CIU Business students meet with SC governor for advice, Q&A

November 06, 2019

By Bob Holmes

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster advised Columbia International University Business students to understand history, the Constitution and on how to be a leader.     

McMaster held a personal 30-minute Q&A in his conference room at the Statehouse with 17 students from the Principles of Leadership and Management class.

“If you don’t know the history of how we got here, you’ll never understand where you are, why things are happening and what’s going to happen next,” the governor told the students as he described historic maps in the conference room and displayed a Pre-Civil War drawing of Charleston Harbor.

On leadership, McMaster drew from his experience on the 1980s presidential campaign trail for the late Congressman Jack Kemp from whom he learned principles of leadership.

“If you’re going to be a leader, you’ve got to be a reader … at least three hours every day,” McMaster advised, saying that he wishes he would have taken up the discipline earlier in life.

“You’ve always got to be absorbing new information, and the more you understand, and the more you have a practical application, it just opens everything up to you.”

McMaster, who describes himself as a man of faith, was asked by a student what Christian values should be most evident in his line of work.

McMaster responded that a lot of people would like to “see a sermon rather than hear one.”

“I think the highest compliment someone can give you is to say, “I decided I wanted to be a Christian when I saw you do what you did,” McMaster added. “I try to live up to that.”

McMaster noted that good managers and leaders “always treat people with respect … imagine that everyone you look at has a sign around their neck that says ‘I am important.’”

After talking with the governor, the students adjourned to the Statehouse lobby where they posed with the McMaster for group photos and selfies.

As CIU sophomore Seth Moore pondered the meeting, he said he appreciated how McMaster described his approach to interpreting the Constitution for its original intent.  

“The governor follows the law the way that Christians should follow the Bible — as it was written,” said Moore, a leader with the Fellowship of Christian Professionals at CIU. “He doesn’t try to over-interpret or insert his own meaning into it.”

A little final advice from the governor included kudos for CIU.

“Take advantage of where you are,” McMaster said. “You’re in a great school. Everything I’ve heard about your school is terrific.”

Excitement is growing on the CIU campus with increased enrollment and great Business programs such as the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and new programs such as the Doctor of Ministerial LeadershipRequest information on enrollment at CIU and Columbia Biblical Seminary or call (800) 777-2227, ext. 5024