Clinton, South Carolina – Presbyterian College welcomes three new members to the school’s board of trustees this month, according to a release Thursday afternoon by Presbyterian College.
The Rev. Dr. John C. Brearley ’81, Clinton community leader Lumus Byrd, and Laurens Mayor Nathan Senn joined the board for the trustees’ first meeting of the year on Jan. 25.
“We are profoundly grateful for the commitment these three very talented individuals have made to serve as trustees of Presbyterian College,” said PC president Dr. Anita Gustafson. “Each of them brings unique gifts and tremendous leadership to their new roles and I look forward to working with them to guide PC into a bright future.”
Brearley is the senior minister at First Presbyterian Church of Myrtle Beach and a 1981 graduate of PC. He earned his Master of Divinity from Union Presbyterian Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from Columbia Theological Seminary. In addition, he completed post-graduate study at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.
Before coming to Myrtle Beach, the Columbia native served churches in Camden, Greenville, and Elkin, N.C. He
and his wife, Tammy, enjoy spending time with their seven grandchildren. His hobbies include time at the beach, playing sports, and traveling abroad.
In recent years his congregation in Myrtle Beach has re-emphasized providing scholarship, which became the foundation for the PC Promise, a program that will serve Presbyterian students for future generations.
“Presbyterian College as always been near and dear to me,” Brearley said. “In fact, I realized early in life that PC was the school of choice for our family. My father and my uncle were graduates, as well as both of my older brothers. Some of my best memories as a child include spending wonderful hours on campus.
“When it became time for me to attend a school of higher education, Presbyterian was clearly the obvious choice. My four years on campus taught me the value of a liberal arts education, surrounded me with wonderful friendships, and solidified my call to ministry as the vocation for my life. These benefits continue to be blessings to this day. Having served as a pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA) for many years, I am now eager to share in the leadership of our
beloved college. The opportunity to become a board member is one that fits me well at this time, both personally and professionally. Today I am grateful for the call to serve in a new capacity on campus. As a trustee, I hope that my service will benefit those who continue to be shaped by the PC experience.”
Born in Clinton, Byrd is a retired businessman and community activist. A graduate of S.C. State University, he began his career in education as a science teacher at Burke High School in Charleston before joining the business world and building a long career in sales, marketing, and management.
In 1988, Byrd started his own company, Byrd Enterprises Inc., in California and acquired T&T Iron Works. Byrd was the company’s chairman and chief executive officer until he retired in 1992.
Returning home to Clinton in 1999, Byrd has served on various local and statewide boards, including the Board of Trustees of S.C. State. He is the former chair of PC’s Board of Visitors and a previous recipient of the Martha Anne Green Service to Church and College Award. In 2022, PC named Byrd an Honorary Alumnus.
“It is an honor for me to serve as a member of the board of trustees for Presbyterian College,” Byrd said. “I am looking forward to meeting and working with this administration and other board members to continue the implementation of the strategic objectives of the college.
“Presbyterian College has a long and rich history of preparing its students to become responsible citizens with successful careers throughout our country. I believe we should sustain this tradition and build upon this model.”
Senn is serving his second term as mayor of the City of Laurens. A Laurens native, he graduated with honors with a bachelor’s degree in political science. He earned his juris doctor from the Charleston School of Law and opened his own office in Charleston before returning to practice in his hometown.
A former adjunct professor at PC, Senn is an ordained ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and a former member of the session of Second Presbyterian Church in Charleston. He attends First Presbyterian Church of Laurens, where he taught an adult Sunday school class for six years. Through a course of theological studies offered at PC, Senn is in the process of becoming a commissioned ruling elder.
“As a lifelong Presbyterian, I am deeply honored to serve on the Board of Trustees of Presbyterian College,” Senn said. “The Reformed tradition, which led to the college’s founding and which defines my own faith, has long valued the role higher education plays in shaping our understanding of God, our neighbors, and all of creation. Presbyterian College’s commitment to education and service has benefitted our community for generations. It is a place where young minds are nurtured, where values are instilled, and where the pursuit of knowledge is celebrated.
“As mayor of the City of Laurens, I am encouraged by the PC’s dedication to service. I look forward to working with my new colleagues to ensure that both the college and the broader community it serves continue down their current path toward a better future. I believe strengthening these town-and-gown relationships will not only enrich the educational experience of Presbyterian College’s students, but also foster a community-wide environment where innovation, inclusivity, and progress are celebrated.”
Gustafson also thanked trustees who are moving off the board. Will Kuhne is leaving after 12 years of service, while Jill Moylan is moving off the board after six years. After nine years of service, former board chair E.G. Lassiter will move into a new role as consulting trustee for 2024.
Several former board members have agreed, as well, to serve as trustees emeriti:
G. Patrick Phillips ’71 of Charlotte, N.C.; William D. Loeble, Jr. ’65 of Mt. Pleasant, Thomas H. Milton ’72 of Greensboro, N.C., L. Thompson Lawson, III of Charlotte, N.C.