Hood Seminary sets out on event-packed graduation week

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 15, 2017

SALISBURY — Hood Theological Seminary will celebrate its 16th commencement on Saturday, May 20 at 10:30 a.m. in Varick Auditorium on the Livingstone College campus. President Vergel Lattimore announced that Paul V. Fant, Sr. will deliver the address.

“Paul Fant’s outstanding leadership in corporate America, stellar role in community service, significant and extended contributions to higher education, and deep spiritual convictions confirm him as an individual who can offer a uniquely inspiring and relevant message to our community learning,” Lattimore said.

Fant is a native of Charlotte and a graduate of North Carolina State University with a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering. He started his professional career with Duke Energy in Seneca, S.C., at the Oconee Nuclear Station and later joined South Carolina Electric and Gas (SCANA) in Columbia, S.C. He has served in a variety of leadership positions with SCANA in both Charleston and Columbia during his 36-year tenure, including senior vice-president and president and chief operating officer of Carolina Gas Transmission, one of their subsidiaries. In all he has more than 39 years of experience working in the utility industry. Fant currently serves as president of Fant Consulting, LLC.

Fant has taken his community involvement seriously. His past board service includes the Strategic Advisory Group of South Carolina Research Authority, and the United Way of the Midlands, where he served as board chair. He has also served as campaign chair and has been a member of the Alexis de Tocqueville Society of United Way since 2000. He is a past board chair of the Palmetto Health Foundation, the Columbia Urban League and Claflin University. Before the end of his term as board chair of Claflin University in 2015, he led a successful $105 million capital campaign.

Fant is a board member of the Columbia Museum of Art. He also serves on the Community Advisory Board of BB&T, and on the Community Advisory Council for the President of the University of South Carolina. In 2016, the United Way of South Carolina recognized him as Humanitarian of the Year.

Fant is a member of the board for the African Missions Association affiliated with his church, the International Churches of Christ, and is a deacon at the Columbia Church of Christ.

Events leading up to graduation begin on Thursday evening, May 18, with the Thirteenth Annual Bishop James Walker Hood Donor and Scholar Recognition Dinner. A traditional part of this event is the presentation of the Bishop’s Award which honors individuals, couples or organizations who have made significant contributions to Hood, the community and to humankind.

The Milestone Luncheon on Friday, May 19, is a reunion of alumni who come together to celebrate their graduation five, 10, 15, 20 and 25 years ago. Another traditional event is the Senior Barbecue Friday evening to honor the graduates.

Also on Friday, the Honors Awards and Closing Convocation will begin at 7 p.m. in Varick Auditorium on the campus of Livingstone College. This program begins with an academic procession of the graduates and the faculty. During the ceremony, master’s degree recipients will be hooded in preparation for their graduation the following morning and honors and awards will be presented.

Hood Theological Seminary, located at 1810 Lutheran Synod Drive, is a graduate and professional school where intellectual discourse, Christian maturity and ministerial preparation occur in tandem within the framework of a community of faith. Many denominations are currently represented in its student body. Accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada, the Seminary is sponsored by the A.M.E. Zion Church and approved by the University Senate of the United Methodist Church.