Lander University has been providing educational and cultural opportunities since its founding in 1872 as Williamston Female College in Williamston, S.C. The college moved to Greenwood, S.C., in 1904 and was renamed Lander in honor of its founder, Samuel Lander. It became part of the state system of higher education in 1973. Lander is now a coeducational, state-assisted, comprehensive, regional, four-year university with traditional liberal arts and science programs, and professional programs in business, education and nursing.
The city of Greenwood has a population of 23,000 with a county population exceeding 66,000. Greenwood is located in the Piedmont of western South Carolina, just 2-4 hours from the beautiful South Carolina beaches or the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Lander is situated on a wooded site of approximately 123 acres. In addition to six major buildings erected since 1973, campus improvements have included extensive renovations to a number of older facilities, new housing complexes, athletics fields and parking lots. Lander looks to the future with a new 10-year Campus Master Plan, introduced in 2003.
Enrollment is approximately 3,000 with a student body representing 23 states and 16 foreign countries. Minorities make up 25 percent of the student body; 67 percent of the student body is female and 33 percent is male. Campus residence halls accommodate approximately 1,100 students.
Lander has a student/faculty ratio of 14:1 with 137 full-time faculty members, the majority of whom hold terminal degrees in their areas. Average class size is 19.
More than 80 areas of undergraduate study are offered, as well as a Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) with a concentration in art and a Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Montessori Education. Students benefit from the flexibility of online courses and distance learning. Three programs are offered completely online: the R.N. to B.S.N. completion option, the criminal justice management bachelor’s degree and the health care management certificate. Through a consortium of public and private institutions, Lander offers courses and programs at the University Center of Greenville. Lander offers bachelor's degrees in Criminal Justice Management, sociology, sociology with an emphasis in criminal justice, psychology with an emphasis in counseling, and political science with an emphasis in public administration.
The College of Business and Public Affairs enrolls the largest number of undergraduate majors followed by the College of Education. Lander has an exceptionally strong science program, and more than 90 percent of those applying to medical school in recent years have been accepted. Students in Lander’s engineering dual degree program have a 100 percent acceptance rate at Clemson University. A leader in Montessori education in South Carolina, Lander is the only public university in the state offering a program leading to Montessori certification and one of two publicly funded universities in the nation to do so.
Lander is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097, Telephone number 404-679-4501) to award bachelor's and master's level degrees. All but one of its academic programs, for which there is an accrediting body, are accredited.
Varsity athletic teams have reaped honors at district and national levels, including 12 national championships in men’s tennis. A member of the NCAA Division II, Lander plays in the Peach Belt Conference and fields teams in men’s and women’s basketball, soccer and tennis; men’s baseball and golf; and women’s cross country, softball and volleyball. Lander also offers club sports that include equestrian, ultimate disc, rugby and volleyball teams, and it has an intramural program open to sports enthusiasts of all abilities.