LAURINBURG — From its inception, more than 50 years ago, St. Andrews has been met with enthusiasm and support from the Laurinburg/Scotland County community.
Two such supporters are Beacham and Lynn McDougald, co-chairs of the 2016 Laurinburg Area Campaign.
“St. Andrews is growing and is a big asset to the Laurinburg community,” said life-long resident and alumnus Beacham McDougald.
St. Andrews is consistently ranked one of the top five employers in the county, employing almost 200 full-time and part-time employees. That number, combined with almost 650 students, demonstrates the strong impact the campus has in the Laurinburg area, school officials said.
Through Open Houses, athletic events, regional and national equestrian events, the Scottish Heritage Symposium and Alumni Weekend, St. Andrews brings 10s of thousands of visitors to campus each year. These visitors stay in hotels, dine in restaurants, and stop at the pumps. Together this spending creates over $30 million in added regional income to the Laurinburg area, officials said.
Beacham McDougald believes, “St. Andrews keeps this area on the map.”
He said in addition to the economic impact, St. Andrews serves as a place where fourth graders learn to swim in the O’Herron Pool. Where the Chamber of Commerce holds its oyster roast. Where couples are united by the lake.
“The relationship I was able to develop with professors at St. Andrews was so unique. At other universities, I was a number on a seating chart. At St. Andrews, I was somebody,” Beacham McDougald said. “I ran into my old professor the other day, Dr. Melton, at Jerry’s Deli, and he still remembered a paper I wrote back in 1976.”
The Laurinburg Area Campaign raises more than $500,000 annually to provide vital support for the university. Over the next few weeks, resident can expect a call, visit or letter from the McDougalds or their staff of volunteers and consider the benefits of keeping a university in Scotland County.
St. Andrews University is a branch of Webber International University located at 1201 N. Scenic Highway, Babson Park, Florida