Baptist Collegiate Ministries of the South Carolina Baptist Convention would like to congratulate Scott Smith, Greenwood Area Collegiate Minister, for receiving an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters this week from Lander University. He is likely the first BCM Director in the country to receive an honorary doctorate at a secular university.
Serving at Lander for over three decades, Scott was awarded this honor for his “continued dedication to the University, and for his long record of loyalty and service to Lander’s students.” In his ministry, Scott works with Lander University, Piedmont Technical College, and oversees BCM programming at Erskine College. Katie Troutman, a longtime coworker and friend of Scott’s, said that Scott is “a humble servant who has been faithful to God, his family, and this ministry for decades.” Through the years, Scott has personally shared the Gospel verbally with thousands of students. He has mobilized hundreds of students to serve on mission both short-term and long-term. Even now, alumni of his ministry are scattered throughout the world proclaiming the Gospel, leading churches, and starting new churches.
Along with the honorary doctorate, there is now an endowed scholarship in Scott’s name. The Scott M. Smith Endowed Scholarship will be used for a full-time student at Lander who is involved in Lander BCM. Troutman said of Scott that he “believes in his students and helps them reach their potential.” This endowed scholarship will only continue Scott’s legacy of support for these students. Scott is known to be a frequent visitor of extracurricular events, supporting students through their athletics, art, music, and other student activities. He not only meets with students, but also with the faculty, staff, coaches, and administration. On his walks across campus, Scott is known to be a friendly face and someone who will stop and pray with you. Even now, Scott continually receives phone calls and visits from school alumni, speaking to the longstanding mentorship developed during Scott’s ministry at Lander.
It should also be acknowledged the impact that Scott’s late wife, Judy, had on his ministry. Married for 34 years, Judy passed in 2014. She was known as a prayer warrior and played a huge part in Scott’s ministry at Lander BCM. Scott and Judy have two children, Cherry and Charles, and a daughter-in-law, Chrissie, who all graduated from Lander. Scott also continues his faith-filled ministry with twin grandchildren, Micah and Charleigh.
When Scott was told by Dr. Rich Cosentino, current President of Lander, about his award, Scott’s eyes filled with tears. Scott was extremely surprised by the honor. He said that his mother always wanted him to get a PhD, and he knew that his parents and family would be so proud of the accolade he would receive. Chad Stillwell, Director of SCBC Collegiate Ministries, said that “after 40 years of campus ministry, Scott’s commitment to sharing the Gospel is as strong as ever. He has been and continues to exemplify what it means to be a faithful witness of Christ.” Scott’s award and continued commitment to Baptist Collegiate Ministries and to Lander University speak to more than one school and one BCM. This honor represents the impact for BCM directors on campuses everywhere and of the incredible impact that BCM and its leaders have in the lives of the students they work with and the campuses they tirelessly serve day after day.