Southeastern Community College’s Minority Male Success Initiative honored the late coach and reverend Clarence Ganus for his work and impact on students during his career at SCC from June 1987 to September 2013. Ganus’ family, friends and church family were invited to a luncheon and dedication program on campus on Nov. 15 to kick off the newly named SCC IM3PACT organization.
“SCC IM3PACT was inspired by what Clarence Ganus did for the students and the community,” said Colene Faulk, SCC’s Dean of Student Services. “That great man, we honor him today at Southeastern. We are honored to be able to allow his legacy to live on not just through his children and grandchildren, but also through the men who live in this community.”
SCC IM3PACT or Inspiring Minority Males through Mentoring to Produce in Academics, Careers and Triumphs is a grant program for minority male students. Faulk said the program “works to jumpstart success by improving the pipeline to college pathway to employment for underserved and underprepared minority males in Columbus County through intentional recruiting, career exploration activities and mentoring.” Faulk explained that every college in the N.C. Community College System can apply for the grant, SCC’s grant was awarded from 2022-2026.
“He was always an advocate for young folks,” said Linda Ganus, widow to Clarence Ganus. “And they always clinged to him for his love and care. That’s all he did his whole life was work with young people. It makes my family feel really good for naming this program after him.”
Linda Ganus explained that her husband played basketball for SCC, and she was a cheerleader. As an SCC student, he was in the student government association and earned an associate degree. He transferred to UNC Pembroke to earn his bachelor’s degree in physical education. Clarence Ganus went on to become SCC’s basketball coach in 1987 after having coached at Central Middle School and Hallsboro Middle School.
“In our neighborhood, he impacted a lot of kids,” Ganus said. “Our house was the house that all the young kids came to.”
Linda Ganus said her favorite quality about Clarence was his care and love for young people. She said his legacy will not die because “there is never day that we don’t speak about him.” She said his smile and “heart of gold took him a long way.”
“This is something we’ve all had on our hearts as an institution,” said Dr. Sylvia Cox, SCC Executive Vice President. “To be able to name this in honor of Clarence Ganus is a high honor because when you name something after somebody, that means something. That means we must step up and be more like him.”
Michael Powell, a former principal, coach, teacher and mentor for Columbus County Schools, will serve as the MMSI outreach coach who will work with the county’s local high schools. Serving as mentors at SCC are Jonathan Christian-Hodges, Larry Everette and Dwayne Bryant.
See more photos from the luncheon and dedication program