Student Affairs Employee Grant Scurry Retires After Career Spanning Five Decades

June 11, 2024


  • Grant Scurry started at Winthrop in the 1980s as a graduate assistant for intramurals and will retire at the end of June. 
  • He took great pride in seeing students mature during their time in college, whether they were working for him or were able to overcome difficulties. 

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA - Long-time employee Grant Scurry ’90 has been at the forefront of Winthrop University’s growth as the campus has evolved over the years.

That will come to an end on June 30 when he retires from a career that spans over five decades. 

Scurry started at Winthrop in the 1980s as a graduate assistant for intramurals. He left to work at Belmont Abbey for three years before returning to his second home in 1990 as the intramural director. 

Now an assistant dean of students and director of recreational services and West Center operations, Scurry has led the development of the West Center since it opened in 2007 in the heart of the campus. 

“What I’ll miss most is working with our student staff,” Scurry said, as well as the daily interactions with the West Center members and campus community. The West Center has between 30-40 students working to keep the facility operational with three students on duty at all times during hours of operation. 

Scurry liked to see students flourish in their jobs, especially those who didn’t have confidence in their abilities to be become a facility supervisor. “Student development is the big key,” Scurry said. “We’ve had a lot of success stories.”

Intramurals used to be very robust in the 1990s, Scurry said. When the Student Activity Center opened behind Withers/W.T.S. Building in 1997, volleyball or basketball games would start at 4 p.m. and go until 1 a.m.  “I was there for every second,” Scurry said. “I enjoyed it.”

He took great pride in seeing students mature during their time in college, particularly the ones he saw as a judicial officer who turned their lives around and then graduated. “I had to do the job, but I wanted the students to know that they had support,” Scurry said of his judicial work in the early 2000s. 

A soccer player at then-Lander College, Scurry earned a B.S. in health and physical education. He then completed a master’s degree at Winthrop in health and physical education. 

Another contribution by Scurry was submitting the proposal for the creation of the university’s disc golf course in 1992. One of the Innova disc golf owners in Rock Hill suggested the course around the Winthrop Coliseum, and Winthrop gained a new partner. The U.S. Disc Golf Tournament recently celebrated 25 years at the site in 2023 and the course is hailed as one of the premier courses in the country. 

Scurry also was the vice chair when the Staff Assembly was first formed in 2014 and then became chair.

Shelia Burkhalter, vice president for student affairs and Scurry’s supervisor, said it has been her sincere privilege to work alongside Scurry over the past six years of his 33+ year career. “Grant has been a consistently high performer at both the divisional and institutional levels, always centering the student experience, fostering collegial relationships, and achieving operational excellence and efficiency,” Burkhalter said. “We will miss him, his wildly creative Halloween costumes, and his steadfast dependability.”

Scurry oversees one of the busiest buildings on campus, the West Center, which serves as a multipurpose facility. It has classroom space, recreational areas such as four basketball or volleyball courts, a walking track, climbing wall, exercise room, racquetball courts and a pool. The center has been the site for Convocation the past two years, hosts spillover games from the Rock Hill Sports & Event Center, is the rain site for multiple events and has served as a place for choral events. “This has helped us showcase the facility,” Scurry said. 

Scurry’s time is nearing an end at Winthrop. A retirement party is planned on June 19 from 3 to 5 p.m. in 114 DiGiorgio Campus Center. 

What will Scurry do in retirement? He says he’ll cook out a lot and spend time with his wife, Nancy, a Class of 1987 graduate whom he first met in their hometown of Saluda, South Carolina, and their dog Xena, the Warrior Princess.

With Nancy still employed at Winthrop, he’s bound to occasionally return to the campus, forever his second home. 

Please pass along notes of congratulations to Scurry at

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