Thomas J. Elzey sworn in as 11th president of SC State

Monday, March 03, 2014


Thomas J. Elzey The inaugural address of SC State University President Thomas J. Elzey focused on his vision of growing the university through strong leadership. Elzey delivered the address to hundreds today when SC State celebrated his inauguration as the university’s 11th president at 2 p.m. in the Smith-Hammond-Middleton Memorial Center.  The inaugural theme, “Pursuing Excellence Through Legacy and Leadership,” signifies his commitment to ensuring that the university advances, maintains its stability and excels as a preeminent land-grant university.


“I promise you that I will give you every ounce of my energy to move this university forward, to bring clarity to our purpose and mission, to meet our challenges head on and to position our university for the future while preserving the values that we cherish,” said Elzey in his inaugural address.


In the address, Elzey gave a glimpse of his vision for the university’s future, a future that adapts to emerging trends and builds on the university’s strengths.


“In the future, I envision that we will continue to evolve as technology evolves in the areas of cyber security, information technology and nanotechnology; and, we will continue to lead in teacher education to produce well-trained minority teachers to serve our communities,” he said.


Since assuming office on June 15, 2013, Elzey’s administration has already achieved several notable successes. Under his leadership, the university developed and obtained approval for two new Master of Science degree programs by the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education: energy and environmental science and bio-engineering sciences. As the university seeks to find new ways to provide financial support to many of its needs-based students, giving for scholarships has increased from the university’s foundation, alumni and individual supporters. 


A native of Chicago, Ill., President Elzey has more than 30 years of senior administrative experience.


Throughout his career, he has gained a reputation as a dynamic change agent and national leader in academia, bringing an impressive record of fiscal responsibility. Before he assumed his role as president at SC State, he served as the executive vice president for Finance, Administration and Operations at The Citadel in Charleston, S.C.


Prior to The Citadel, President Elzey was the senior vice president for finance and chief financial officer at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pa. He also served as senior vice president and chief financial officer at Howard University in Washington, DC.


He is a council member for the National Association of College and University Business Officers and a board member for the Charleston Regional Development Alliance. Elzey also serves as a member of Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz School of Public Policy and Management Dean’s Advisory Council.


Elzey earned his Bachelor of Science in economics from Bradley University and a Master of Science in management and policy from Carnegie Mellon University. He held Series 7 and 63 securities licenses.


Elzey is married to Dr. Monedia K. Elzey. They have two daughters, Briana and Tommi.