Greenville Technical College Cuts Ribbon on a New Way of Serving Students

AUGUST 24, 2021

Greenville Technical College Cuts Ribbon on a New Way of Serving Students




         


Celebration of the Dreisbach/Anderson Student Success Center ribbon cutting.

  

 
Greenville Technical College (GTC) cut ribbon today on a new concept in student services made possible by a donation from a graduate who wanted to pay her positive experience forward. The Dreisbach/Anderson Student Success Center is located on the college’s Barton Campus and contains the offices and resources students need to enroll and succeed.

The late Dodie Anderson’s 2018 gift of $2 million helped to transform an existing building into today’s center, which welcomes, supports, and provides the tools to help people transform their lives through education. 

Enrolling at Greenville Technical College (GTC) after her children were grown, Dodie Anderson was hesitant to return to the classroom, having been told in high school that she wasn’t college material. In her first class at GTC, however, 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. After 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.

“Dodie Anderson’s exceptional generosity will allow many people in our community to do what she did: make progress toward their goals, excel with the support of caring faculty and staff, and find successful futures,” said Dr. Keith Miller, president of Greenville Technical College. “We will think of Dodie as we see students walk across the stage at Commencement, having found the resources to overcome challenges along the way.”

In selecting the building’s name, Anderson 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 $2 million gift Mrs. Anderson left to the Greenville Tech Foundation ensures that there will be other students whose life trajectory will be changed at Greenville Tech,” said Dreisbach. “That is her legacy.”

Services within the Dreisbach/Anderson Student Success Center were reimagined to eliminate physical lines and the “ping pong” experience of having to go from office to office to complete the enrollment process. Instead, students stay in place as the services they need come to them within an environment that cultivates collaboration, human connections, open communication, and creativity.

Located in the center are services that help new students get registered and ready for class including Enrollment Services, Financial Aid, the Right Start Advising Center, Placement Testing, the Bursar’s Office, Recruiting, and Veteran Student Services. The Center for Career and Professional Development helps entering students choose a career path, provides information to current students on opportunities ahead, and offers lifetime employment assistance for graduates. The Early College program helps high school students interested in getting an early start on earning college credits as they begin moving toward advanced academic goals. The Economic Development and Corporate Training Division provides customized training solutions for corporate, professional, and personal career development.

“Mom’s gift to create a student success center at Greenville Technical College gave her the opportunity to come full circle, returning to the place where she started,” said her daughter, Randi Anderson Berry. “She wanted to pay forward the love, care, and support that she and her classmate, Daniel, received there so that other students could take those first steps, find the resources to help, and meet their goals.”