Dr. Darrell Franklin Parker currently serves as the 22nd President of Limestone University. After an extensive national search, Dr. Parker officially took office at Limestone in January of 2018. 

During his tenure, Dr. Parker has developed and implemented new programs and partnerships to enhance Limestone’s status and to reposition the University to better serve the needs of South Carolina and its students. Limestone University offers a private university quality education with the career pathways students want, but at a net cost comparable to the state's regional public institutions.

Dr. Darrell Parker
Dr. Darrell Parker

Under Dr. Parker’s direction, Limestone College changed its name and moved to university status in July of 2020.

In addition to the name change to Limestone University, some of the many innovative and progressive projects realized thanks to Dr. Parker, his leadership team, and the support of the Board of Trustees, include the unveiling of a new MBA degree in Healthcare Administration, an articulation agreement with the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM) to provide Limestone students with a pathway toward a medical degree, the formation of the RN-to-BSN Nursing Program, the development of a Master of Social Work Program, the accreditation leading to a new Master of Athletic Training Degree, the establishment of the “Global Experience” study abroad program, Limestone Athletics accepting an invitation to become a member of the historic South Atlantic Conference, the opening of the Vera Jones Mitchell Finance Lab, a new student internship program with Diamond Resorts, and the construction of a new 65,000-square-foot Campus Center & Library that will be the academic and social hub of the campus when it is completed in the fall of 2021.


Other accomplishments include the creation of the on-campus Scholars Academy for exceptional academic students from the Cherokee County School District, funding and construction of the Bob Prevatte Athletic Complex through a gift from Jerry Richardson, the funding and construction of Shannon Hamrick Park and the Cunning Family Victory Bell Tower to enhance the student and community experience on campus, the addition of women’s wresting and acrobatics & tumbling intercollegiate athletic programs, the formation of the Limestone Esports Program, the addition of new minors including one for Computer Game Programming, the launch of a comprehensive multi-million-dollar fundraising campaign, unprecedented growth of Limestone’s endowment, and on-campus student enrollment growth. 

The institution is attracting increased donor support to provide endowed scholarships for deserving students with financial needs and circumstances.

Prior to Dr. Parker’s arrival at Limestone, the Buncombe County native had served since 2012 as the Dean and Professor of Economics for the College of Business at Western Carolina University. Previous appointments included serving as Dean of the Johnson College of Business and Economics at the University of South Carolina Upstate in Spartanburg and holding Distinguished Professor Endowed Chairs at Georgia Southern University and Winthrop University.

He received his bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Economics at the University of North Carolina Asheville in 1980 and then earned his master’s and doctoral degrees in Economics from Purdue University, in 1981 and 1984, respectively.

President's Cabinet

Dr. Parker with students on front campus