University of South Carolina

Dance professor named Governorís Professor of the Year

A dancer whose dedication and artistic achievement have been instrumental in the growth of the University of South Carolina’s dance program has been named a recipient of the Governor’s Professor of the Year Award for 2009.

Susan E. Anderson was notified Friday (Oct. 23) by University President Harris Pastides of the award, the second honor she has earned this year.

Pastides said Anderson’s three decades of service to students have enriched the artistic community at the university and beyond.

The university’s expression of cultural creativity is as important as its commitment to technology and economic development, and Susan Anderson has played a leadership role in the university’s arts initiatives,” Pastides said.

“She came to Carolina at a time when the university’s dance program was in its infancy. She moved forward to give students her talent and time and has built a flourishing program that has shaped the lives of young people throughout South Carolina and the nation and has changed the artistic landscape in our community.

“She is highly regarded among educators for her ability to create performance opportunities for students by bringing guest choreographers and stars of the most prestigious dance companies in the world to Carolina,” Pastides said.

Anderson joined the university’s faculty in 1975 and has devoted more than three decades to developing dance at Carolina. Under her leadership, the university’s dance program has grown three-fold. She spearheaded efforts to begin a bachelor’s degree program in dance performance/choreography and dance education and initiated plans that led to the construction of the 32,000-square-foot Band and Dance Building that opened earlier this year.

Anderson is the artistic director of the USC Dance Company, the USC Dance Program and the USC Dance Conservatory and is artistic director of the organizations.

The prestigious award is administered through the S.C. Commission on Higher Education. Since its inception in 1988, the award has gone to 35 faculty members from both public and private colleges and universities in the state.

“We cannot overstate the positive impact an engaged, passionate professor has on the lives of his or her students,” said Ken Wingate, chairman of the S.C. Commission on Higher Education. “Professor Anderson is one of those once-in-a-lifetime instructors. Her success in the classroom and in the professional dance community is remarkable.”

The award will be announced officially Nov. 5 when the CHE recognizes the two Governor’s Professor of the Year award winners, along with eight Distinguished Professors of the Year.

Anderson is director of the S.C. Summer Dance Conservatory and a member of the USC Dance Board. A co-founder of the S.C. Summer Dance Institute, Anderson has performed and trained with prominent dance companies in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles, as well as Russia and Italy. Among her numerous honors is the Michael J. Mungo Distinguished Professor Award, the university’s highest award for teaching, which she received earlier this year.

Under Anderson’s direction, the university’s dance program has been supported by the S.C. Arts Commission, the Knight Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Cultural Council of Richland and Lexington counties.

Visit to learn more about the university’s dance program and performances.

Governor’s Professor of the Year Award

  • What: Award administered through S.C. Commission on Higher Education since 1988
  • Who: Susan G. Anderson, longtime dance instructor and advocate for the performing arts, joins list of 35 previous recipients

By Office of Media Relations

Posted: 10/23/09 @ 12:00 AM | Updated: 11/06/09 @ 2:35 PM | Permalink