Kourtland Haile ‘14


Name: Kourtland B. Haile

Residence: Columbia, South Carolina

Degree: Bachelor of Science, Biology

Occupation: Dentist, South Carolina Dental Center 

Kourtland Haile ‘14 says Winthrop helped force him out of his comfort zone and gave him the opportunity to find himself. 

He names joining his fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., and becoming an active leader on campus (as an Orientation leader and peer mentor) as some of the key moments that helped him push past his introversion. Eventually, he learned to open himself up to new people and new adventures.

“Winthrop allowed me to become a better version of myself because it actually cared about my development as a person,” said Haile, who graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and went on to study at the Medical University of South Carolina.

As an undergraduate student, his goals were to be well rounded, challenge his world view and have experiences outside of the classroom. Winthrop was the perfect environment for him to explore those objectives.

“Winthrop was big enough to where I could constantly meet new people but small enough that I never felt like I was just a number,” he said.

One of those new people would be Ted Jones, who intimidated Haile during their first encounter. Jones was six feet tall and had a deep, booming voice. The two would eventually develop a brotherhood that Haile describes as his most impactful experience at Winthrop.

“He was the president of my fraternity when I first joined so I really got to see a lot of sides to him. I got to see the work behind the scenes, all the failures, mistakes and mishaps that went into him being the great leader he was,” he said. “He showed me that leaders are human.”   

Today, Haile incorporates that same kind of leadership style as a first-year dentist at South Carolina Dental Center in Columbia

“I like to show my team my mistakes so that we can fix them together and learn from them together,” he said.  

For him, honesty has always been one of the major keys to finding success, both as a student and now as a medical professional.

“As I grew up, I found that things just didn't happen because I wanted them too, I had to work for them. I had to work real hard and sometimes for years to make my dreams/goals a reality. For me, I wouldn't have made it this far if I couldn't look within and be honest with myself,” Haile said.

As he looks to the future, Haile is focused on establishing himself in the dentistry field and one day having his own practice.

“Once I know I can do something, I rarely stop until I get it done,” he said.