Anderson University Acquires Former Duke Energy Service Center; Expands Campus Across City
Anderson, SC - Anderson University president, Dr. Evans Whitaker, announced today that the University will acquire the former Duke Energy Service Center on Murray Avenue in Anderson in a partial gift, partial sale arrangement with Duke Energy.
After expanding from 68 to 271 acres three years ago through the acquisition of the former Anderson County Fairgrounds and a property gift from the late John Pracht, the University is once again reaching beyond its historic campus to meet immediate needs and make room for future program expansion.
According to Whitaker, the 15,000 square foot building will be a permanent home for the University’s growing criminal justice programs and the creation of a criminal justice “center of excellence” in partnership with local, regional, and federal law enforcement and emergency management organizations.
Duke Energy South Carolina is proud to make this gift to the University to support efforts to grow its criminal justice programs to help train and educate future emergency services leaders for South Carolina, said Catherine Heigel, president, Duke Energy South Carolina. “This partnership will ultimately support economic development and regional quality of life by enhancing public safety and providing a hands-on laboratory for criminal justice and emergency management professionals.”
“Our vision is to bring all levels of law enforcement and emergency management into a partnership to create a true center of excellence that will be a national model,” Whitaker explained.
“We are thrilled that Duke Energy is working with us to make our region stronger. Anderson University could not have considered this initiative without Duke’s wonderful support.”
According to George Ducworth, former 10th Circuit solicitor and head of AU’s criminal justice programs, the model aims to selectively invite certain law enforcement organizations to locate some of their functions within the building or conduct certain operations from the building. Those organizations will work alongside Anderson University criminal justice faculty and students to create a “real life” laboratory for students to gain first-hand experience.
Anderson University is already viewed as a leader in the criminal justice field. Its Command College of South Carolina was established three years ago as a highly selective graduate program for South Carolina’s top law enforcement, emergency management, and homeland security leaders.
According to Ducworth, the new collaboration will essentially make AU undergraduates and graduate students alike, practicing apprentices long before they graduate and either enter or advance in their fields of service.
“We already have two serious partners committed and expect to have others interested. To our knowledge, there’s not another collaborative program in the nation quite like what we have in mind,” Ducworth said.
Anderson University is a selective comprehensive university offering bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees on campus and online. Anderson is ranked in the Top Tier of US News and World Report’s America’s Best Colleges and is on that publication’s list of the 68 “Up & Coming” universities in America. It is also ranked as one of America’s 100 Best College Buys.