Glenn F. McConnell

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Glenn McConnell
22nd President of the College of Charleston
Assumed office
July 1, 2014
Preceded by P. George Benson
89th Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina
In office
March 13, 2012 – June 18, 2014
Governor Nikki Haley
Preceded by Ken Ard
Succeeded by J. Yancey McGill
Member of the South Carolina Senate
from the 41st district
In office
January 3, 1981 – March 13, 2012
Succeeded by Walter Hundley
Personal details
Born (1947-12-11) December 11, 1947 (age 70)
Charleston, South Carolina,
Political party Republican
Alma mater College of Charleston
University of South Carolina,
Website Official website

Glenn Fant McConnell (born December 11, 1947) is the president of the College of Charleston. He assumed the office in July 2014.

He was the 89th Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina from March 13, 2012 to June 18, 2014. He also had been a member of the South Carolina Senate, representing the 41st District from 1981 to March 13, 2012, when he ascended to the office of lieutenant governor, as he was the incumbent Senate President Pro Tempore.[1] The office of lieutenant governor had become vacant because of the resignation of Ken Ard on March 9, 2012 due to his indictment by a state Grand Jury for ethics violations.[2] On March 22, 2014, he was chosen as the 22nd president of the College of Charleston, a selection which was criticized by some of the students, faculty, and community due to his support for the Confederate flag and a widely circulated photo of him dressed as a Civil War general.[3]

Early life, education, and early career[edit]

McConnell was born in 1947 in Charleston, South Carolina, to the late Samuel W. McConnell and the late Evelyn McDaniel McConnell. He is a lifelong resident of the city and graduated from St Paul's High School in 1965. He attended the College of Charleston. While there, he was active in the Alpha Chapter of the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity, served in student government, and was elected president of the student body. He graduated with a B.S. in 1969 and a J.D. from University of South Carolina School of Law in 1972.

He first served as a staff attorney with the Charleston City Legal Assistance Program. He became a Labor Management Relations Specialist with the Charleston Naval Shipyard and afterwards went into private practice. He retired from law to manage his family business, CSA Galleries.[4] This business operated for over 20 years and was known to specialize in Civil War memorabilia.[5] He is also a Co-Owner of The Wild House LTD.

Early political career[edit]

McConnell served as chairman for county Republican Party from 1978 to 1982. He was a delegate at the Republican National Convention in 1980, 1984, and 1988.

South Carolina Senate (1981-2012)[edit]


He was first elected to South Carolina's 41st Senate District in 1980, and has been re-elected every four years until his last re-election in 2008. He was rarely challenged by a Democrat.[6]


Party leadership

McConnell was the Senate President Pro Tempore from 2001 to 2012


McConnell was one of several South Carolina politicians credited with playing a key role in getting Boeing Co. to announce plans to build a 787 Dreamliner assembly plant in North Charleston, S.C. in October 2009.

After the deal was finalized, it was unclear how much the company was to receive in incentives. Initial figures valued the incentives package offered to Boeing at $450 million.[7] Analysis by the Post and Courier newspaper reported it was unclear at that time exactly how much incentive money the company will receive. The Post and Courier newspaper report estimated Boeing could receive more than $900 million incentives.[7]

Confederate flag

Lt. Governor McConnell is a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Secession Camp #4.[8] The Sons of Confederate Veterans were charged in 1906 by Lt. General Stephen Dill Lee, Commander General of the United Confederate Veterans, with "the vindication of the cause for which we fought."[9]

During a 1999 appearance on ABC News' Nightline,[10] then-Senator McConnell made the following statements about the flag:

  • I see honor, courage, valor. I see the red, white and blue and the blood of sacrifice that ran through that battle and the people that carried that flag. I don't see black and white. I don't see racism.
  • It hurts us to see groups like the Klan holding that flag. You want to talk about a sick feeling? Our group, our historical groups, we are disgusted when we see it. But we're equally disgusted and sickened by the political rhetoric and people say it's an emblem of racism, it's an emblem of hate, it's shameful and all of this. How do they think we feel when it's the emblem of our ancestors? They hurt our feelings.
  • We will teach generations to come about the honor of these people and if they are going to choose the road of trying to stereotype us as racists and as hate mongers, then we are forever divided.

In 2000, when the Confederate flag was brought down from atop the dome of the State House, Senator McConnell successfully advocated for flying another Confederate flag from a flagpole in the front of the Statehouse, on the grounds, near the Confederate Soldier Monument.[11] He rejected the suggestion that the Confederate flag be placed in a glass case by saying, "Encasement represents entombment," and by saying that he wanted "no part in symbolically burying the Confederate banner."[12] The resulting bill that was passed in 2000 was called a compromise.[13]

After the 2015 shooting at a historically black church, McConnell condemned the shooter's motives, in which he said that he does not represent the Confederate flag or the South. He also supported the decision of Governor Nikki Haley to remove the Confederate flag from the South Carolina State House.

Committee assignments[edit]

  • Senate Rules Committee (previous chairman)
  • Senate Judiciary Committee (chairman)[4]
  • Senate Banking and Insurance Committee
  • Senate Ethics Committee
  • Senate Interstate Cooperation Committee
  • Senate Labor, Commerce, and Industry Committee

Lieutenant governor (2012–14)[edit]

Incumbent Republican Lieutenant Governor Ken Ard resigned his position in March 2012 because of ethics violations. The State Senate President Pro Tempore becomes the lieutenant governor when the position becomes vacant, leading to McConnell resigning his senate seat to become the lieutenant governor. On June 18, 2014, McConnell resigned his position as lieutenant governor to become president of the College of Charleston on July 1, 2014.

Appointment as president of the College of Charleston[edit]

McConnell applied for the presidency of the College of Charleston on January 13, 2014.[14] There were over 100 applicants. McConnell was offered the position by the Board of Trustees and accepted, becoming the college's 22nd President.[15][16]

Presidency of the College of Charleston[edit]

McConnell assumed the presidency of his alma mater in July 2014. He is a former student body president at the College of Charleston, where he earned his undergraduate B.S. degree in political science in 1969. He has an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the College of Charleston as well as other honorary degrees.[17]


External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
John Drummond
President pro tempore of the South Carolina Senate
Succeeded by
John Courson
Preceded by
Ken Ard
Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina
Succeeded by
J. Yancey McGill