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A Detailed History of the South Carolina Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators

The year was 1966, and Charles Witten of the University of South Carolina was elected for the first of two terms as president of a new state-wide organization called the South Carolina Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, or SCASFAA for short. The emphasis of this newly formed organization was in creating interest from the state’s financial aid administrators in becoming members of the association. Nine individuals answered the first call, but the numbers soon grew. Annual dues were set at $2.00 and memberships were individual. The first annual meeting was held in Columbia.

In 1967-68 Charles Witten was again president, and SCASFAA had grown to nearly twenty members. A governing board was formed with a president, vice president, and secretary/treasurer. Emphasis was again on membership growth; dues remained at $2.00, and the second annual meeting was held in Columbia.

In 1968-69, Leo Kerford of South Carolina State College (now University) was elected president. Having served on the board the previous year, President Kerford continued to work on increasing membership. Records show that 31 members each paid $2.00 during this year, and that the third annual meeting was again held in Columbia.

Lynn Christian, of Furman University, became the first woman president of SCASFAA in 1969-70. Membership grew to 51. Training workshops were held in Greenville, Clinton, and Columbia. The membership voted to move the annual meeting to a different site in the state each year, so the meeting was held in Greenville.

In 1970-71, Arnold Bloss, of Clemson University, was elected as president. Membership grew to 60 and dues remained at $2.00. Training workshops were again held throughout the state, and the annual meeting was held in Charleston.

John Daniluk of Presbyterian College was elected president in 1971-72. It was in 1971 that SCASFAA became the first state to issue a “certificate of training” to those who successfully completed the training workshops. Dues were increased for the first time from $2.00 to $3.00. SCASFAA members played an active role in the development of early “Basic Grants” training materials, and the annual meeting was held at Pawley’s Island.

In 1972-73, under the leadership of Vance Hightower, of the Citadel, the sixth SCASFAA president, the association developed a “survey of Federal Funding Programs.” The survey received wide circulation on a regional level. The first SCASFAA Newsletter appeared in 1971, and dues were increased from $3.00 to $10.00. In answer to “why such a large increase,” President Hightower said, “Because of the expansion of services offered by SCASFAA to its members, the association should have a treasury sufficient to cover expenses of mailing and production of publications including the newsletter.” For the first time an annual budget for projects was developed, and the association was held accountable to the membership for the money it collected and how it was spent. The annual meeting was held in Myrtle Beach.

In 1973-74, Vance Hightower was again elected as president of SCASFAA. The newsletter was published three times during the year, and plans were made to make it a regular publication. SCASFAA became more involved with legislative activity on both a state and regional level. Dues remained at $10.00, and SCASFAA began to develop a stable financial base from which it could operate. The first annual audit was performed and showed that SCASFAA could become self-sustaining in its programs. The annual meeting was held in Columbia.

The next two years were “landmark years” in several instances. Sylvia Hudson of the University of South Carolina was elected president in both 1974-75 and 1975-76. “Certification” of financial aid officers became a reality. A “Certification Exam” was prepared and administered to aid officers seeking this professional designation. The first “Financial Aid Awareness Week” was put together under President Hudson’s leadership. The membership grew to 71, and dues remained at $10.00. The newsletter began on a regular basis and the annual meeting, which was held in Myrtle Beach, featured the first “Casino Night.” The annual meeting also featured for the first time “general sessions” for all members to attend on major topics of interest rather than specific topic sessions.

In 1976-77 “Professional Development” was the theme and Dan Franz of Baptist College of Charleston (now Charleston Southern University) was elected president. Statewide training workshops were held to help aid administrators with changing federal regulations and the growth of the Basic Educational Opportunity Grant and Supplemental Opportunity Grant programs. The “Financial Aidus Bird,” which was an early SCASFAA mascot, first appeared depicting the aid administrator of the time as “red-eyed (too much work), big hearted (love to give out money) and broke (grossly underpaid).” Times haven’t changed much. The first hardbound printed program with the sessions outlined in advance was published for the annual meeting. The site returned to the upstate, and the first of two meetings at Hickory Knob State Park was held.

Red Burnette of Newberry College was elected president for 1977-78. The theme for the year was “Management of the Financial Aid Office.” Workshops were held around the state to help aid administrators with the day-to-day problems of office management. The annual meeting returned to Hickory Knob State Park, the first annual SCASFAA Tennis Tournament was held, and the barbecue served at the banquet made a “lasting impression” . . . on some of us for days afterwards.

The 1978-79 year saw the first efforts by the Department of Education to regulate who received federal funds through a program called “Validation.” Benny Walker of Furman University was elected president, and spent most of his year in Washington trying to convince Congress to stay out of the financial aid business. Legislation was passed by Congress called the “Middle Income Student Assistance Act,” and financial aid offices were drowning in paperwork as more students than ever before became eligible for Basic Grants and other federal student aid programs. The structure of SCASFAA’s Executive Board was changed and expanded to include: President, President-Elect, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Member-at-Large. The first annual SCASFAA golf tournament was organized and the annual meeting was held on Hilton Head Island.

In 1979-80 the annual meeting returned to Hilton Head under President Martin McGirt of Midlands Technical College. The state was divided into regions with a regional coordinator that organized meetings with financial aid officers in each of the regions. “Job Location and Development” was the latest hot topic, and “Validation” continued to be an item at which we looked with a careful eye. The annual meeting featured the “Gong Show” and the first public performance of the now infamous “Mother Cluckers.”

In 1980-81 JoAnn Bolchoz of the Medical University of South Carolina was elected president. Work on “Incorporation” of SCASFAA began. The first formal “Policies and Procedures Manual” was developed and distributed to all officers. The “by-laws” were made a part of the Policy and Procedures Manual with responsibilities of each committee clearly outlined. On the national legislative scene, President Reagan repealed the “Middle Income Student Assistance Act” and the Basic Grants payment schedule was held up until nearly the start of the academic year. The annual meeting was returned to Hilton Head for the third straight year; “Casino Night” was revived, and the first “wooden” ballot box was constructed to be used for elections. Makes you wonder what ever happened to that old shoebox we used for so many years.

Marvin Carmichael of Clemson University was elected president for the 1981-82 year. The hot issues were “Automation of the Financial Aid Office” and the requirement that students receiving federal aid dollars be making “satisfactory progress.” The annual meeting featured “open forum” discussions as well as general sessions and specific topic sessions. Thanks to Palmer Freeman, the present site of the SCASFAA Annual Meeting at Springmaid Beach was discovered. The present three-day meeting format was begun.

In 1982-83 John Burns of the College of Charleston was elected president. Pictures appeared in the newsletter for the first time. “Validation” was getting more and more complicated and was a main topic at every meeting. SCASFAA became incorporated thanks to the hard work of Martin McGirt. Congressman Butler Derrick was a featured speaker at the annual meeting. Dues were increased from $10.00 to $15.00. The annual spring meeting was held again at Springmaid Beach.

Jennifer Jones-Gaddy of the South Carolina Student Loan Corporation was elected president in 1983-84. A statewide video presentation was completed to help families understand how to apply for financial aid. The current logo of the state association was adopted. A two-day “New Aid Officer” training program was held separate from the association’s fall meeting. The newsletter took on its current name of “Palmetto Pages.” Financial Aid Awareness Week billboards appeared throughout the state to call attention to this important week. The first SCASFAA “Distinguished Service Award” was presented to Senator Rembert Dennis. The annual meeting was held at Springmaid Beach.

Ray Edwards of the University of South Carolina was elected president in 1984-85. The SCASFAA Policies and Procedures Manual was updated and indexed for easy reference, and the SCASFAA Constitution was made a part of the manual. The business officers of the state’s colleges and universities were invited to join SCASFAA and to attend the annual meeting. A “Directory of Financial Aid Resources” was developed and distributed to high school guidance personnel. The SCASFAA Distinguished Service Award was presented to Governor Richard Riley. The annual meeting was held at Springmaid Beach.

In 1985-86 Mac Hubbard of Lander College (now Lander University) was elected president. The first Research Conference was planned by SCASFAA to be held in conjunction with the fall meeting in Charleston. “Integrated Verification” became the latest federal buzzword, and verification forms were produced and mailed out by nearly everyone who had anything to do with financial aid. Advertisements appeared in the newsletter for the first time to put the newsletter on a self-paid basis. Pictures returned to the newsletter as well. A newsletter for high school guidance counselors called “F.A.C.E. the Facts” was developed and featured information that would help guidance counselors better understand the student aid process. The FISAP was not part of the fall meeting for the first time. The annual meeting was held at Springmaid Beach.

Dot Carter of Erskine College was elected president in 1986-87. “Sequestration” was the newest federal buzzword, which meant that money was held up, especially in the Pell Grant Program. The “Long Range Planning Committee” was formed to help SCASFAA establish long term goals. SCASFAA hosted SASFAA in Charleston in February 1987. The annual meeting featured the “SCASFAA 20 –Year Celebration” which had actually occurred the previous October, and all the past presidents were invited back to celebrate and reflect on their years. The annual meeting was held at Springmaid Beach.

In 1987-88, Terri Phillips Ward, of the South Carolina Student Loan Corporation, was elected as president. The theme was “Vision, Visibility and Involvement.” A “Financial Planning” brochure was developed for aid officers, and the first attempt to revive the “SCASFAA Video” was made. The “F.A.C.E. the Facts” newsletter to high school guidance counselors took on a new look and was published on a regular basis. “Documentation” became the federal buzzword of the day and SCASFAA developed several generic forms to help aid administrators with the many things we were now having to document. The annual meeting was held at Springmaid Beach.

Donna Hawkins of Wofford College was elected president of 1988-89. Workshops on the new “Congressional Methodology” were held throughout the state. “Refunds and Repayments” were the latest federal buzzwords, and lenders were required to have institutional audits at schools that did a certain percent of loan volume with them. The beginnings of a handbook for high school guidance counselors were organized, and closer working relations with the state office of higher education were realized with the beginning of the “Palmetto Fellows,” “Paul Douglas,” and “Teacher Loan” programs and the Research Committee continued to work on several projects. The annual meeting was held at Springmaid Beach.

Elected as president in 1989-90 was Furman Edmonds from the University of South Carolina. The “Handbook for High School Guidance Counselors” was printed and distributed to all state high schools. Membership grew to an all-time high of 202. Workshops were held around the state on the 1990 Delivery System, and several NASFAA/SCASFAA co-sponsored workshops were held. The annual meeting featured the first ever “SCASFAA Olympics” and was again held at Springmaid Beach.

For 1990-91, Ellen Green of Charleston Southern University was elected president of SCASFAA. The year was spent getting ready for “Reauthorization” of federal student aid programs with many major changes possible. The Long Range Planning Committee worked on revising goals for the next five years (1991-1996), and automation of financial aid offices was considered a must to survive the paper work required of today’s administrator. Training was emphasized as more new people came into aid offices around the state. The annual meeting featured SCASFAA’s “25th year” celebration and was held at Springmaid Beach.

For the 1991-92 year, Ken Player of the South Carolina Student Loan Corporation served as president. Congress began to consider legislation in preparation for another Reauthorization. The fall conference was held in Charleston. Fred Hardin’s Consumer Relations Committee worked with SCETV and the office of Lt. Gov. Nick Theodore to produce a public service video announcement concerning financial aid opportunities. SCASFAA received the sad news of the passing of one of her charter members, Col. Marcus Griffin. The SCASFAA Policies and Procedures Manual received a much-needed update. A high school counselor “hot-line” was created to establish a direct link between secondary school and financial aid counselors throughout the state. A new “Vendor/Sponsor Committee” was established to help broaden our vendor support. The Spring Conference was held . . . where else . . . at Springmaid Beach. No serious injuries were reported in the annual Olympics.

Bob Godfrey of the University of South Carolina took over the reins as president for the 1992-93 year. The Reauthorization process gathered steam and gave us the Higher Education Amendments of 1992. New buzzwords in financial aid were “subsidized” and “unsubsidized.” We saw the advent of National Service. Direct Lending began making serious moves. Our colleagues in the technical colleges began the conversion from the quarter to semester academic calendar. The Professional Development Committee inaugurated the latest technical advance – Videoconference – in the state. President Godfrey developed a dual theme of involvement and commitment for the year, involvement for all, but especially for minorities and those who have never actively participated in SCASFAA. The fall conference was held in Greenville, where the Association presented its Distinguished Service Award to its “favorite Fed,” Francine Reeves. This year’s fall conference marked the first time that vendor displays appeared, and they were well received. We learned more about pro-rata refunds, and we prepared ourselves for co-payable PLUS loan checks. SCASFAA’s membership soared to more than 300. The spring conference was once again at Springmaid Beach.

Judi Gillespie of Presbyterian College became president for the 1993-94 year. The summer of ’93 saw the end of “SLS” and the beginning of unsubsidized loans. Loan applications, in terms of number of applicants and dollar amounts, soared to all-time records. The fall conference was held in Folly Beach, were we all agonized more on pro-ration issues, Direct Lending, etc. Congress passed the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993, which authorized Direct Lending to phase in up to 60% of total volume. The highly successful videoconferences were continued throughout the year. More attention was being paid to a relatively new acronym. . . SPRE. The S. C. Student Loan Corporation celebrated its 20th anniversary. The spring conference was again at Springmaid Beach. Rumor had it that the Atlanta Olympic Committee paid an unannounced visit, to see first-hand how such events should be conducted. They didn’t stay very long.

1994-95 President Billy Vandiver of the Medical University of South Carolina established a theme of “New Horizons: An Entitlement.” Aid officers throughout the state were kept frantic, processing an ever-increasing amount of FFELP/FDSLP applications. A major media blitz was organized throughout the state, when a U.S. House Budget Committee hearing was scheduled to take place in Columbia. Over 1000 people packed into Airport High School’s gymnasium to listen to what this committee was considering to do with the federal student aid program. Three “Save Student Aid” rallies were held in Clemson, Columbia and Charleston to demonstrate to the public the possible impact these proposed cuts would cause. The media was ever present at these rallies, and some of us saw ourselves on TV! A Halloween costume party highlighted the fall conference, held in Columbia, where a delightful bag lady kept everyone entertained. We saw the ESAR become the ISIR. At the spring conference in Myrtle Beach, it was announced that our own Marvin G. Carmichael had been elected the Chairman-Elect of NASFAA for the coming year. We added a new phone number to our directory: 1-800-4FED-AID, giving Francine much needed relief. Membership climbed to 345.

1995-96 saw Fred Hardin of Aiken Technical College assume the reins as president. The annual SASFAA New Aid Officer’s Summer Workshop was held at the College of Charleston. The fall conference was held in Greenville, where we heard from U. S. Congressman Bob Inglis from the Fourth District, and from a representative from U. S. Senator Fritz Hollings’ office. Videoconferences continued to be a viable medium to update and enlighten the membership. In February, SCASFAA hosted the annual SASFAA Conference on Hilton Head Island. President Fred, as Chairman of the Climate Control Committee, ensured that the weather was spectacular. A new grant was introduced in South Carolina – the Need-Based Grant. State grant funds were now going to be available to students to attend one of the public colleges. Another workshop on cash management and refunds/repayments was held in Columbia. The Spring Conference was held in the beautiful new facilities at Springmaid Beach. We were delighted and proud to learn that Governor Beasley awarded Bill Mackie of the SC Student Loan Corporation, the Order of the Palmetto, the State’s highest honor. The U.S. Olympic Committee briefly considered adding two new events: “Chubby Chicken,” and “Swing Your Thing.” The international governing body, however, did not approve this idea, even on a trial basis.

In 1996-97 Jackie Bell from the University of South Carolina became President and SCASFAA celebrated its 30th anniversary at the fall conference held in Charleston. SCASFAA’s Past Presidents, lifetime, and honorary members were invited to a special anniversary luncheon and were presented with a copy of the 30-year history. The By-Laws Committee recommended several changes to the By-Laws that made them more “politically correct” and allowed lifetime members the ability to vote. The committee also recommended over 150 changes to the Policy and Procedures Manual. Reauthorization and cash management were the buzz words and the spring conference attempted to “Unravel the Mystery of Financial Aid” and included its own murder mystery “who dunnit”. We enjoyed fellowship, dinner and dancing on a riverboat cruise up the inter-coastal waterway. Lifetime Membership in SCASFAA was awarded to Dot Carter and Terri Ward. For his outstanding achievements and contributions to financial aid, Sterling L. Smith was awarded the Distinguished Service Award.

Glenn Shumpert of the University of South Carolina in Aiken became president in 1997. The executive board recommended that the association go back to centralized training from NASFAA rather than incurring the cost of decentralized training. The training was met with success. LIFE Scholarships and the SC Tuition Savings Plan were born and a renewed focus on higher education was seen by our State’s General Assembly. The fall conference was held in Columbia and was highlighted by a general session on Project EASI, a common origination and payment process for the delivery of all types of student aid. SCASFAA submitted the High School Guidance Counselor’s Handbook on the Web to NASFAA for consideration of a NASFAA award. Winners would be announced in July. The spring conference was once again at Springmaid where Casino Night resurfaced and we again took an inter-coastal waterway riverboat cruise. President Shumpert presented Dr. Dallas Martin, NASFAA President, with SCASFAA’s Distinguished Service Award.

1998-99 saw Cheryl Hughes of the South Carolina Student Loan Corporation as President of SCASFAA. Cheryl began her tenure by accepting a NASFAA award on behalf of SCASFAA for service to constituents. Our Handbook on the Web submitted during Glenn’s presidency won! With changes in state programs as well as impending changes due to reauthorization, the fall conference theme of “Weathering the Storms of Change” seemed appropriate. The fall conference was held in Greenville and highlights included a diversity session sponsored by SCASFAA’s new Cultural Diversity Committee. Another highlight included the development of SCASFAA’s own Web page by Keith Reeves. Governor Hodges officially proclaimed February 1999 as Financial Aid Awareness Month. The spring conference was again held at Springmaid and the theme “It’s a Jungle Out There” prompted a fun jungle safari mixer and our service project collected 102 stuffed animals and 50 books which were donated to the Hospice of Georgetown County and Mercy Hospice of Horry County. During the awards luncheon Miriam Wilson was presented with Lifetime Membership and Senator Nicky Setzler and Deputy Chief of Staff to the Governor William (Billy) Boan were the recipients of the Distinguished Service Award.

Earl Mayo of the South Carolina Tuition Grants Commission assumed the presidency for 1999-2000 and “Connected the Carolinas”. The membership rose to 340 and the goal of having one full year’s operating expenses held in reserve was met. The first ever SCASFAA Leadership Symposium was held at Midlands Technical College; work began on establishing a summer internship program for high school guidance counselors; and the Communications Committee was established which encompassed the newsletter, the list serve, and the web page into one committee. The SCASFAA Mission Statement was adopted and the SCASFAA Membership Brochure was developed. A combined SCASFAA/NCASFAA Decentralized Training was held in Charlotte and the first-ever, joint SC/NC spring conference, “Connecting the Carolinas,” was held at Springmaid Beach. Highlights include three pre-conference workshops, 25 concurrent sessions and six general sessions not to mention the largest Olympic Games since those in Atlanta.

Michael Fox of the S.C. Student Loan Corporation served as president for 2000-2001. The year began with a transitional board meeting in Clemson, SC and was truly transitional with both the outgoing and the incoming boards meeting together. The Fall Conference was held in Columbia and was highlighted by the presence of SC Governor Jim Hodges who spoke to the group regarding the proposed State Lottery from which proceeds would go toward education in South Carolina. At the conference Mac Hubbard, from Lander University, was awarded Lifetime Membership in the association. In a continuing joint effort with NCASFAA, SCASFAA hosted the NASFAA decentralized training at Winthrop University. Building on the idea of the Leadership Symposium from the previous year, the Professional Development Committee hosted a Support Staff Symposium at Columbia College. In February SCASFAA once again hosted the SASFAA Conference and the membership assisted with providing an outstanding SASFAA conference on Hilton Head Island. The association’s bylaws were amended to expand the eligibility of affiliate members to chair committees and to hold elected office within the association. The Spring Conference was held at Springmaid Beach and, for the first time, registration information for the conference was available electronically through the SCASFAA web site. A High School Guidance Counselor Internship Program was approved and a pilot project with four counselors and four participating colleges was successfully implemented.

Margaret Hunt, Director of Financial Aid at Midlands Technical College, served as president for 2001-02. SCASFAA mourned with the nation at the loss of life during the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on Twin Towers in New York, the Pentagon in Washington D.C., and the downed airline in Pennsylvania. We officially celebrated the association’s 35th anniversary at the Conference Center and Inn at Clemson University during our fall conference. The conference included a pictorial history slide presentation shown throughout the reception. A brochure entitled, “The First 35 Years” was distributed at the conference as well. Jeff Davis, former Clemson and NFL football player and founder of the “Call Me Mister” program was our keynote speaker. In financial aid news the PELL Grant was increased to $4000 and Senator Buck McKeon began the FED UP project. Ed Miller, Financial Aid Director at USC started work on the Peer Support project. Governor Jim Hodges proclaimed February as Financial Awareness Month. We were saddened by the passing of Palmer Freeman on April 9, 2002. Palmer was one of the “Fearless Nine” that met to form SCASFAA and he will be missed as his legacy continues. The Spring Conference was held – where else, at Springmaid Beach and SCASFAA’s first president, Charles Whitten and his wife, joined us as we celebrated our 35th anniversary. Our charitable event included a silent auction for the Boys and Girls Club of Horry County.

Anita Kaminer Elliott, Columbia College’s Financial Aid Director, served as president for 2002-03. During her tenure SCASFAA’s membership grew to 378 strong and vendor support increased by $12,000 over the prior year. Palmetto Pages took on a new look with Neal Kiker as Editor. Eleven schools participated in the third year of the high school counselor internship program. The fall conference was held in at the Holiday Inn in Mount Pleasant and the Spring Conference was again held at Springmaid Beach. At the spring conference, SCASFAA’s Executive Board bestowed the Distinguished Service Award to David Bartnicki of the U. S. Department of Education for his service to our state as a federal trainer. Retired from the SC Student Loan Corporation, Ken Player was also awarded the Distinguished Service Award and Lifetime Membership for his service to SCASFAA, especially the budget committee. The by-laws were amended by member vote on April 6, 2003 to switch the duty of coordinator of special projects from the Member at Large to the President Elect. Anita held the transitional board meeting at the Whitney Hotel in Columbia where Margaret Hunt, Past President presented at long last a Long-Range Plan for SCASFAA.

Keith Reeves, Associate Director of Financial Aid at Clemson University, assumed the reigns as president of the association for the 2003-04 year. The fall conference, themed “The Pursuit of Excellence,” was held in Columbia and was a success under the chairmanship of Kim Jenerette. For the first time in a long time the conference committee was able to present a conference under budget. The Professional Development Committee offered NASFAA Decentralized Training, New Aid Offers Training and a Support Staff Symposium. The Peer Support Network developed by Ed Miller was completed and put into place. There were 75 “charter members” of the Network who volunteered to share their knowledge and/or expertise in over 60 subject areas. The Network’s topic areas and member contact information is housed on SCASFAA’s web page. A record 25 vendor/sponsors provided a record $46,603 to SCASFAA this year and SCASFAA’s ranks grew to 444 strong. As a result of the fiscal soundness of the Association, policies were adopted to provide travel reimbursements for committee activities. Also, a $1,000,000 general liability insurance policy was purchased to protect the Association. For the first time since 1981 the annual spring conference was NOT held at Springmaid. SCASFAA moved the site of its spring conference to north Myrtle Beach to the Ocean Dunes Resort. Former SCASFAA President and Lifetime Member, John Daniluk passed away on June 28, 2004.

Under the leadership of Betty Whalen, Director of Financial Aid at Winthrop University, SCASFAA's membership during 2004-05 grew to 475. SCAFAA was awarded the NASFAA State Award for "Service to the Financial Aid Profession". This award was based on SCASFAA's Peer Support Network, which was developed and coordinated by Dr. Ed Miller at the University of South Carolina. The Professional Development Committee provided the New Aid Officer's Workshop and the Leadership Symposium. SCASFAA had 25 vendors display exhibits at the fall conference and 26 vendors during the spring conference. And speaking of conferences - in addition to excellent sessions providing personal and professional motivation - SCASFAA first womanless beauty contest was a huge success! Our own Bob Godfrey of USC-Columbia was honored with the SASFAA Distinguished Service Award at the annual SASFAA conference.

"Making a Difference" was the theme for Nancy Garmroth, Director of Financial Aid at Spartanburg Community College, as she assumed the presidency for the 2005-06 year. Membership grew to a record 524 members! In addition to two great conferences and several training workshops, a planning calendar was posted on the web, a listserv was set up for the Executive Board; many updates were made to the P&P manual and the Bylaws were updated. The Treasurer manuals (Guidelines and Procedures for the Office the Treasurer and the Guide to Financial Management) were combined and updated; the high school counselors’ internship program was evaluated; a new membership and financial aid brochure were designed and printed and contributions were made to AASFAA & MASFAA as a result of Hurricane's Katrina and Rita. SCASFAA hosted "Paying for College" and preparations were underway for our joint conference w/ NCASFAA in the fall of 2006. SCASFAA awarded its first Student Success Scholarship to Laurn Vaughn. Laurn is a Music Education major at Southern Wesleyan University. SCASFAA also awarded the first Volunteer of the Year award to Katie Harrison of the University of South Carolina. The SCASFAA Distinguished Service Award was awarded to Bill Mackie who retired as President and CEO of the South Carolina Student Loan Corporation.

Kim Jenerette, Director of Financial Aid at USC-Upstate took the helm for 2006-07. Under Kim's leadership SCASFAA voted to add an executive position of Treasurer Elect. This addition allows for a strong transition into the duties of Treasurer. Elizabeth Milam-Lomas, Chuck Sanders and Glenn Shumpert chaired committee's that dealt directly with changes and proposals in state and federal programs. This year's Paying for College Day was hosted across the state at five locations: Southern Wesleyan University in Greenville, Coastal Carolina University, Aiken Technical College, York Technical College and the Richland County Public Library in Columbia. The SCASFAA Diversity Committee completed our theme of "Celebrating the Diversity of the Students We Serve, Part II" with a general session at the Spring Conference. The session "Don't Judge a Book by the Cover" focused on students who have succeeded in life against all odds. The Professional Development Committee began the year with HERA training, added the New Aid Officers Workshop and Guidance Counselor Training. This training series was held at four different sites across the state and provided training on completing the FAFSA, state financial aid programs and ACG, organizing and planning a successful financial aid night and a Q&A session where counselors could "Ask the FAA" general questions. A long-time SCASFAA fixture, Mrs. Clara B. Moses, Director of Financial Aid at Denmark Technical College, retired after providing 37 years of financial assistance to students.

As SCASFAA's President for 2007-08, Tabatha McAllister's (Director of Financial Aid at USC - Regional Campuses) theme for the year was "A Pause Can be Refreshing." Highlights of Tabatha's tenure included a membership fee increase to $30 effective July 1, 2008. This increase will assist with the continued success of the association. SCASFAA experienced outstanding fall and spring conferences that were well attended. A successful College Goal Sunday took place under the direction of Meg Hurt. For the first time in SCASFAA history voting took place electronically with 220 members participating in the voting process. At the spring conference SCASFAA presented 26 individuals with the Quarter of Century award for 25 years of service/ membership in the association to 26 individuals. Marvin Carmichael of Clemson University received the first Fearless Nine Award and Missy Lutz of Newberry College received the first Emerging Leader Award.

Jeff Dennis, Director of Financial Aid at Southern Wesleyan University, became SCASFAA's 2008-09 President. The downturn of the economy played havoc with state and federal budgets. State budget cuts curtailed travel for many SCASFAA members. Jeff's theme, "Year of FAFSA - Fighting After the Fierce Storm Attacks" became prophetic. But SCASFAA stayed strong and positive. We had a very successful Fall Conference held at the Spartanburg Marriott, with 135 in attendance. SCASFAA honored four of our SCASFAA members with retirement certificates. Those who have retired since the spring were recognized: Paula Edwards of USC Columbia, Tom Fulbright of Greenville Technical College, Pearl Givens of the Medical University of SC, and Donna Hawkins of Wofford College. SCASFAA also bestowed a SCASFAA Lifetime membership to Donna Hawkins who has served us so faithfully with her leadership. Unfortunately, the New Aid Officer's Workshop had to be canceled because of low registration. NASFAA Decentralized Workshop was held on December 9, 2008 at Midlands Technical College - Airport Campus and the Leadership Symposium was held on Tuesday, March 10, 2009 at The Summit Club, downtown Columbia. The 2009 SASFAA Annual Conference was held in Myrtle Beach, "Local Arrangements" for the annual SASFAA Conference are handled primarily by the host state with Nancy Garmroth and Earl Mayo serving on this year's SASFAA Conference Committee as the Local Arrangements Co-Chairs. Despite much lower-than normal attendance at the conference, SCASFAA was well represented and our members did an outstanding job of welcoming our colleagues to South Carolina. The Spring Conference "After the Storm" was held in Myrtle Beach at the Landmark Resort, where Bob Godfrey was awarded the 2009 Fearless Nine Service Award.

As economic troubles continued to plague financial aid offices throughout the state, SCASFAA’s 2009-10 President Hank Fuller (Director of Financial Aid, The Citadel) envisioned an era of “Sustainability” for SCASFAA. As an association, we found ourselves tackling changes in the federal loan programs, and continuing uncertainty regarding future funding and availability of both loans and grants.  In lieu of a fall conference, state and federal trainers provided a one-day training update during the fall, which was broadcast through the State Technical College System’s Tech-Net system to each of the state’s technical colleges. Over 100 financial aid administrators participated in this first-ever broadcast.   College Goal Sunday was held at 18 locations throughout the state, with over 900 individuals participating. SCASFAA also hosted the National Training for Counselors and Mentors (NT4CM) with over 71 guidance and TRIO counselors attending.  As the association moved away from providing two professional conferences, the 2009-10 year introduced SCASFAA’s first Annual Conference, which was held in April 2010 at the Kingston Plantation in North Myrtle Beach.  This year’s SCASFAA awards recipients were Katie Harrison (Emerging Leader) and Betty Whalen (Fearless Nine Service Award).  One of the Association’s main goals this year was to begin the documentation of our training with certificates of participation, potentially leading to Continuing Education Unit credits for our members.  All of the training programs, new aid officers workshop, conference, and leadership training this year certified specialized training hours. 

Jeff Holliday, Director of Financial Aid at Presbyterian College, led the Association as President during the 2010-11 year.  The theme for the year was “In the Middle of it All,” which not only referenced the Annual Conference being held in the middle of the state (Columbia), but more importantly described how financial aid professionals found themselves navigating exceedingly complicated and numerous changes to federal aid programs.  We were definitely “in the middle of it all” as we struggled to keep up with burdensome changes to the Pell Grant program (year-round Pell and crossover periods were fully implemented, only to be done away with the following academic year), the elimination of some federal programs (LEAP and SLEAP), and drastic cuts to other programs (SEOG and Work Study), in addition to our members assisting each other with the transition to processing all Stafford loans through the Federal Direct Loan program, as mandated by law.  Despite these significant challenges, SCASFAA completed a successful year. Some of our accomplishments included offering the College Goal South Carolina program at 19 locations throughout the state, serving over 740 individuals, and offering a new exhibitor-only level of participation for sponsors who wished to take advantage of such an opportunity.  At the Annual Conference in Columbia, Earl Mayo was presented with the Fearless Nine Service Award, while Rosalind (Stevenson) Elliott received the Emerging Leader Award.  In addition, the Association presented the first-ever SCASFAA Achiever Award to Violette Hunter, and Lifetime Membership was granted to Jacqueline Bell. 

As the rules and regulations continued to evolve, SCASFAA celebrated its 45th year by implementing a “Full Court Press to Excellence” under the leadership of President Allison Sullivan (Director of Financial Aid, University of South Carolina – Upstate) during the 2011-2012 year.  The Executive Board implemented substantial changes to the Sponsorship policy, allowing options for full and partial sponsorship opportunities, in addition to a la carte items, which allowed sponsors to choose their own level of support.  Embracing new technologies as a foundation for training, federal and state updates were provided via webinar during the year, and SCASFAA members also participated in a series of “March Madness” webinars, covering topics such as Return to Title IV administration, Business Officer Q&A, and an update on COD and Direct Loans.  College Goal South Carolina continued to be a successful endeavor, serving over 784 individuals at 17 locations throughout the state. At the Annual Conference, held at the Embassy Suites in North Charleston, Elizabeth Milam was recognized as the 2012 recipient of the Fearless Nine Service Award.  Other awardees included Donna Quick (Emerging Leader) and Jeff Dennis (Achiever).  In addition, the Association honored two non-financial aid professionals with the Distinguished Service to SCASFAA Award; State Representative Chip Limehouse and State Senator John Courson were recognized for their unyielding support of funding state scholarships and grants throughout the years, including during times of economic difficulties.  The Association also “retired the jerseys” of several members, as we bid farewell to Chris Baker, Toni Cave, Arlene Mathis, and Glenn Shumpert upon their retirements.  After the announcement was made that Kim Jenerette had accepted a Director position in Ohio, the Executive Board voted to bestow an Honorary Membership to him.  In addition, the Executive Board bestowed Lifetime Membership to Bill Whitlock, Glenn Shumpert and Bob Patton, who succumbed after a valiant fight against Parkinson’s Disease and Shay Drager syndrome in January 2012.  Other significant accomplishments and changes during the 2011-12 year included the creation of a new Communications Committee, which replaced the Newsletter Committee and incorporates the use of new, evolving technologies like blogs and social media, in addition to the Executive Board approving the use of a new website host in order to save the Association thousands of dollars annually.

Sarah Dowd, Director of Financial Aid at Tri County Technical College, became SCASFAA’s 2012-2013 President and celebrated the “Oasis” the association provides to aid administrators “wandering through the desolate landscape” of federal regulations, office budgets, and daily student issues.  Following SCASFAA’s mission to promote the advancement of financial assistance programs and provide personal and professional development opportunities that embrace sound principles, practices, and ethics in aid administration, committees established their 2012-13 goals for the year.  SCASFAA’s committees worked hard to provide training and support to all of the constituencies.  SCASFAA was well represented at various conferences and workshops throughout the year.  In July 2012 President Sarah Dowd attended the NASAFAA Annual Conference in Chicago, Illinois and in August, President-elect Katie Harrison represented SCASFAA at the SASFAA Executive Board Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia.  President –elect, Katie Harrison and Treasurer-elect, Deborah Williams attended the NASFAA Leadership Conference in Washington, DC in March.  Zita Baree, incoming SASFAA President asked Sarah Dowd to serve on the 2013-14 SASFAA Board as Chair of the Ad-hoc Technology Assessment and Implementation Committee.  In May, President Sarah Dowd visited the FASFAA conference and President-elect Katie Harrison visited the GASFAA conference to represent SCASFAA. The annual conference was held at the Greenville Marriott in Greenville, South Carolina and hosted 110 attendees.  The organization raised a total of $1,220 and 20 cellular phones for the charity ‘Cell Phones for Soldiers’.  The SCASFAA award recipients for the year were Kevin Delp (Emerging Leader), Nancy Garmroth (SCASFAA Achiever), and Ellen Green (Fearless Nine Award).

The theme for the 2013-2014 year was "Together We Serve," as President Katie Harrison (South Carolina Tuition Grants Commission) and her Executive Board discovered that upholding the mission of SCASFAA is truly a team effort and demands a mindset of servant leadership.  The Executive Officers and Committee Chairs worked diligently to provide quality training and professional development opportunities for SCASFAA members.  Vice President Kevin Delp and his committee offered two outstanding opportunities; the Fall New Aid and Intermediate Officers Workshop was held at Columbia College and provided hands-on training for 39 aid administrators, while the Leadership Symposium provided 16 mid-level professionals with knowledge and skills necessary to advance their leadership potential.  The annual conference, chaired by Kevin Perry, was held March 30th through April 2nd at the Sheraton Myrtle Beach Convention Center. Kevin and his committee did an excellent job of providing timely, diverse, and outstanding sessions, in addition to a lot of fun networking opportunities for attendees. During the conference, we welcomed a number of special guests representing the US Department of Education, NASFAA, SASFAA, and NCASFAA.  We raised $1,000 for the South Carolina Chapter of the March of Dimes. The SCASFAA Award recipients for the year were Ken Bernard (Emerging Leader), Kevin Perry (Achiever), Nancy Garmroth (Fearless Nine Award), and Justin Draeger (Distinguished Service Award).  One major accomplishment of the 2013-2014 Executive Board was the review and passage of the Long Range Plan, which was set to expire in 2014.  This task was headed up by Elizabeth Milam.  She and her committee updated the LRP with mindfulness to the mission of the Association and a focus on greater accountability. The final, and perhaps most important, highlight of the year was the creation of the Financial Planning Committee in response to the need for SCASFAA to better plan for future financial stability.  Under the leadership and tremendous hard work of Nancy Garmroth, the committee succeeded in opening a well-balanced portfolio of investment accounts. In addition to this important achievement, the committee completed a rewrite of the outdated Guide to Financial Management and also implemented quarterly financial reviews of SCASFAA records, and worked to ensure that the Treasurer and Treasurer-Elect have clear definitions of their duties and expectations concerning the financial well-being of our association.  

The goal for the 2014-2015 year was to reaffirm our mission statement through careful analysis of our activities and detailed planning. By hard work and determination, under the direction of President Kenneth Cole (University of South Carolina Lancaster), the Executive Board, Committee Chairs, and many volunteers set out to meet the goals of this detailed plan. Our community of professionals promoted the advancement of financial aid for generations of college students in South Carolina. Direct interaction with legislators by many of our members (Jenny Beakley, Elizabeth Milam, Jennifer Williams) were directly influential to the implementation of new initiatives, such as prior-prior year and year-round-LIFE. Through a collaboration with our members and sponsors, we expanded our professional development to provide excellent peer support and cutting-edge training for new and experienced financial aid professionals. Our leadership symposium brought together 18 directors and other leaders to learn about their personalized Actualized Leadership Profile. Working in conjunction with NASFAA, our Vice President (Carolyn Sparks), President-Elect (Elizabeth Milam), and our Global Issues Chair (Donna Quick) implemented NASFAA-U training, a new initiative by the national association. The Theme for our annual conference was “Get In the Zone”, a nod to our conference location, Embassy Suites Greenville Hotel and Golf Resort in Greenville, SC, and referencing the focus required to succeed in our profession. Jennifer Williams chaired the committee that provided an excellent conference with strong general sessions and quality break-out sessions for 145 members, including NASFAA-U Credentials in verification presented by Elizabeth Milam. We welcomed special guests Karen McCarthy, Senior Policy Analyst for NASFAA; Ron Day, Past NASFAA National Chair; David Bartnicki, DOE Trainer; Amy Berrier, President-Elect of SASFAA; and Dick Smelser, President-Elect of TASFAA (Tennessee). We also contributed $1550 to the Greenville Cancer Society (special thanks to Kevin Perry for coordinating this effort). Award recipients for the year were Dr. Edgar Miller (Fearless Nine Service to SCASFAA Award), April Baur (Emerging Leader Award), and Jennifer Williams (Achiever Award). We granted lifetime membership to Ellen Green, Janie Reid, and Marvin Carmichael; and honorary membership to Tamy Garofano, who had joined the Department of Education at the beginning of the year. We bade farewell to many longstanding members who retired this year: Jean Angelo (23 years), Yvette Jones (26), Dr. Edgar Miller (45), Diane Partlow (14), Paula Stribling (27), and Lisa Switzer (19). There were many other great achievements in this year, such as the reinstitution of National Training for Counselors and Mentors and the creation of a new brochure highlighting financial aid for South Carolinians; both thanks to the time and efforts of April Baur. SCASFAA remained financially sound, while still investing in the future of our members, due the efforts of Nancy Garmroth (Finance Committee Chair), Melanie Gillespie (Treasurer) and Earl Mayo (Treasurer-Elect). Many others were key to the success of SCASFAA this year and details about their service can be found in the Year-End report for 2015-2016. SCASFAA ended the year with 348 active members representing 58 South Carolina colleges and universities (out of approx. 64 in the State). 

The 2015-16 year, under the leadership of President Elizabeth Milam, marked SCASFAA’s 50th Anniversary and a year to celebrate our “Passion & Vision: Serving Students for 50 Years with Focused Passion and Fearless Vision.” In addition to paying tribute to the achievements and traditions of five decades of service to the financial aid community and the families of South Carolina, we focused on the events facing our schools and students today. SCASFAA members remained active in SASFAA, with Kenneth Cole chairing the Electronic Services Committee, Elizabeth Milam participating in the Presidents’ Exchange by attending the KASFAA fall conference, Nancy Tate accepting the well-deserved SASFAA Distinguished Service Award, and Ellen Green receiving Lifetime Membership. We mourned the loss of our chief founder, Dr. Charles Whitten, and honored him by creating and awarding the Charles Whitten Professional Development Fellowship to Julia Dennis from the Technical College of the Lowcountry. Vice President Melanie Gillespie continued SCASFAA’s strong commitment to quality training by coordinating the New Aid Officers’ Workshop, Intermediate Aid Officer’s Workshop (NASFAA U credential in Verification), and Pre-Conference Leadership Symposium for front-line staff. In an effort to improve participation and communication, Member-at-Large Nikisha Howze contacted all the institutions in the state who were currently inactive in SCASFAA, and Communications Chair Deborah Williams reintroduced the Palmetto Pages newsletter in a virtual format. On the advocacy front, Joey Derrick and Brandon Lindsey conducted legislative visits in Washington, D.C., and Bonnie Carson Durham and the CHE Advisory Committee worked with CHE on a campaign to fully utilize unspent SC Need-Based Grant funds and advocate for increased funding. SCASFAA’s special project for the year was promoting financial awareness, and President-Elect Kevin Perry coordinated a symposium on financial aid education, financial literacy, debt management, and default prevention. NASFAA also celebrated their 50th Anniversary, and SCASFAA was active in the commemorative events, including contributing to the time capsule and submitting student success stories. Our nominees, Tabatha McAllister and Samantha Hicks, were both featured in the Student Success Stories publication, and Tabatha was invited to speak at the NASFAA National Conference. SCASFAA’s Annual Conference, inspiringly chaired by SCASFAA’s unofficial historian, Katie Harrison, was a wonderful look back at our 50 years of service as well as a celebration of the bright future of our Association. Twenty-five presidents were in attendance, sharing their wisdom and memories. Several well-loved traditions were brought back as networking events, including the SCASFAA Olympics, Scavenger Hunt, and the Miss SCASFAA Pageant, during which Jeff Dennis retained his crown and sash. Our charity project for the conference was raising a $2,500 scholarship for the daughter of DePayne Middleton, who was one of the Charleston Emmanuel Nine murder victims. We were pleased to recognize the following award recipients: Emerging Leader – Kyle Phillips, SCASFAA Achiever – Katie Harrison, and Fearless Nine Service to SCASFAA Award – Tabatha McAllister. Standing at 355 members, with sound finances and vibrant leadership, SCASFAA entered its sixth decade with a renewed passion and vision for service.

As we begin a new year and a new era under new leadership, SCASFAA has proven itself to be a strong, energetic, caring, and especially adaptable association. Throughout the years, the many guests and visitors to our conferences have marveled at the cohesiveness and energy of our association. The “work hard, play hard” reputation has been well earned. With the caliber of leadership and dedication demonstrated by the executive officers, chairpersons, and the many committee members who willingly serve (sometimes more than once), SCASFAA's future promises to be even brighter.


First 24 Years:      Written by John Burns, Furman University

Years 25 – 30:      Written by Mac Hubbard, Lander University

Years 31 – 42:      Written by Cheryl Hughes, SC Student Loan Corporation                                                                                 

Years 43 – 45:      Written by Katie Harrison, SC Tuition Grants Commission

Years 46 – 48:      Written by Ellen Chiles, Clemson University and Katie Harrison, SC Tuition Grants Commission

Year 49:                Written by Kenneth Cole, University of South Carolina - Lancaster
Year 50:                Written by Elizabeth Milam, Clemson University 



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