of a turnout, but the president still made the environment friendly and personable. He began with updating the crowd on plans he’s currently working on and ideas he has for the future of the school. His openness and humor resonated with the students and encouraged them to ask questions.
Before questions were asked, Fant noted that the school has had strong faculty hires this semester, adding three vice presidents in the last month. One was the vice president for advancement, who is responsible for fundraising for campus enhancement programs.
Although not in the works just yet, he also mentioned he wanted to build an auxiliary gym, separate from Younts Gymnasium, that is only for intramural sports. This way, students wouldn’t have to go to different places on campus for their respective sport.
He also talked about revamping campus ministries in the future and having a small commencement for senior athletes participating in tournaments during the weekend of graduation.
After updating everyone on what was to come for NGU, he opened the floor for questions from the students. From improving campus life to education, many of the questions most students had, were answered.
Some ideas Fant had for the future of NGU included:
- Working on growing the Greer campus and capping Tigerville's campus at around 2,000.
- Adding a “one-stop shop” for financial aid and registration needs for students rather than having them in different buildings across campus.
- Moving resident life to the fitness center and expanding the Christian ministries through these spaces.
- Taking down auxiliary houses and reserving houses for juniors and seniors.
- Adding more common areas for students, rather than just the stud.
- Creating a campus wide app for students to use. An example of a feature would be a map that shows if parking is available in a certain lot.
There were several other comments he made answering other students’ questions, but these were the biggest points he made during the night.
Although not in the near future, there are big changes happening on NGU’s campus and everyone is excited to see how Fant will make it the best that it can be. Another “Fant Forum” will be held in the fall of the upcoming year, so make sure to keep an eye out if you would like to attend.