Eduardo Nieves DSC9513
Eduardo Nieves

Press Release                                                                           

Date: November 4, 2022

Contact: Lisa Garrett, lgarrett@tctc.edu

(By Lisa Garrett)

Delivering TCTC Commencement Address Is Full-Circle Moment for Alumnus Eduardo Nieves

PENDLETON, SC – For alumnus Eduardo Nieves, delivering the summer commencement address 34 years after receiving his degree was a full-circle moment.

As he looked out into the crowd, he said his mind was flooded with memories. “I was emotional and feeling very nostalgic. I remembered my graduation day and not knowing where my life was headed. It definitely was a time of reflection,” said Nieves, who is web developer for the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities at Clemson University and pastor of New Manna Church in Anderson.

As graduates’ names were called to receive their diplomas, he heard a familiar name from long ago - a daughter of one of the first families to join his church. “I gave her a thumbs up. That was confirmation of my ministry and a culmination of my work with the Hispanic community. As I said, it was a real full-circle moment.” 

Nieves believes Tri-County Technical College set the stage for success in his career and his personal life. 

Years ago, he says he never would have believed that by age 42 he would hold four college degrees – the first of which was from Tri-County. 

The son of two parents who dropped out of high school to go to work, Nieves said education wasn’t a priority in his family. His parents worked in the local mill to make ends meet and provide for their family of five. 

Despite being a 1986 Crescent High School honor graduate, it wasn’t a given that Nieves would attend college. His senior year he was accepted to three four-year colleges but finances were the barrier to admission. His entry into college was financed by a two-year scholarship he received to attend TCTC.  As a first-generation college student, he entered the university transfer program and began to pursue an Associate in Science degree.

With his eye on transferring to Clemson University, he took as many TCTC transfer classes as possible. Initially he struggled with math and writing but with the help of compassionate instructors and the tutoring center staff, he rose to the challenge.

“I learned how to take advantage of TCTC’s resources that helped me be a better college student. Those resources gave me the tools to write well, think critically and get over the obstacle of calculus. My instructors encouraged me, pushed me academically and showed me I could continue,” he said.

After graduating in 1988 Nieves transferred to Clemson University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Management Information Systems in 1992. During this time he also served in the National Guard, taking advantage of the G.I. Bill and working weekends to support his family. He accepted a position in information technology at Clemson University and has worked there for the past 30 years.

Nieves felt a call to the ministry in the late 1990s and attended Southern Wesleyan University, where he earned a master’s degree in Ministry. He earned a second master’s degree at the Pentecostal Theological Seminary six years later. In 2000 he began working as part-time youth pastor at Belton Church of God and on Father’s Day in 2004, he founded the New Manna Church in Anderson where he has served as bi-vocational pastor for the past 17 years.

He also is very active in the local Hispanic community and at age 54, 34 years after receiving his TCTC degree, he is near completion of a Ph.D. in Theology. He is conducting empirical research on the community impact of churches supporting migrant families in Greenville, S.C.

Nieves is involved in his work and his community. He is a founding executive committee member and past chair of the Clemson University Commission on Latino Affairs. He also is a member of the Anderson County Latinx Advisory Council, the Tri-County Technical College Board of Visitors, the Clemson University Council for Diversity and the Greenville County Hispanic Pastors Association.

He and his wife, Kristie, live in Anderson and have three children.

About Tri-County Technical College

Tri-County Technical College, a public two-year community and technical college serving Anderson, Oconee and Pickens Counties in South Carolina, enrolls more than 9,000 students annually and offers more than 70 major fields of study, including computer technology, industrial electronics, mechatronics, nursing, and university transfer programs. Tri-County boasts the highest student success rate among two-year colleges in the state and ranks in the top one percent nationally for successful student transfers to four-year colleges and universities. To learn more, visit tctc.edu

-30-