About the President
Glenn McConnell is the 22nd president of the College of Charleston. He became president on July 1, 2014.
A native of Charleston, S.C., and a distinguished alumnus of the College of Charleston, McConnell served more than 30 years in the South Carolina Senate. He is regarded as one of the most respected, influential, and effective leaders in state government.
He was first elected to the South Carolina Senate in 1980 and went on to serve in several key leadership posts, including Chairman of the Rules Committee and Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. In 2001, he was elected the first Republican President Pro Tempore of the South Carolina Senate by a bipartisan vote. During his legislative career, McConnell earned a reputation as a skilled parliamentarian and mediator able to forge political compromises between opposing sides and bring people together. As the incumbent Senate President Pro Tempore, he ascended to the office of Lieutenant Governor on March 13, 2012 upon the resignation of former Lieutenant Governor Ard and vacancy of the office.
Though Lieutenant Governor McConnell personally wished to remain in his Senate seat, his strong commitment to the State Constitution and public service made it impossible for him to remain in his influential seat as Senate President Pro Tempore and Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Honoring his oath of office and upholding the State Constitution, he took over the part-time position of Lieutenant Governor and head of the Lieutenant Governor's Office on Aging. As chief advocate for seniors and adults with disabilities, his work with aging programs has received recognition and awards, both statewide and nationally.
Throughout his years of service in the South Carolina General Assembly, McConnell was selected by his colleagues to spearhead efforts recognizing the state’s diversity, history, and culture. To that end, he served as chairman of the African-American History Monument Commission. Unveiled in 2001 on the grounds of South Carolina Statehouse, the monument depicts African-Americans’ struggle for freedom and civil rights and their many contributions to the state and nation. As chairman of the South Carolina Hunley Commission, McConnell has been instrumental in the recovery and ongoing restoration of the H. L. Hunley, the first submarine in history to engage and sink a warship.
McConnell also has long been a driving force behind economic development initiatives in South Carolina. On behalf of the State of South Carolina, he played a leading role in negotiations that resulted in the Boeing Company’s decision in 2010 to build a 787 Dreamliner assembly plant in North Charleston, S.C. In addition, he sought to advance technological innovation and entrepreneurship in South Carolina by supporting strategic partnerships between the private and public sectors. One such initiative resulted in the establishment of the Clemson University Restoration Institute, which includes the world’s largest wind-turbine drivetrain testing facility and conducts research into alternative sources of energy.
McConnell is the son of the late Samuel W. McConnell and the late Evelyn McDaniel McConnell. He was born in Charleston, S.C, on December 11, 1947, and attended Charleston area public schools.
As an undergraduate student at the College of Charleston, McConnell served as Student Body President and as a member of the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity. He earned a bachelor's degree in political science in 1969. He went on to earn a Juris Doctorate from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1972 and was admitted to the South Carolina Bar that same year. He holds honorary degrees from the College of Charleston, the University of Charleston, the Citadel Military College of South Carolina, Francis Marion University, and the Medical University of South Carolina. The McConnell Residence Hall on the College of Charleston campus is named in his honor. McConnell was also a recipient of The Founders Medal, the highest award bestowed by the College.