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The Board of Directors of the Laurens County Trails Association (LCTA) recently announced the election of Dr. T. Eston “Bud” Marchant as its new Executive Director.

Through his successful career in education, Marchant brings a strong background in both academics and economic development along with a wealth of leadership experience.

Marchant’s education includes a bachelor’s degree from USC; a Master’s in Education from Winthrop College; certificates from The Citadel and Harvard, and his Doctor of Education from the University of Sarasota (Fla.).

He has served at Beaufort Technical College, a director at the College of Charleston, dean at Anson and Stanly Community Colleges in North Carolina, and Vice President at Piedmont Technical College. On April 1, he will be retiring from his current role as President of Central Carolina Community College in Sanford, N.C., and will assume his LCTA role in April.

"Bud has always loved the outdoors, particularly hiking and biking," said the LCTA.

During his time in Charleston, he recognized the power of trails in economic development and served as the director of economic development for the City of Beaufort and the Executive Director of the Greater Beaufort Chamber of Commerce.

Bud and his late wife Emilie came to Laurens County over 20 years ago to run the Laurens County Higher Education Center.

He said “We fell in love with Clinton’s small town charm and culture, and very quickly decided that this was the place we wanted to be.”

In 2008 the Clinton Chronicle named him the Citizen of the Year. He has always been active in community leadership, serving as the Chairman of the Laurens County Chamber of Commerce and the United Way of Laurens County. Currently he serves as the Chairman of the Laurens County Parks and Recreation Board.

In his own words, “The Swamp Rabbit Trail is an incredible driver of economic development in the communities it passes through. Laurens County has the potential to become the ‘Green Side of Greenville’ attracting growth and new residents.”

Bud will succeed Don Walker, who has served as LCTA’s Executive Director since its inception. Don and his wife will be moving to North Carolina in the near future and, between now and then, Don and Bud will work together to ensure a smooth transition.