Spotlight – Robert S. Hayter – A Sandhills Renaissance Man

robert hayter.jpgIncredibly, over the years Robert S. Hayter has been a student, instructor and now a Trustee at Sandhills Community College. The college has served him well; likewise, he serves the college well.

“My two-year degree in Landscape Gardening in 1972 launched my career,” says Mr. Hayter, owner of The Hayter Firm, a renowned landscape architectural company located in Pinehurst. “Sandhills had the most revered two-year landscaping program in the country, producing graduates who went immediately to prestigious jobs. In fact, people with four-year degrees came to Sandhills to enroll in this program! The excellence of the program continues today.”

Mr. Hayter immediately put his degree to work creating a land development project for Walter Davis of Elizabeth City, N.C., then joining Waynesboro Landscape and Garden Center in Waynesboro, Va.

“Dr. Raymond Stone asked me to return to Sandhills as an instructor and I did, teaching full-time and going to school full time to earn my bachelor’s and master’s degrees,” said Mr. Hayter, who taught from 1974-87.

Typical of Sandhills, his students were quite diverse. “In the same classroom, I had young people right out of high school along with a retired full colonel from the Marines and every type of student in between,” he recalls. “It was my passion, purpose, and pleasure to share information with students eager to learn. These students upon graduation would often not get just entry level jobs but rather positions where they quickly became leaders.”

Mr. Hayter retired as an instructor to develop The Hayter Firm, doing business nationwide and in the Caribbean. The college selected him as Distinguished Alumni of 1996. In 2007 when the Moore County Board of Commissioners asked him to become a Trustee, he said yes, to be able to continue to impact the college. He now serves as Vice Chairman of the Board.

“Now my role is the well-being of the entire college and I am grateful and honored for the opportunity,” he says.

-“50/50” 2012

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