Spartanburg County Commission for Higher Education Recognizes John Perry for Long, Distinguished Career

February 14, 2018 at 10:01 am

Chip Smith, left, congratulates John Perry for his contributions and service to the Spartanburg County Commission for Higher Education.

The Spartanburg County Commission for Higher Education awarded its Distinguished Service Award to John Perry, executive director of university boards and public affairs at the University of South Carolina Upstate on Feb. 8 in recognition of his long and distinguished career of service to the University, characterized by exceptional dedication to the work at hand and to the institution.

“John has long served the Spartanburg County Commission for Higher Education, the University of South Carolina Upstate, and the Upstate region,” said Commission Chairman Thomas R. Young III. “We are most appreciative of John’s accomplishments and contributions, which have made significant impact. John played an important role in acquiring additional acreage for the campus and in its physical development as well as forging vital relationships with governmental officials.”

Perry is retiring at the end of February after more than 20 years of service.  He most recently served as staff liaison to the Spartanburg County Commission for Higher Education and chaired its Governmental Affairs Committee. Perry also served as the governmental affairs officer for USC Upstate where, as an insightful government relations strategist, he built and managed relationships with local, state and federal officials. Additionally, Perry performed lobbying activities in Columbia and worked with the Spartanburg County Delegation for the past 17 years.

The Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) awarded its 2014 Circle of Excellence Gold Award to Perry for the “Parity for Students of USC Upstate, USC Aiken and USC Beaufort” advocacy campaign.

He was hired by USC Upstate in 2001 as the vice chancellor for advancement where he served as its chief advancement officer and the executive director of the Carolina Piedmont Foundation. Perry successfully lead two capital campaigns, directed the purchase and acquisition of approximately 60 additional acres the main Spartanburg campus, and directed the limited liability companies responsible for building the Palmetto House, the University’s first residence hall, and the George Dean Johnson, Jr. College of Business and Economics in downtown Spartanburg.

Perry earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Presbyterian College where he served as the head football coach from 1991 to 1996. He recently served as president of the Rotary Club of Spartanburg. A Rotarian for more than 25 years, Perry has also served as president-elect, board member and membership chair.