USC dance professor gets high honor

A dancer whose dedication and artistic achievement have been instrumental in the growth of USC's dance program has been named a recipient of the Governor's Professor of the Year Award for 2009.

Susan G. Anderson was surprised in her classroom Friday by USC president Harris Pastides with the award, her second honor this year.

Pastides said Anderson's three decades of service to students have enriched the artistic community at the university and beyond.

"She came to Carolina at a time when the university's dance program was in its infancy," Pastides said in a statement. "She moved forward to give students her talent and time and has built a flourishing program."

Anderson spearheaded efforts to begin a bachelor's degree program in dance performance/choreography and dance education. And she initiated plans that led to the construction of the 32,000-square-foot Band and Dance Building that opened earlier this year on Sumter Street near Whaley Street.

She is the artistic director of the USC Dance Company, the USC Dance Program and the USC Dance Conservatory.

Anderson trained with the San Francisco Ballet and danced professionally with the Los Angeles Dance Theatre and Ballet Celeste of San Francisco. Most recently, she taught and choreographed at the University of Buffalo and The Gus Giordiano Dance Company in Chicago and Dresden, Germany. She has an MFA from the University of California at Irvine.

Anderson received the Michael J. Mungo Distinguished Professor Award, the university's highest award for teaching, earlier this year.

The professor of the year award is administered through the S.C. Commission on Higher Education. Since 1988, the award has gone to 35 faculty members from both public and private colleges and universities in the state.

The award will be announced officially Nov. 5, when the commission recognizes Anderson and the state's other winner of the Governor's Professor of the Year Award, along with eight Distinguished Professors of the Year.

- Staff Reports