One of the largest gifts in Greenville Tech's history creates Student Success Center

NOVEMBER 29, 2018

One of the largest gifts in Greenville Tech's history creates Student Success Center



Left to Right: Les Gardner, Greenville Tech Foundation; Nancy Anderson (daughter of Dodie); Dodie Anderson; Randi Berry (daughter of Dodie); Dr. Keith Miller, President, Greenville Technical College


A graduate's gift to the Greenville Tech Foundation is intended to help others succeed as she did. Dodie Anderson's gift of $2 million will help to transform a building on Greenville Technical College's Barton Campus into a center where students will find the resources and services to enroll and succeed. The Dreisbach/Anderson Student Success Center is intended to welcome, support, and provide the tools to help people transform their lives through education.

Enrolling at Greenville Technical College (GTC) as an adult, Dodie Anderson was hesitant to return to the classroom, having been told in high school that college wasn't for her. In her first class at GTC, she found support from a history instructor, Dr. Norm Raiford, who built her confidence and showed her that she belonged on a college campus after all, that she could achieve, and that she could set her sights even higher. Earning an associate degree at GTC in 1979, Anderson moved on to what was then USC Spartanburg where she completed a bachelor's degree. The knowledge she gained allowed Dodie and her husband, Bob, to grow their plywood manufacturing company into Anderson Hardwood Flooring, a well-known name in flooring products and services that they eventually sold to a competitor.

In selecting the building's name, Anderson has honored a Greenville Tech classmate. Dr. Daniel Dreisbach enrolled at GTC in the late seventies. The son of missionaries, he was short on resources to pay for college, working nights at the hospital as an orderly and studying during the day. With the education and support he received at GTC, he began to dream upon graduating in 1980 and decided on a next step of earning a bachelor's degree. Beyond that, he began to consider earning a graduate or law degree, yet he knew that he would only be able to participate fully in his education if he freed himself of some of his financial constraints. So he researched scholarships and came up with a list that included the Rhodes Scholarship. Dr. Keller Freeman, one of his GTC instructors, encouraged him to apply. As a result, he became the only graduate from the South Carolina Technical College System ever to achieve the Rhodes Scholarship honor. He completed a doctor of philosophy degree at the University of Oxford and a law degree at the University of Virginia, becoming a professor at American University and a nationally recognized expert on First Amendment law.

The Dreisbach/Anderson Student Success Center will house enrollment services including admissions and financial aid to help students begin their educational journeys. It will also include anything a student needs to move forward, overcome barriers, and excel including tutoring, academic coaching, counseling, veterans support, and more. Renovations to the building that will become the Dreisbach/Anderson Student Success Center are expected to begin in summer 2019, and hopes are to open the center in summer 2020.

"Though Dodie Anderson has been supportive of education across South Carolina, she has always referred to Greenville Technical College as her college," said Dr. Keith Miller, president of Greenville Technical College. "Her gift, honoring a classmate who also built a foundation for a very successful career on our campus, is especially meaningful to us as it shows that anything is possible by starting at Greenville Technical College."

"It is important to me to help students know that they can achieve anything they wish with the right help. In the Dreisbach/Anderson Student Success Center, they will receive what I did - support that will allow them to believe in themselves, to achieve their goals, and to continue to set the bar higher," said Dodie Anderson. "My goal is to pay it forward and to honor those who achieved alongside me as well as those who made it possible."

A formal gift announcement and press conference was held on November 28, 2018, at which the speakers included Dodie and Dr. Daniel Dreisbach. The video link is below.