A rainy day did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm as John Anthony “Tony” Floyd, J.D., was inaugurated as Mars Hill University’s 22nd president Nov. 9.
Mars Hill University photo
Tony Floyd, the newest president for Mars Hill University, addresses the audience at his Nov. 9 inauguration.
In his address to the assembled audience, Floyd laid out his vision for the institution’s future – a vision that puts its focus squarely on its students, whom Floyd calls “his Lions.”
“I dream that I will be part of a university that will not be complacent and will try to scale new heights,” Floyd said.
“I dream about an institution that won’t just check off boxes and hand students diplomas and send them on out. I dream of an institution that will live its mission; will do what it says it’s going to do.”
Floyd used the “dream” terminology because he says he doesn’t consider himself to be a visionary, but rather someone who dreams of what Mars Hill can do and become, under his leadership.
Floyd is only the sixth president of Mars Hill University since 1897. His immediate predecessor, Dan Lunsford, was present for the inauguration, as were the past three first ladies of the institution.
Tony Floyd earned his bachelor of science degree in business management from the University of South Carolina, and his juris doctor from Campbell University. Following a 23-year career in private law practice, he joined Coker College in 2012 as vice president of administration and legal counsel, and was named executive vice president in 2015.
While at Coker, he also served as coordinator of the political science major and coordinator of the pre-law specialization.
The American Council on Education (ACE) named Floyd an ACE Fellow for 2014-15. The ACE Fellows Program provides an immersive leadership training experience to senior leaders to help prepare them for the challenges facing higher education.
He began his tenure at Mars Hill June 1.