Remembering Dr. Bill Moran, Lander University’s 11th President

 Remembering Dr. Bill Moran, Lander University’s 11th President

Dr. Bill Moran

 Dr. Bill Moran – a man I’m proud to have called my friend and mentor

Former Lander University president Dr. Bill Moran died Tuesday, March 10 at Waccamaw Hospital in Murrells Inlet. He was 73. Moran served as 10th president of Lander University from 1992 to 2000 until his retirement. He was succeeded by Lander’s current president Dan Ball.

“Dr. Moran was always available to meet with students,” said vice president for student affairs Randy Bouknight, who added, “There are so many different sides to a presidency, but Dr. Moran was always putting the best interest of the university forward.”
 “Dr. Moran was a very supportive President to our staff and faculty,” said director of athletics Jeff May. “He was always interested in trying to make things better for all of us. In addition, He was also very supportive, and understood the importance of a well balanced intercollegiate athletic program.” May paused, then added, “Most importantly he was a good friend.”

“Bill Moran was a highly professional person both publicly and in private,” said Dr. Daniel Ball President of Lander University. “He carried himself with dignity and grace.”  He added, “I hope I can be as good of a steward of this university as Dr. Moran was.” 

Dr. Samrendra Singh, who served as Vice President for Academic Affairs under Dr. Moran, said “Dr. Moran was always an inspiration to me. He was also an ideal role model, both professionally and personally. He was an immense source of inspiration to many of us due to his intellect, regimented work ethic, tireless devotion to the cause of higher education, and devotion to education in general. Above all, it was due to his honestly, congeniality and humor that we drew closer to him. I will always remember him for the advice he gave us “put family first”. Honestly, a devoted father and husband he was.”   

Singh continued, “I had the privilege of working with him very closely at Lander University and then at the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research in the United Arab Emirates. Bill founded the Commission of Academic Accreditation to ensure that this little but ambitious country can offer higher education of highest quality. It was due to his honest devotion to the cause of higher education he took on this mission to the U.A.E. Bill wanted U.A.E. to become a model for those moderate Arab nations that are aspiring for the highest quality of education. It is due to his emphasis on a refined version of the “American model” of education today we see numerous colleges and universities in the moderate Arab world that are aspiring to offer education of highest quality by employing the word “American” in their names. It helps them to identify themselves to their constituents as institutions offering highest standard of education. In brief, Bill Moran was a committed and an effective ambassador of higher education that offers promising opportunities to the emerging moderate nations of the Arab world.”

Chief of Lander University Police Ray Manley stated, “Simply put, he was a great man ever ready to help out.”

Vice President for University Advancement Eleanor Teal called Dr. Moran a gentle giant. “He will be sorely missed,” she said.


Remembering Dr. William Moran by members of the Lander University community

“I remember President William Moran as a beacon of kindness, integrity, and one who trusted the faculty to give him consultative input,” said dean of the college of arts and humanities Alan MacTaggart. “It was under his administration that the Faculty Senate was first established. “ MacTaggart continued, “His son, Kevin and I were great friends.  Kevin was a volunteer assistant in the Ceramics Lab and contributed much to the art students and brought cheer to all who knew him.  I will miss Bill Moran, a brilliant and gentle scholar not being among us.”


“One thing that has always stuck out in my mind is from the first time I met him,” began Ben Vanadore Lander alum(2002). “During freshman expo they used to do a drawing of students’ names to eat dinner with Dr. Moran on the last evening of expo. When they were drawing names I had this certainty that my name would be called and if by some sort of providence it was. So one of my first Lander experiences was sitting with Lander’s president and a small group of students having an almost one on one conversation and hearing his thoughts and having him listen to ours.” Vanadore continued, “He was one of those people you could tell he was of good character by just being around him. There were several other things. His yearly visit to Baptist College Ministries was always a highlight of the year.”


“We cannot afford to lose any gentlemen.” said Lander librarian Susan Going. “And Bill Moran was the epitome of a gentleman. She added “and a gentle man. He was always very polite and kind. Both Margaret and Bill Moran made Lander feel like a big family.”  Going said she remembers telling Dr. Moran often that he must have cloned himself. “There were few if any activities that he missed – from athletics to musical and theatrical productions to lectures from guest speakers.”  She smiled and added, “He never met a stranger. He greeted every faculty, student, and staff member by name.” 


Going’s son Michael Going, a current student at Lander (and pictured above right as a child with Dr. Moran) said, “I was not a student at Lander University when Dr. Moran was the president; however, I was privileged with the opportunity to get to know him. As a young child, I would often sit with Dr. Moran at basketball games, and we began to speak with one another quite frequently. This kindness was openly offered to all students, faculty, and community members. It was difficult, even at such a young age, not to appreciate his charisma and everlasting presence. Even though he has not been the president at Lander for nearly a decade, it is difficult to think of Lander without thinking of him. I am saddened by the news of his death, but I will always remember him as the friend and mentor that he has been for me and many others.”


“I was very sad to hear that Dr. Moran had died,” began Assistant professor of Mass Communications and theatre Laura Hester.  “We all worked closely with him in University Relations and I have a lot of great memories of attending events with him and Mrs. Moran and (their son) Kevin.” She added, “As Randy Bouknight and Eleanor Teal said in today’s Index-Journal article, he was always on the sidelines of athletic events, always in the audiences of fine arts events and always out interacting with the Lander and Greenwood communities. I remember loading into vans for alumni events with Dr. Moran entertaining everyone with corny jokes. He was an intellectual who wasn’t afraid to laugh, even at himself. “


“It was 1996, began Scott Smith, Lander University collegiate minister,

 “and my wife Judy had sustained critical injuries in an auto accident. She was in the hospital in Greenville in Intensive Care.  It was late in the afternoon and we had been waiting for the doctor to come and update our family about Judy’s prognosis.  I looked up and there coming down the hallway was Dr. Moran and all of the Lander Vice Presidents.  Dr. Moran had brought each of them with him to Greenville to visit with us.  This made an impression on me that I will never forget.  Here was a busy Lander University President had taken time to come with his staff to visit.” 


Scott continued, “I will never forget Dr. Moran conducting a graduation service in December while having vision problems.  He took Clara (his administrative assistant) over to the arena to memorize the whole service so that he wouldn’t let the graduates down.  I didn’t even find this out until the next week when I went over to visit him.  I was amazed to find out that he hadn’t told anyone.  He was so concerned that everything went right that he spent a whole day making sure the graduating seniors would have a memorable day.


Dr. Moran was so loved by students that when it was announced that he was retiring a group of students came to me and asked about having a party.  Students came together and planned a party and purchased a gift. Dr. Moran was well loved by his students.


Dr. Moran could walk around campus and call many students by their first name.  He and Margaret would host many dinners for student groups in his home. Each year, I had the privilege of attending a dinner at his house with students that were religious leaders on the Lander campus.  The dinner was always a highlight for me because it was filled with great food, laughter and wonderful stories.


On occasion, Dr. Moran would be asked by different churches to speak on Sundays.  He would call my office and we would talk about his sermon or “talk” as he would call it.  He always wanted to make sure that he was sharing something that would be appropriate for the churches.  He would always laugh and say that it was fun for a Catholic University President to call to ask advice from his Baptist Minister.


I have such warm incredible memories of Bill, Margaret and Kevin Moran.  During his tenure here as President, he made Lander University a better place.  He was quick to give other people praise and he never sought recognition for himself.  There are many Lander graduates that will be finding out about the death of Bill Moran and there will be sadness, but, we will all know that our lives are richer because of our pathways crossing with his.”



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