Limestone Named “Business of the Quarter"; Community Service & Workforce Development Noted

Business of the Quarter Web

Limestone President Dr. Walt Griffin accepts Charter Business's "Business of the Quarter Award" from Ken Pelanda, Business Acct. Executive for Charter Business.

The Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors has named Limestone College Charter Business's "Business of the Quarter." Ken Pelanda, Business Account Executive for Charter Business, presented the award to Limestone President Dr. Walt Griffin on Monday, July 2nd.

"We are proud to recognize Limestone College and its wonderful family of students, faculty, and staff for the outstanding contributions it routinely makes to free enterprise and to the community as a whole," said Kayla Robbs, Executive Director of the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce. "From its educational offerings for workforce development to its abundant volunteer commitments, Limestone College is a tremendously valuable member of our business sector and our community."

In accepting the award, Dr. Griffin said "Cherokee County is our home, and we are strongly committed to the belief that we all become stronger when we work together."

Workforce Development
On July 13th, Limestone will begin offering classes for its highly anticipated Master's degree in Business Administration (MBA). The program has attracted professionals from throughout the Southeast and in various industries including criminal justice, human resources, banking, state education, home healthcare, pharmaceutical sales, and two branches of the military (US Army and Marine Corps).

Yet Limestone has always been deeply involved with improving educational opportunities in Gaffney and Cherokee County.

  • In the late 1890s, shortly after the creation of Cherokee as a separate county, Limestone administrators supported the efforts of local citizens to establish a public school system. When the new system opened its doors, every teacher was a Limestone graduate. More than a century later, Limestone provides a large percentage of teachers to Cherokee County and the Upstate.
  • In the 1970s Limestone developed a novel, accelerated approach to education for working adults. The Block Program, which has served as a national model for successful evening programs, gave working adults the opportunity to complete their baccalaureate degrees without sacrificing their jobs.
  • In 1996, Limestone secured its reputation in the medium of online learning by being at the forefront of providing courses via the Internet.

Community Involvement
In March 2012, Limestone was recognized by the Association for Promotion of Campus Activities with its inaugural Service Engagement Award. Specifically, Limestone was recognized for its Limestone CARES initiative, a herculean project spearheaded by Limestone junior Donta Ingram of Sumter. Ingram is also President of Limestone's Student Government Association.

Held during the first week of the 2011-2012 academic year, Limestone CARES featured:

  • Over 300 students, faculty, and staff packaging 62,034 hunger relief meals with Stop Hunger Now. This was the largest, meals-per-student college event in the nation. For an enrollment of 860 Day Program students, Limestone packaged 72 meals per student. By comparison, North Carolina State University—with an enrollment of approximately 35,000—packaged 100,000 meals, which is less than 3 meals per student.

  • More than 500 students and staff volunteered throughout Cherokee County. They completed painting, landscaping, and cleanup projects at every middle school, eight out of 12 elementary schools, and two churches. They also cleaned walls and stocked shelves at the local food pantry and served lunch at one soup kitchen.

During Limestone CARES, students provided well over 2,000 service hours to community and world service. Since then, teams of students have continued to answer calls for volunteers: helping with school festivals, planting trees in the Habitat neighborhood, and more.

"What is so particularly impressive about Limestone students is that they do not just say what they will provide to the local schools and organizations; rather, they reached out to the organizations asking for their individual needs and said 'we're going to provide the people and resources to fulfill those needs," said David Kelly of APCA. "This is the epitome of what a partnership between a college and the local community should be."

Charter Business, located on Pine Street in Spartanburg, has been a long time Chamber member and sponsors the quarterly award. In addition to cable services, they also offer increased Internet speed and enhanced business phone capabilities.