Advisory Panel Spotlight
Maximizing the potential of Carolina’s Promise is a team effort. The Advisory Panel was established to provide an additional resource for expertise and advisement from alumni, business and community leaders who serve as ambassadors to the community and to their own constituents in sharing of USC Upstate’s achievements and advancements.
This feature serves to highlight members of this distinguished panel.
When Carolina’s Promise: Expanding Excellence in the Upstate launched, one of the cornerstones of its foundation was utilizing the leadership and expertise of alumni, business and community leaders by forming an Advisory Panel.
Advancing the university’s mission is a primary component of Carolina’s Promise, as is securing financial resources for the university’s continued growth and leveraging those resources into positive growth and transformational impact on the community.
“You only have to look at the type and size of the industries that are coming to South Carolina and, more directly, the Upstate, to see what we must be preparing ourselves for,” said Advisory Panel member and USC Upstate alumnus Chip Smith. “They are coming because they see us as an asset and supplier of resources, namely people, which can help them achieve their short- and long-term business goals. Investing in the education of our citizens is the most important act we can individually do to help further this growth and prepare us for the future.”
In an ever-changing world, being able to adapt, adjust and advance is paramount. Methods must change, perspectives be transformed, and objectives realigned; all to channel the vision, purpose and confidence that drives meaningful growth and development.
“Adjusting your strategy to succeed is more important now than ever before,” emphasized Smith. “In a world where conditions and circumstances change in a nano-second, we all should be open to new ideas and creative methods of fundraising.”
Significant, forward-thinking steps at critical junctures allowed USC Upstate to grow from a two-year institution into a leading four-year metropolitan university. Such determination is needed now.
“As an alumnus, panel member and donor, I am proud of the legacy that’s been created at USC Upstate, but I realize it was made possible by significant investments of a generation before me,” stressed Smith. “We have passed a major plateau in the evolution and growth of our university with over 20,000 alumni, so the future is very bright at USC Upstate. As they say, ‘To whom much is given, much is expected.’ It is now our time to pay it forward.”
Milton “Chip” Smith, Jr., owner of Blue Ridge Log Cabins, is a 1978 alumnus and current vice-chair of the Spartanburg County Commission for Higher Education.