CSU Magazine - The Hunter Years 1984-2018

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VOL .2 8 • N O.1



1984-2018 PAGE


School Ties PAGE




On the cover: President and Mrs. Jairy C. Hunter Jr. photo by Cameron Watkins ’15



features 4 32 40 41 43

The Hunter Years: CSU pays tribute to Jairy Hunter’s years as president, 1984-2018. School Ties – Class Notes, Baby Bucs, profiles of alumni and more Nursing alum Karrie Powell returns to the Lowcountry as chief nursing officer at Summerville Med. Urban, a street ministry run by students, is meeting needs in downtown Charleston. CSU students introduce Mayan middle schoolers in a Guatemalan village to virtual reality.

MISSION Promoting Academic Excellence in a Christian Environment

VISION To be a Christian university nationally recognized for integrating faith in learning, leading and serving

FOUNDING PRINCIPLE Snow blanketed the campus the first week of January, shutting down the Lowcountry for several days. Photo by Daniel Grummer

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. - Matthew 28:19-20




from the president

Dear Friends, At the end of May, I will transition from my role as President of Charleston Southern University to President Emeritus and Professor of Business. In this new role, I will be available to the university for executive coaching, consulting, fundraising, and teaching in the College of Business graduate program. Since I arrived at CSU in 1984, 14,700 students have graduated. I am grateful that thousands of students received an excellent education in a Christian environment. I cannot think of a better way to have spent the best years of my professional career. My dream continues to be fulfilled as students discover God’s will for their lives at CSU. During my time at CSU, enrollment has grown from 1,600 to 3,600. The area surrounding our campus has expanded significantly during this time. The population of the Charleston region in 1984 was 473,000. Today, the population of the region is 744,000. According to the Charleston Regional Development Alliance, the population of the Charleston region is growing three times faster than the national average. The university continues to respond to marketplace demands by implementing new undergraduate, graduate and online academic programs in health sciences, cybersecurity, business, human resources, education and STEMrelated disciplines. This economic growth has allowed the university to establish numerous partnerships which provide student scholarships, experiential learning opportunities, internships and employment to CSU students and alumni. My wife, Sissy, and I are filled with gratitude when we look back on our time at CSU. The many people we have met through the years continue to encourage us. We will always be grateful for the opportunities we had and look forward with anticipation to CSU’s continued success. Charleston Southern is a family, and we appreciate everyone who has and continues to make a positive impact on the university: • Our students fill the campus each semester with energy and excitement. We love each and every one of our students and will continue to pray for their success and well-being. I feel confident the excellent education that CSU students receive will benefit them greatly throughout their lives. • Our student-athletes, student government leaders and Student Leadership Academy participants have built a solid foundation for leadership development for future generations. • Our administrators, faculty, staff and coaches are some of the best people with whom I have ever worked. Their dedication to being Christian role models for our students is inspiring and commendable. • Our alumni are impacting the world in which they live as they practice the lessons learned reflected in CSU’s vision of integrating faith in learning, leading and serving. • Our Board of Trustees, alumni, donors, South Carolina Baptists, Board of Visitors, Women’s Council, Buc Club members and other friends continue to provide scholarship funds essential for our students to pursue their education. Sissy and I are humbled with what God has accomplished during our time at CSU. We will always be thankful for our loyal supporters and friends. As we reflect on our precious years at CSU and the future, we invite you to join us in proclaiming the words of gratitude that Paul shares in Philippians 4:4, “Rejoice in the LORD always. I will say it again: Rejoice!”


Jairy C. Hunter Jr.


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Spring 2018, vol.28 no.1





volume 28 number 1 Spring 2018

EDITORIAL STAFF: Jan Joslin ’82, Editor, Director of Publications Richard Esposito, Director of Integrated Marketing Jenna Johnson, Assistant Director of Integrated Marketing Jon Merkling, Graphic Designer Warren Peper ’74, Internal Communications Coordinator

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Kimberly Baggs Holly Fisher Seth Montgomery

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS: Seth Friend ’19 Daniel Grummer

contents SCHOOL TIES

32 34 35 35 35 36

Class Notes Baby Bucs Alumni Award Nominations HIS Radio Contest In Memory On The Road: Chicago

Cameron Watkins ’15 Brianna Woods ’19

CSU Magazine is published three times a year by the office of marketing and communication for alumni and friends of Charleston Southern University. Address changes should be sent to development@csuniv.edu To contact CSU Magazine, email: magazine@csuniv.edu Charlestonsouthern.edu

Design and layout by:


38 Facilities Update 41 Grace Clark at NCAA 41 Urban Street Ministry 42 Computer Science Projects 43 VR in Guatemala 44 AFROTC Scholarship Winners 45 2017 Hall of Fame Class 46 Personnel Update 48 Teaching Fellows Largest Class


Printed by:

© 2018 Charleston Southern University

Spring 2018, vol.28 no.1

Correction: In the “Sokol Serves Bread of Life in Africa” article in the fall 2017 issue, Turkana, Kenya, was incorrectly identified as being in the Gobi desert. We apologize for the error.

CSU magazine 3


HUNTER YEARS 1 9 8 4 - 2 0 1 8

This issue of CSU Magazine features the legacy of President Jairy C. Hunter Jr. The 34 years he and his wife, Sissy, have served at Charleston Southern University have been ones of significant change and growth. We offer the highlights of their service within these pages.

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pon leaving Baptist College after interviewing in 1984, Sissy Hunter said, “I remember looking back at the Chapel, still under construction, and feeling as though we were leaving a child. It was then that I turned to Jairy and told him that I truly believed it was right for us to make this college our home. “I remember thinking during Jairy’s interview how the job description read as though it was written directly from his resume. That feeling grew stronger, and so did the feeling that we were being called here,” she said. Those early years were filled with question marks and uncertainty. It was a time of regaining the public’s trust, of long days and nights on the road raising money, and working with faculty, students, alumni, staff and coaches to put the university on the path of success it enjoys today. Reflecting on those early days, Hunter said, “When I first came to CSU, the future of the institution was uncertain. I remember the day when I gave my inaugural address saying, I have a vision of an institution on the threshold of a great future. “Our achievements are a direct result of prayer, God’s grace, strategic planning, exemplary leadership of our trustees, generous financial support of our friends, outstanding teaching and advising by our faculty and the extra efforts of key administrators, staff and coaches,” he said. Hunter was forced to make some difficult decisions in those early days. Budgets had to be balanced. Huge debts had to be restructured and relationships mended. Prayer and hard work were the watchwords of those days. Like any good leader, Hunter met the institution’s problems head on. He developed a three-phase strategic plan. “First, we had to survive. Next, we had to stabilize, and then we began to strive for excellence,” said Hunter. The university moved through the phases between 1984 and 1999. Today, CSU’s integrated strategic planning process is recognized as a model planning process for institutions of higher education. Hunter found his purpose at CSU. “I honestly did not realize at the time I was hired that the Lord had been preparing me through various academic and business experiences to serve in Christian higher education. However, as years passed, it became evident that serving as president of Charleston Southern University was God’s will for me. What a joy it is to find your calling and love what you do!”

“He is a motivator, an encourager, a visionary, a take-charge leader, and a great friend who loves his family and our Lord Jesus Christ.” Dick and Harriet Furman

6 CSU magazine

Furman is a retired vascular surgeon. He is cofounder of World Medical Mission, the medical arm of Samaritan’s Purse, and has been on the board of Samaritan’s Purse.

Spring 2018, vol.28 no.1

Since Dr. Hunter came to Charleston Southern, CSU has become the largest private, accredited university in South Carolina. Dr. Hunter’s visionary leadership, tireless dedication and unwavering commitment to CSU has helped transform it for the better. As an alumnus of Charleston Southern, it has been amazing to watch all of the work he has done for the past 34 years to shape CSU into what it is today. Congratulations, Dr. Hunter!

“As a lifelong learner, I truly

Tim Scott ’88 United States Senator

me, he has experience with

treasure the time I have

spent under Dr. Hunter’s

tutelage. His wisdom and

expertise are far-reaching. I

find that every time I discuss a situation that is new to

that issue. His advice and willingness to continue teaching all the senior “Dr. Hunter made CSU feel like home by welcoming me with open arms and a loving heart. His support, encouragement and uplifting spirit is unmatched, and his zest for life is an inspiration for all who meet him. I will be forever grateful for the blessing he has been during my college career. Dr. Hunter is and always will be the epitome of Charleston Southern University: faith, growth and neverending hope.”

officers is truly a valuable resource for CSU. I truly

have enjoyed the challenges Dr. Hunter has given me!” Dr. Jackie Fish

CSU Vice President for Academic Affairs

Anna Dyer Senior, psychology major Hurricane, W.Va.

facing page top to bottom: Kandie Smith tries her glasses on Dr. Hunter. President and Mrs. Hunter welcome Dr. John Hamrick, the first president of the university, and his wife, Jane, to the 2004 President’s Club Dinner. President and Mrs. Hunter greet guests at a campus function.

clockwise from top: President Hunter congratulates Senator Tim Scott ’88 and his mother, after presenting Scott with an honorary doctorate at graduation. Scott was guest speaker at commencement. The Hunters’ children and grandchildren join them in cutting the ribbon for the Jairy C. and Carolyn K. Hunter Center in 2014. President and Mrs. Hunter welcome students at the annual President’s Luau on move-in day.

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CSU magazine 7

Milestones 1984-2018:

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• In June, 1984, Dr. Jairy C Hunter Jr. assumed the role of President of the Baptist College at Charleston.

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• Started a club football program, BS in Nursing in 1994 and a marching band. • Reaffirmation of accreditation by SACSCOC.

• In 1984, initiated integrated strategic planning process. • Board of Visitors Scholarship Program established. The group of distinguished individuals provides financial resources and assists with student scholarships, recruitment and placement. • Ministers Advisory Council and the Women’s Council established. • The cross country team captured the first championship for CSU in the newly formed Big South Conference. • CSU among the first in the region to require computer literacy of every student as a requirement for graduation. • In 1986, Dr. Hunter was inaugurated as president. Greg Horton, chair of the Board of Trustees, said, “Today as a mantle of leadership is placed upon you, a new chapter in the Baptist College story begins. It begins in a period that is fraught with hazard in the field of Christian education, yet filled with great opportunity. We believe that with your vision, your faith and foresight matched by your experience, wisdom and ability that with God’s guidance you will lead Baptist College to great heights of accomplishment.”

• In 1990, achieved university status and implemented a name change to Charleston Southern University. A national marketing firm assisted the trustees and administration in determining the direction the school should take for the 21st century. After having been known as Baptist College at Charleston for 26 years, marketing research showed that university rather than college status was the key. A task force was formed to recommend to the South Carolina Baptist Convention to approve the new name of Charleston Southern University. • In 1991, Club football moved to NCAA Division III. • The university was named to America’s Best College Buys in 1998. • Charleston Southern University Alumni Association Scholarship established. • The institution was reclassified from a baccalaureate (Liberal Arts) II institution to a Master’s (Comprehensive) II institution in the Carnegie classification of institutions. • Named by the John Templeton Foundation to its Honor Roll of Character Building Colleges, one of only 111 institutions from 32 states chosen for this honor out of 900 candidates.

• Initiated the Alpha Chi Honor Society. • Offered first online course. • Expanded the Presidential Scholars program. • Added intramural sports for men and women. • Began the Values and Ethics Lecture Series, focusing on business, corporate and environmental concerns.

• In 1997, the Horton School of Music was established through a $1 million gift from the family of former Board of Trustees member, the late Dr. Gregory Horton. • Named for the second time to the Templeton Foundation’s Honor Roll of Character Building Colleges.

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“As a leader, Dr. Hunter has an amazing ability to get more out of his team members than they think is originally possible. Raising everyone’s expectations for achievement and not settling for the status quo has taken the institution to a higher level of operation and attainment. His focus on exceeding goals and not just meeting them has been a key to his success and that of the university.” David Baggs CSU Vice President for Development The football team watches for “Coach Hunter” to give the winning play from the sidelines.

• Football moved from NCAA Division III to Division 1-AA status. • More than $1 million invested in technology for a new campuswide computer system.

• CSU’s Air Force ROTC program was honored as the best small detachment unit in the Southeast region four times since 2000. Detachment 772 was named 2007 Right of Line Award winner as the best small AFROTC detachment nationwide in 2008.

• A significant increase in freshman retention was largely attributed to the ongoing programs of the Student Success Center.

• In 2016, CSU’s Air Force ROTC program moved from a two-year program to a four-year program.

• CSU became a host site for MFuge, a summer missions camp sponsored by LifeWay. Approximately 3,000 youth come to the campus each summer to participate in mission projects throughout the Lowcountry.

• Hunter was named 2016 Distinguished Business Officer by the National Association of College and University Business Officers. He was one of the first chief business officers in higher education to matriculate to the presidency of a university.

• Named to America’s Best Christian Colleges in 2004. CSU has been named to this list every year since.

• R. Keith Summey ’69, mayor of the City of North Charleston, declared July 15, 2009, Dr. Jairy and Sissy Hunter Day in North Charleston. • Dr. Hunter was awarded the Order of the Palmetto, the highest civilian honor in the state of South Carolina, recognizing a lifetime of achievements and contributions to the state, in September 2009. • CSU was named a Military Friendly School. The honor ranks CSU in the top 15 percent of all colleges, universities and trade schools nationwide.

Spring 2018, vol.28 no.1

Charles King, senior vice president for administration and finance at James Madison University, said, “He is a proven leader as a chief business officer and a university president. His knowledge of higher education administration and his unique ability to relate his own experiences has inspired hundreds of business professionals to excel in their university positions.” Dr. Hunter reflected on the lessons he has learned as president. “Trust is the foundation of leadership, and those who serve on your team are paramount to success. Leadership in higher education requires integrity, commitment and transparency. Leaders must cast the vision of the university, establish priorities and secure the resources required to move forward. Leaders must be change agents because change is inevitable. Understanding different cultures is essential to building relationships. Along the way, good leaders make a positive impact in the lives of others and in the organizations where they serve.”

5,304 luncheons and dinners hosted

31 Operated

years in the black over last 32 years

Air Force ROTC Detachment 772 named 2007 Right of Line Award winner as best small AFROTC detachment in U.S.

In 2008, a national study places CSU in

TOP 10% of universities for value added education

“Dr. Hunter has always

had the perspective of a business leader. He has

led innovative initiatives

emulated by other Business Officers. Many in higher

education credit Dr. Hunter and his business acumen

for CSU’s current financial trajectory.”

J.B. Farley president

Washburn University

CSU magazine 9

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Senator Chip Campsen presents the Order of the Palmetto to President Hunter Sept. 9, 2009. The Order of the Palmetto is the highest civilian honor in South Carolina.

Career Highlights: • Charleston Southern University received zero recommendations in 2016 for reaffirmation of accreditation from Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) • Commissioner, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) • Chair, Numerous Accreditation Visiting Teams for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) • Institutional Effectiveness Reader, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) • Financial Reader, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) • Presenter, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) - Institutional Effectiveness - Integrated Strategic Planning, Budgeting and Assessment - Policy & Administration Roles of CEO & Board Members - Board of Trustees’ Role in the Accreditation Process - Business & Finance Metrics for Accreditation • Consultant, Colleges and Universities on Warning and Probation with Accreditation Associations • Consultant, Colleges and Universities, Integrated Strategic Planning, Budgeting and Assessment • Chair, NCAA Certification Visiting Teams • Adjunct Professor, University of South Carolina • Adjunct Professor, Executive MBA Program, Texas A&M University, • Feature Story, “Portrait of a Leader,” University Business Magazine, October 2017

Educational Background:

• Duke University, PhD in Educational Administration • Appalachian State University, MA in Economics and Business • Appalachian State University, MA in Student Personnel • Appalachian State University, BS in Economics and Business • Wingate University, AA in Business

Higher Ed Experience: • Charleston Southern University, 1984-present - President - Professor of Business Management • University of North Carolina Wilmington, 1978-1984 - Vice Chancellor for Development - Vice Chancellor for Business - Associate Professor of Accounting & Management - Secretary of University Endowment - Treasurer of Foundation • Broward Community College, 1977-1978 - Vice President for Administration - Treasurer of Foundation • Appalachian State University, 1972-1977 - Chair of Institutional Studies, Planning & Assessment - Director of Residence Life - Director of Student Services - Director of Cooperative Programs - Assistant Professor of Business & Education • Blue Ridge Community College, 1970-1972 - Chief Business Officer - Acting Chair of the Business Department

• National Distinguished Business Officer Award, the National Association of Colleges and Universities (NACUBO), July 2016 • “Distinguished Alumnus of the Year,” Wingate University • “Distinguished Alumnus of the Year,” Appalachian State University • Order of the Palmetto, Highest Honor Presented by the Governor of South Carolina • President, South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (SCICU) • President, International Association of Baptist Colleges and Universities (IABCU) • President, Big South Athletic Conference • Faculty, Snowmass Strategic Management Institute for Provosts and Presidents, Snowmass, Colorado • Faculty, College Business Management Institute, University of Kentucky • Faculty, Western Association of College and Universities Business Officers, University of California, Santa Barbara • Board, National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU) • Board, Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) • Board, Bank of America • Board, Jenzabar Software Corporation • Board, Charleston Symphony • Board, Trident United Way • Board, Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce • Board, Economic Leadership Council, Charleston Regional Development Alliance • Board, Deacon and Sunday School Teacher at Summerville Baptist Church

Spring 2018, vol.28 no.1

Endowment increased from $ 800,000 to




Tribute from the Board of Trustees

Enrollment increased from 1,600 to


It is always difficult for so many when retirement comes. Apart from professional relationships, we develop a personal and emotional bond such as our Board of Trustees has with Jairy Hunter. Above all, his service has been one of professionalism and sheer dedication. As president, you have always been an excellent team player and handled each and every situation with a positive attitude and maintained integrity and discipline for the university. Your 34-years tenure brought hope when despair surrounded us, and for that we will always be grateful. You served with dedication and honesty. The Board of Trustees, professors, and staff respect you for your timely support when needed by us. There are no adequate words to fully express your sincerity with us. Certainly we are sad you are retiring as president but thrilled you will remain a part of us as professor and mentor. During your tenure, our university has witnessed numerous turbulent situations. You have ensured a sound solution to each problem with your dedication, discipline, and hard work. We are therefore grateful for all your dedication and are left with no words for adequate appreciation. It is obvious you have enjoyed being here as much as we enjoyed you and our beloved Sissy. Jairy, you led us to a more solid spiritual and financial footing, while upgrading facilities, programs, and the university stature nationwide. I would be remiss without mentioning a few recognitions for Charleston Southern University:

• Veterans Administration Yellow Ribbon Program

• America’s 100 Best College Buys

• Best Online program by US News and World Report

• Recognition as College of Distinction

Our Accreditation remains significantly healthy as well. My friend, we wish you all the enjoyment, health, and happiness in the coming years as you travel, rest, and reflect on the fruits of your harvest you so richly deserve.

Board of Visitors members grew from 0 to



buildings renovated new areas added

“Dr. Hunter has always set

the pace when it comes to going beyond the call of

duty. There is no one at the university who has given

Jerry M. Williams Chairman Board of Trustees

more of himself than Dr. Hunter.

“Dr. Hunter has always “Since I first stepped on campus, I have always had the utmost respect for Dr. Hunter. When a person you respect encourages and supports you through their words, these words can have a positive ripple effect on your life that last a lifetime. I pray that I have become and continue to be like Dr. Hunter and the other positive role models that have come and gone in my life, and provide support and encouragement through my words and actions that will have a positive ripple effect on their lives for many years.” Coy Browning ’93 Browning Law Firm Spring 2018, vol.28 no.1

been the champion of

the common man, the

average student, and those who others may have overlooked.”

D. Clark Carter ’87

CSU Dean of Students

CSU magazine 11

“As a member of the search committee to hire the second President of the Baptist College at Charleston, I first met

Jairy Hunter in March 1984. He had a number of qualities which corresponded to our critical needs: prior service as a

Vice President of Business Affairs, Vice President for Development, Dean of Students; a doctorate from a distinguished academic institution (Duke University); a native South Carolinian; an active Southern Baptist; young and energetic;

and a charming wife with two children. In response to a question regarding the importance of academics at a Christian college, he said, ‘the purpose of all our programs should be to honor God. We should never turn out graduates who were second rate accountants or chemists or musicians or youth ministers or any other field - that would dishonor God. Only excellence would honor God.’ I knew right then that he was the right person to serve as our second

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President. He has remained true to his word.

“Roughly 34 years later Jairy asked me what I felt were critical strengths of CSU. While I believed we had many, many, two stood out; (1) we stayed true to our mission of promoting academic excellence in a Christian environment and (2) the President selected a team to serve with him (and allowed them to do their jobs) to transform a small liberal arts college into a thriving Christian university with strong liberal arts, preprofessional and professional programs.

Secondly, he asked what I thought I would never see happen here. Three stood out: (1) the S.C. Baptist Convention

would agree to change our name from Baptist College at Charleston to Charleston Southern University; (2) our Board of Trustees would ever include African Americans as members; and (3) our university would ever have an NCAA

Division 1-AA football team that would play the National Champion Florida Gators with Tim Tebow as quarterback. Jairy accomplished all three of these things!”

Kenny Bonnette, PhD

CSU Professor Emeritus

“As a graduate, and a trustee of Charleston Southern, I

Provost Emeritus

Hunter has consistently provided through the years. His

of Chemistry and

have seen firsthand the remarkable leadership that Dr. conservative values have provided a firm foundation, which has transformed CSU into a financially sound university that is nationally recognized. People –

students, employees, professors, coaches, business and “As a private sector business leader, I am continually

community leaders – are drawn to his enthusiasm and

leadership in assuring that Charleston Southern

the success of those around him.”

community as he shepherds the school’s efforts both

Bill Carpenter ’93

impressed by Dr. Hunter’s proactive and thoughtful

University is a pivotal player in our region’s business

externally and internally. Jairy is also an astute integrator

desire for excellence, as evidenced by his success and

CSU Board of Trustees

of our region’s top business and professional leaders.” Bryan S. Derreberry President & CEO

Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce

President Hunter volunteers at a local school for Trident United Way’s Day of Caring.

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Spring 2018, vol.28 no.1

“As Dr. Hunter’s Executive Assistant for the past 11 years, I have worked closely with the President. Dr. Hunter loves the

Lord, his wife, Sissy, his children and grandchildren and the Charleston Southern University family. He is a true servant leader who has inspired, mentored and encouraged hundreds of students, faculty, staff and others in the community

Legacy Society members grew from 0 to


to be the BEST they can be. I have witnessed Dr. Hunter lead students and others to the Lord in his office. He has prayed

with many in person and by phone who were sick or who had lost a loved one. As a professor in the MBA program and a keynote speaker across the nation, Dr. Hunter integrates faith in his teaching. I have also had the honor of working with CSU’s First Lady, Sissy Hunter. She personifies a godly Titus 2 Woman who is a blessing to all who know her. She is a

woman of grace and love. Thank you Dr. Hunter and Sissy for your love, prayers and support through the years! You will be missed but never forgotten!

Marching Band members grew from 0 to



“Matthew 25:21, His master replied, Well done, thy good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things…” Faye Wood

CSU Executive Assistant to the President

“Dr. Hunter influenced the university tremendously during his 34 year tenure. From an institutional

perspective, his most enduring legacy will be that of a

rescuer, stabilizer, builder and most importantly, leader. “Honest. Humble. Passionate. Wise. Those are four words

Dr. Hunter rescued the institution from a time of great

who leads by example. I have learned so much from him

planning, hard work, personal sacrifice and persistence

that best describe Dr. Hunter. He is a true servant leader

financial difficulty during the mid-1980s. His careful

during my 5.5 years at CSU.

brought financial stability. His initiation of many new

“His mentorship and guidance helped me discover my

to his role as a builder. Finally, his tireless efforts to

Sissy has been a blessing in my life also. She is selfless

relationship, willingness to make difficult decisions, and

Opened new buildings


recommendations from Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges for 2016 reaccreditation

academic programs and physical buildings bear witness

purpose and calling. I’m very grateful for Dr. Hunter!

advance the university in every circumstance and

and always does for others without complaints. I look

great passion for his calling, all testify of his leadership.


On a more personal level, I will remember Dr. Hunter as

Cady Nell West, ‘15 MBA

those from financially challenged backgrounds. On more

Hunter was Homecoming

for Development & Special Gifts

assisting a poor student with finding enough financial

opportunity to escort him

and wanted them to reach their full potential.”

so much fun having the

Michael Bryant ’95, PhD

the president of my school!

forward to continuing to work with him on fundraising

CSU Assistant Vice President

someone who cared deeply about students, especially

My favorite memory with Dr.

than one occasion, I saw him spend a great deal of time

2016 when I had the

aid to enroll at the university. He cared about students

the entire day! It was

CSU Executive Vice President

opportunity to get to know

Mariah McClain

sophomore, early childhood education major

Summerville, S.C.

Spring 2018, vol.28 no.1

CSU magazine 13

A prayer for Dr. Hunter:

“Father, thank you for Dr. Hunter. Thank you for the part he’s played in doing your work at Charleston Southern. Thank

you for the team Dr. Hunter has put together in order to advance the university’s gospel-centered mission and to help our students and surrounding community flourish.

“I pray that you would give Dr. Hunter joy and hope in completing the work you’ve set before him. Grant him passion

for and continued dedication to seeing Charleston transformed by the powerful witness at Charleston Southern. Keep the campus safe. Let new building projects move quickly and effectively. Watch out over our student-athletes, and let

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our graduates continue to set a standard of excellence in their vocations and be a model of discipleship in their walks with you. Grant Dr. Hunter the words he needs to inspire the administration, faculty, staff and student body. Give him

physical rest, and give him the support and encouragement of his friends and family. Take away any fears he has about the upcoming presidential transition, and let him feel assured of your enduring love for him. Bless his family. Let him continue to model Christ’s love for his wife, children, and grandchildren. In Christ’s name. Amen.” Jonathan Sircy, PhD

“It’s not often in life that you connect

Associate Professor of English

with someone who challenges you

to do better, encourages you in your “Jairy drove and presided over a period of CSU growth that I never dreamed of when I was at Baptist College in the late 1970s. He and his administration team brought CSU into the 21st century and prepared CSU to lead the way into the 22nd century. “I consider myself extraordinarily lucky to be a CSU alumnus, and I am proud to continue on its Board of Visitors. Jairy (and his leadership team that included Provost Kenny Bonnette) are truly the A+ team. They and the CSU faculty recognized my potential and steered me toward the successful career that I now enjoy. God Bless Jairy Hunter!”

Samuel E. Gandy, MD, PhD ’76 Mount Sinai Professor of Alzheimer’s Disease Research, Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry, Associate Director for the Mount Sinai Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center in New York City, Chairman Emeritus of the National Medical and Scientific Advisory Council of the Alzheimer’s Association

faith, and genuinely wants to invest

in your development. Dr. Hunter did all of these things in my

life and so much more. I came to CSU to pursue my MBA but what I found along the way was also a sense of what kind of professional I wanted to be and what it means to have character in business. Dr. Hunter was an

example of those lessons as my

professor and as a mentor in the years to follow. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to see his example of

what being a Christian leader looks like. His investment into my

life is something that I and my family will always appreciate.”

Natalie Gregg ’10 MBA

President Hunter poses with a group of students who had attended an event in the Whitfield Center for Christian Leadership.

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Spring 2018, vol.28 no.1

“Jairy Hunter was a visionary president who reinvented

Our son, Eli, applied for CSU at the age of 13 having recently immigrated from

ambitious and inspiring future. He has been a great friend

of fears and concerns. Dr. Hunter made all of us feel very confident and well taken

Baptist College, honoring its roots and embracing boldly an to me, and I was privileged to use his playbook a time or

two in advancing the two institutions I led. He and Sissy are treasures that have served Charleston Southern with grace, and he has made incredible contributions to the world of higher education. We are all in their debt.” Jay Lemons

Former Chancellor, The University of Virginia’s College at Wise President Emeritus, Susquehanna University President, Academic Search Inc.

Spring 2018, vol.28 no.1

Siberia and still being new to the country. Needless to say, the entire family had lots care of from our first day of class. Three semesters have since passed, and we still feel

the same way. It’s our university, and it’s our President! We thank God for this unique opportunity to know the Hunters, and will always remember their dedication to CSU and constant efforts to make the university closer to God’s standards. Arkadiy Brodsky Eli Brodsky sophomore

math and computer science majors Charleston, S.C.

CSU magazine 15


Hosting with Southern By Holly Fisher

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If Sissy Hunter is planning an event, you can bet it will ooze the kind of hospitality and graciousness one expects to find in the South. Over the years, she has hosted countless teas, formal dinners and backyard barbecues for Charleston Southern University – where her husband, Jairy Hunter, has served as president for 33 years.

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Spring 2018, vol.28 no.1

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t the heart of her events is one goal: raising money to support scholarships for CSU students. Each year, the university gives out more than $75 million in financial aid and scholarships from federal, state and institutional funds. And much of that is thanks to Sissy Hunter’s role as the unofficial event planner. She works with the CSU Women’s Council on an annual auction that’s raised more than half a million dollars for scholarships in more than a decade. Hunter hosts spouses of the board of visitors during their meetings twice a year. She organizes dinners in her home to recognize retiring faculty members and invites students over for a backyard barbecue and cornhole.

Whether it’s a formal tea or buffet set up in the driveway, Hunter oversees every detail to ensure her guests feel welcome and have a good time. She determines the guest list, party theme and decides whether to host the event at her home, on the university campus or at an offsite location, which she does from time to time. Hunter helps craft the invitations and works closely with Aramark, CSU’s food service provider, on the menu. She designs the flower arrangements for events in her home and sometimes at other locations. And for indoor events, Hunter pulls out the china, crystal and silver arranged on linen tablecloths with cloth napkins. Paper plates and plastic utensils are only allowed at the backyard cookouts.

Spring 2018, vol.28 no.1

“I admit, I’m picky,” Hunter said. That level of detail – including knowing which guests have food allergies and who has a favorite dessert – makes Hunter a considerate hostess. “Growing up, my mother said, ‘When you have a guest in your home, treat them as kindly as you can.’ That always stuck with me.” Hunter’s kindness and hospitality has generated scholarships for students who may have desperately needed the financial boost. So, while she may not get a paycheck for her hostess duties, Hunter takes her work seriously.

“It’s a lot of work, but it’s a lot of fun,” Hunter said. “And it furthers the mission of the university.” Jairy Hunter has announced he’ll be stepping down as president in June 2018. He’ll be president emeritus as well as teaching and consulting. Plus, he’ll work on raising money for a new $40 million arena. And, that likely means Sissy Hunter will be charming donors. “I’m an entertainer, he’s the fundraiser,” she said of the couple’s respective roles. “It’s not my cup of tea to raise the money, but I can entertain the guests.” Reprinted with permission of Evening Post Industries. This piece originally appeared in the July 29, 2017, issue of NOLO Magazine.

Spring 2018, vol.28 no.1

“Dr. Hunter and Ms. Sissy, I can’t thank you both enough for all the constant support throughout my week at state and my reign as Miss CSU! You two are such special people to me. Thank you for the beautiful flowers and picture frame. They were a great reminder of how much you two support me and how much you love CSU.” Reagan Mobley Senior, child development major Miss CSU 2017

CSU magazine 19

President Hunter How did you learn about Baptist College at Charleston? Dr. Bob Cuttino, a trustee on the president’s search committee, invited Sissy and me to visit the Baptist College at Charleston for an interview. The search committee wanted us to explore the possibility of moving the college from a difficult position to one of success. Dr. Cuttino was Sissy’s pastor when she was a child. After leaving Lancaster, our hometown, he followed our educational achievements and professional pursuits. I was very pleased with the job I currently held as Vice Chancellor and tenured professor at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Sissy asked me on the way back to Wilmington from the interview, “Did you have any feelings about the school?” I told her it was scary. She said, “You can do it. You can fix it.”

The search committee invited us to return for a second interview shortly thereafter. During this visit, William Seals, a judge from Marion, S.C., who was the chairman of the search committee, said, “We are ready to hire you.” I was 42 years old when I accepted the job and made a firm commitment to the board to stay for three years, whether the school merged with another school, went into bankruptcy or closed. Do you remember what those first three years were like? During the first 90 days, we established a three-phase strategic plan: Survival, Stability and Excellence. We had to raise $350,000 to make the payroll and pay other critical bills within the first three months. continued on page 22 >>

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Reflects on his 34 Years at CSU

20 CSU magazine

1984 • July 15 – First official day as president.

• Lightsey Chapel Auditorium dedicated.

• First season of competition for newly formed Big South Conference: charter members were Winthrop, Coastal Carolina, Armstrong State, Columbus College (Ga.), UNC Asheville, Baptist College at Charleston, Campbell, Augusta and Radford.

1985 • •

Club Football team begins play. Undefeated in first season of play against club teams from Clemson, UNC, Appalachian State and Gallaudet. South Carolina Baptist Convention special session, pledged support to work with college trustees on possibly refinancing the school’s high interest, short-term debt.

• First graduation held in Lightsey Chapel Auditorium. First master’s degrees awarded to 3 students.

1986 • April 18 - Inauguration as second president.

• Buccaneer Park opens with areas for basketball, volleyball and horse shoes. •

Women’s Auxiliary Advisory Council awards the first Mattie Leigh Francese Scholarship in memory of one of the council’s original members.

Spring 2018, vol.28 no.1

14,697 Diplomas awarded


Big South athletic championships won

“From the onset of

Dr. Hunter’s tenure at Charleston Southern

University, he definitively transformed a sleepy

college into a world-class

university and institution of higher learning, propelling

Dr. Jairy C. Hunter Jr. takes the oath of office as the second president of CSU as Mrs. Sissy Hunter looks on.

its stature throughout the

community into one of great •

1987 • •

Dr. June Scobee ’70 receives an honorary doctorate from Dr. Hunter. Scobee was the 1st woman and the 1st alumnus to deliver the commencement address. Her late husband, Dr. Francis R. Scobee, was the space shuttle commander of The Challenger; he died in the tragic accident in January 1986.

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools approved BCC’s graduate program in education and reaffirmed accreditation of the undergraduate programs.

Spring 2018, vol.28 no.1

1988 • •

Athletic Hall of Fame established. Inducted were: Athletic Director Howard Bagwell and 10 former athletes: Tom Reid, Tom Ryall, Jim Causey, Dan Franz, Marion Salerni, Raymond LaPointe, Phil Turner, Mike Mauldin, Jerry Gardner and Ken Layne. Board of Visitors organization formed. Officers elected: Ronald Banks, chairman; Hal Adams, vice chairman; Thomas Warwick, secretary-treasurer.

A group of citizens led by Jerry Williams and Richard Blackmon, from Lancaster, President Hunter’s hometown, began fundraising to build a welcome center for the university, which would become the Hunter Reception Center. Williams is the current chairman of the Board of Trustees.

1989 •

Damages to the campus from Hurricane Hugo (Sept. 21) resulted in a revised academic calendar with exams finishing Dec. 22. A disaster relief crew with the Illinois Baptist Brotherhood cooked 40,000 hot meals in the week after the hurricane. The field house was used as a Red Cross Disaster Relief warehouse.

prominence. Dr. Hunter’s impacts are widespread and can be best seen in

the droves of successful

graduates who have gone on to make their mark on

the world. It goes without saying, but Dr. Hunter’s

impact on North Charleston is rightfully forever

engrained. I am happy to call Dr. Hunter my friend

and wish him all the best as President Emeritus.”

Mayor Keith Summey ’69 Mayor of North Charleston

• BCC’s 25th anniversary celebrated.

CSU magazine 21


continued on page 24 >>

• Club football moves to NCAA Division III play. Homecoming moved to football season.

1 9 8 4 - 2 0 1 8

The Hunter family at the dedication of the Hunter Reception Center in 1991: Jairy Hunter Sr., Jairy Hunter Jr., Jill Hunter, Sissy Hunter, Jairy Hunter III.

The first three years were challenging times, but the Lord blessed our faithfulness and efforts. This was the tip of the iceberg of the financial crisis we were experiencing. The chapel was under construction without an established financing plan, and there were many significant outstanding bills and lawsuits. The Board of Trustees was committed to the college, and they worked diligently with me to raise the money. Unbeknownst to me, God had prepared me with a very diverse background in academics, finance, fundraising and denominational relations to lead the school at that time. Personally, Sissy and I secured a 90-day personal note from a local bank at a time when the interest rate was double digits. In December, our trustees asked the Executive Committee of the South Carolina Baptist Convention to substitute collateral of the Convention for the note which would release Sissy and me personally from this obligation. Thank God, the Convention approved this recommendation. Bold strategies were launched including several new initiatives focused on: cash management, debt restructuring, student enrollment and retention, fundraising and public relations. Miraculously, these efforts led to 200 new students enrolling in the fall semester and a projected balanced budget for the next year. During the first three years, we observed the power of the Lord at work in helping us move the college from an extremely difficult situation to stability and began our journey toward excellence.

• Dedication of Hunter Reception Center.

22 CSU magazine

1990 • Name changed to Charleston Southern University at the 170th annual session of the S.C. Baptist Convention. • Master of Business Administration program added. •

Groundbreaking for Jairy C. Hunter Jr. Reception Center. Friends from Hunter’s hometown, Lancaster, S.C., spearheaded fundraising efforts.

University status achieved: reorganization into School of Business, School of Education and College of Arts and Sciences.

1991 •

Dedication of Robert M. Condra Memorial Gates. Dr. Vera Johnson, professor emerita of business administration, was instrumental in raising funds for the Condra Gates and brick pavers around the Pond. Funding by the Robert & Evelyn Condra Foundation. Evelyn was Vera Johnson’s sister.

1992 • •

Track alumnus Charlie Simpkins wins silver medal in the 1992 summer Olympics in the triple jump, with a final jump of 57-9. BellSouth Foundation $215,000 three-year grant to fund a program implementing school reform in rural Berkeley County.

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“Dr. Hunter, Your message to our honor students at Fort Dorchester High School encouraged our kids to think about their future and to always do what is right. It’s not always easy being a teenager, but people like you make it that much easier.”

“I met the

Ryan Ashley ’06, MEd ’09, EdS Assistant Principal, Fort Dorchester High School

first meeting

Hunters shortly after they came to CSU. At my with Dr. Hunter, I was inspired to

get involved. I had the pleasure of

serving five terms on the BOT under “Dr. Hunter was used by God to literally change my life. In 1987, I left Belmont College in Nashville, where I basically failed out due to not attending classes or applying myself. When my dad became a pastor in Lancaster, S.C., a few trustees and BOV members encouraged me to go to Baptist College. Dr. Hunter helped me get enrolled in the fall of 1989. “Dr. Hunter also gave me a work-study job in his office, and I think that was so he

could have regular conversations about my classes and life. It also gave me some greater accountability, knowing I couldn’t hide from him. My grades drastically improved, and my life and heart began to change. I began to not only put forth effort in my classes but also began to work on my relationship with God. I graduated in 1994 with a very respectable GPA and am now a husband of 23 years, father to two teenage sons, and a Music/Arts/Media Pastor. The trajectory of my life looked very different until God intervened and used Dr. Hunter to begin to alter that.” Chris Roberts ’94

his leadership. He had a vision for CSU and after spending time with them, it became contagious. “Every place they went and


Taught classes during presidency

528 Chapel/Convocation services

everyone they met knew they

were from CSU, and the Hunter

name became synonymous with

CSU. Walking the walk and talking

the talk had new meaning for their goals and accomplishments at

CSU. What BIG shoes they leave to fill!”

“Dr. Hunter has brought a uniqueness to our history at Charleston Southern

University. He guided an infant Baptist College to

university status we proudly

Gloria Thiem

call Charleston Southern University.

“Dr. Hunter and our beloved Sissy accepted God’s call to

guide CSU. Their dedication and abilities have made our

university a preferred choice of students nationwide. His wisdom and candor are

his outstanding assets that

1993 •

Named to The John Templeton Foundation Honor Roll for Character Building Colleges for 1993. Annual listing of those schools which best exemplify campuses that promote high integrity and encourage the development of strong moral character among students.

• Master of Education in Administration degree started. • Football moves to Division I-AA play.

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1994 •

Henry Wingo of Kline, S.C., donated $1.5 million to construct a nursing building in honor of his late wife, Derry Patterson Wingo. Bachelor of Science in Nursing added to curriculum.

• University celebrated 30th Anniversary with Founders’ Week; Patsy Morley Pool dedicated in Morley’s memory. • Youth Ministry major added.

1995 •

CSU tags were unveiled at the S.C. Department of Motor Vehicle offices. Dr. Hunter received the first tag from BOT Nelson Swofford.

• Derry Patterson Wingo Nursing Building dedicated.

• Field House $1 million renovation: improvements made to offices, locker rooms, new weight room.

propelled this university

to where we are today. As president emeritus, his vision will always be evident.”

Jerry Williams Chairman,

CSU Board of Trustees

CSU magazine 23

Who were your greatest allies in those early days?

What has kept you at CSU for 34 years? After six years, I was offered a job as president at another university and told the board I would be leaving. The board quickly responded, “If you are going to be President at another university, then you should remain at CSU.” The board extended me a long-term contract, and the rest is history. I know the good Lord has kept me at the university for the past 34 years. My wife, Sissy, and my family have been encouraging and supportive. The Board of Trustees members have also been totally committed to the mission, vision and core values. Brett Larrick takes a shot from the free throw line in the first round of the NCAA Championship in 1997. CSU lost to UCLA 109-75.

continued on page 26 >>

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The South Carolina Baptist Convention, loyal donors and alumni. We had 25 churches pledge $25,000 each for our Towards Excellence Campaign. The local community and Tricounty Chambers of Commerce, numerous businesses, corporations and the health care industry have always been partners with the university. Additionally, the public school districts and the two and four year colleges and universities have worked with us to provide the best educational offerings for our citizens.

24 CSU magazine

1996 • Marching Band reformed under the direction of Jay Watkins.

• Reaccreditation by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. • Athletics certified by the NCAA.

• Internet access made available to all computers on the CSU network.

1997 •

Family of former trustee and chairman of the board, W. Gregory Horton, donated $1 million in his memory to name the Horton School of Music and fund the Horton Chair of Church Music.

Men’s Basketball wins Big South Conference, advances to first round of NCAA Tournament. CSU lost 109-75 to UCLA.

Men’s soccer team captured the Big South Conference and played University of South Carolina in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

1998 • John Riney, 16-year-old 1998 graduate, was featured on CBS’s 48 Hours program. Dr. Don Clerico was interviewed on campus for the segment. • The Student Success Center named the BellSouth Student Success Center. • First course, a computer course, offered via the Internet.

Spring 2018, vol.28 no.1



raised by Women’s Council for student scholarships. The Women’s Council funds three scholarships: M.L. Francese Endowed Scholarship, Charlene Kirk Endowed Scholarship and CSU Women’s Council Endowed Scholarship.

“When South Carolina

Baptists think of Charleston Southern University they

President Hunter introduces W. Floyd and Shirley Whitfield, donors of the Whitfield Stadium Center, at halftime of a football game in 1999.

instantly think of Dr. Hunter. The impact of his leadership is felt around the globe and

will continue to many future

generations. Thank you Jairy for your incredible Ministry through Christian Higher Education!”

Gary Hollingsworth

1999 • Master of Criminal Justice begins.

• Whitfield Stadium Center dedicated during halftime of the Homecoming 1999 football game.

• 35th anniversary of university celebrated; Hunters’ 15th anniversary.

2000 •

Dedication ceremony for The Brewer Center, named in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Jimmie Brewer and their son Brad of Lancaster.

• Edwards Express, sandwich shop located inside Brewer Center, named in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Edwards of Lancaster, dedicated. • Whittington Hall, named in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Jeff Whittington of Little River, dedicated.

Spring 2018, vol.28 no.1

2001 •

Bagwell-Settle track dedicated. Mike Frost, a 1969 grad, provided $75,000 of the $200,000 cost. Named for Howard Bagwell, former track and field coach and athletic director, and Jim Settle, former track and field coach and a kinesiology professor.

Executive Director/Treasurer

of the South Carolina Baptist Convention

• Campus awarded a $1.75 million Title III grant for Technological Advancements.

• First Charleston-area university to offer students free wireless Internet connections in their dorm rooms.

CSU magazine 25

Looking back, what are you proudest of spiritually, personally and professionally?

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Spiritually. I have been blessed to have the opportunity to work in a Christian environment. I have grown in my walk with the Lord. I rejoice mostly in seeing numerous students finding God’s will for their lives while studying at CSU.

26 CSU magazine

Personally. My role as President at CSU has helped me confirm my spiritual and professional calling. My intentions were to assist the board for three years and return to the University of North Carolina system. By year three, the school was in the black and stable. The board asked me to stay three more years, so I did. Since that time, the university has operated in the black for 32 out of 34 years since I arrived at CSU. In 1989, my mother died. At the funeral, my nephew, a lawyer, read from her diary. My mother wrote that she and my father prayed for one of their children to be in Christian vocational service. Four months later, after much prayer, I realized that God had truly called me to be the President of Charleston Southern University. What a blessing!

Even the rain can’t dampen the spirits of the Buccaneer cheerleaders and President Hunter at a football game in 2002.

continued on page 28 >>

President Hunter and a group of students meet with House Representative Alex Harvin at the annual S.C. Independent College and University Day at the statehouse. Pictured: Julie Brown, Kevin Lott, Rep. Harvin, Derek Brown, Joy OBidike, Amber Lott and Pres. Hunter.

• University named in the book Great Colleges for the Real World by Michael P. Viollt.

2002 •

Began partnership with alumnus Dr. Jay Strack’s Student Leadership University, a premier leadership development program for high school students.

The William Randolph Hearst Endowed Scholarship was established with a $100,000 grant from the William Randolph Hearst Foundation.

• First satellite campus opens in collaboration with Horry-Georgetown Tech and Coastal Carolina University, offering criminal justice degree.

2003 • School of Education gains national accreditation with the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. •

Athletic Training program achieves national accreditation with the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.

• L. Mendel Rivers Library renovated.

2004 • University celebrates 40 years; Hunters celebrate 20 years. •

CSU’s Teaching & Learning in Ghana program awarded a prestigious Fulbright-Hays Foundation Group Curriculum Projects Abroad Grant.

Spring 2018, vol.28 no.1

Football team members and fans gather on the field for prayer after beating The Citadel for the first time in 2006 with a score of 38-35. photo by Dr. Jairy Hunter III

“We knew immediately that Jairy Hunter was God’s man for the job. He possessed a genuine Christian

commitment, coupled with a wealth of academic and business experience.”

2005 • Dedication of the Science Building. • Ashby and Jones Halls renovated.

• Football team beat Coastal Carolina to earn the title of Big South Co-Champions. • Enrollment exceeded 3,000 for the first time (3,022).

Spring 2018, vol.28 no.1

2006 • Coffeeshop addition at the front of L. Mendel Rivers Library opens. • Dining Hall expansion.

• Margaret T. Gilmore Garden dedicated. The garden was established by the Women’s Council in honor of Margaret Gilmore.

2007 •

Air Force ROTC Detachment 772 named the 2007 Right of Line Award winner as the best small AFROTC detachment in the nation.

W. Floyd Whitfield

Member of the CSU Board of Trustees and member

of the presidential search committee

• Health Promotion added as a major. • Bachelor of Management Arts program goes totally online.

CSU magazine 27

Professionally. I am proudest of the university receiving zero recommendations from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges on our reaffirmation of accreditation in 2016. Also, the positive outcomes exhibited by our students and alumni in the world are a true blessing.

The Jairy C. and Carolyn K. Hunter Center. Friends and family from our hometown of Lancaster, South Carolina, spearheaded the fundraising efforts for this beautiful facility. This building is the university’s welcome center for prospective students and friends who visit the campus. Is there something you wish you could have finished that you didn’t?

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Using the PEST Analysis as a guide, here are a few of the major challenges for the future: Political: Faith-based institutions will be challenged with religious freedom and Title IX issues. Economics: All institutions will be affected by enrollment, retention, financial aid and fundraising. Social: Faith-based institutions must stay true to their mission, vision and core values. Technology: All institutions must be robust in changing with the times to provide cutting edge faceto-face and online educational offerings. At CSU, providing sufficient student financial aid for our students will remain the university’s number one challenge. continued on page 29 >>

I have no regrets. I have loved my job and the personal and professional opportunities provided. If you love your work and you are in God’s will, your job will be fun. I am satisfied with my faith, family, friends and profession.

• Master of Science in Nursing Education added.




Is there a physical place on campus that holds special significance for you?

What issues do you think higher education will face in the next 20 years?

• Historical Marker for The Elms Plantation placed on campus. •

2008 • Franklin Graham speaks at Convocation. CSU participated in Graham’s Crusade at North Charleston Coliseum.

• A national study places CSU in the top 10 percent of universities for value added education. •

Adopted Immediate Response Information System (IRIS) to communicate emergency messages within minutes to student and employee cell phones, home phones, email, etc.

University’s 45th year; Hunters celebrate 25 years; Mayor Keith Summey declares July 15 Jairy and Sissy Hunter Day in North Charleston.

2009 • Hunter received the Order of the Palmetto, the highest civilian honor in the state of South Carolina. • Founding classes celebrate 40th Reunion.

2010 • Brick walkway added around the Reflection Pond; bricks are sold to raise money for student scholarships. • Music and Worship Leadership major added to curriculum. • Women’s South residence hall renovated –the first of the older dorms to be renovated.

• Grand opening for Wingate by Wyndham at Charleston Southern.

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Spring 2018, vol.28 no.1

What books would you recommend for professional development?

How do you hope to be remembered?

• The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel • Prescription for Life by Richard Furman • 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John Maxwell • Proverbs, God’s Guide for Life’s Choices by Woodrow Kroll • The Goal, A Process of Ongoing Improvement, by Eliyahu M. Goldratt and Jeff Cox • Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren • Where Have all the Leaders Gone? by Lee Iacocca • Life’s Ultimate Questions by John Newport • The Way Back: How Christians Blew Our Credibility and How We Get It Back by Phil Cooke and Jonathan Bock

I would like to be remembered as a servant leader whose life was fulfilled, because I found God’s will for my life. I have thoroughly enjoyed teaching and administering at each school where I served for the past 45 years. More importantly I have enjoyed encouraging students to maximize their potential in everything they do to honor God. The Lord says in 1 Samuel 2:30, “… Those who honor me I will honor…”

Name changed to Charleston Southern University at 170th annual session of the S.C. Baptist Convention in 1990

What advice would you give CSU’s third president? Be sure this leadership role is God’s will for your life, stay humble and focus on achieving CSU’s vision, mission and core values.

“Standing at the intersection of I-26 & Hwy 78 the

summer of 1965 was my Joe and Kaye Wren, David and Gloria Thiem and the Hunters at the 2011 President’s Club Dinner. Joe Wren and Gloria Thiem have each served several terms on the Board of Trustees.

introduction to The Baptist

College at Charleston. Well look where we have come. Dr. Jairy Hunter became

President in 1984; he took over a college with serious financial problems and

turned it around, easier said than done. He redefined the mission of BCC to

Academic Excellence in

a Christian Environment.

2011 • •

Dual-Degree Engineering Program agreement entered into with The Citadel; agreements already in existence with Clemson University and the University of South Carolina. CSU named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for the first time, showcasing CSU’s community service.

2012 • Athletic Center opens.

• Graduate program in Organizational Management begins in online program. •

William Randolph Hearst Foundation added a third grant of $100,000 to the William Randolph Hearst Endowed Scholarship Fund. The funding given over the years totals $300,000.

2013 • Whitfield Center for Christian Leadership opens, named for W. Floyd and Shirley Whitfield.

• Nursing Building expansion opens, nursing enrollment increases.

Due to his faith, vision, and management skills, his

legacy will stand and be

seen by all. Dr. Jairy Hunter always gets the job done. A thank you for all you

have accomplished over

the last 34 years of faithful service. WELL DONE. Mike Frost ’69

Spring 2018, vol.28 no.1

CSU magazine 29

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Dr. Arnold Hite, professor of economics, and President Hunter lead the runners at the annual Homecoming race. Hite and Hunter have a tradition of competing against each other.

2014 •

Expansion to the Hunter Reception Center named the Carolyn K. “Sissy” Hunter Center; entire building renamed the Jairy C. and Carolyn K. Hunter Center.

• School of Business launches Executives in Residence program.

• Experiential Learning Initiative program started to benefit students in seeking internships. • Physician Assistant program in planning stages. •

• Chick-fil-A opens on campus.

2015 •

BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation awarded CSU more than a $1 million grant to fund scholarships for nursing students committing to work in community or home-based settings after graduation.

• Master of Science in Computer Science degree begins.

CSU awarded a $2.5 million grant by the U.S. Department of Education for distance education/ blended education programs.

2016 •

Dr. Jairy C. Hunter Jr. was recognized in 1987 by the National Association of College and University Business Officers as one of the first chief business officers to matriculate to the college presidency.

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges reaffirmed CSU’s accreditation with no recommendations.

Hunter receives 2016 Distinguished Business Officer from the National Association of College and University Business Officers.

Spring 2018, vol.28 no.1

Please Join Us In Honoring the Hunters’ 34 Years of Service Thursday, April 19 Drop-In Reception 3-6 p.m. Whitfield Center for Christian Leadership

“We first met Dr. Hunter

at a scholarship dinner as freshmen. We asked him

about his church, Summerville Baptist, and he invited us to come with him. He gave us

directions, introduced us to

many people in the church,

and also treated us to lunch.

He took us to his own Sunday School class, and just as we

were sitting at the table, he

said, ‘Girls, have we taken a President and Mrs. Hunter pose with Santa at the annual Breakfast with Santa in 2017. Sissy Hunter spearheaded the event for children of faculty and staff. The event features breakfast, photos with Santa, and decorating cookies the children can take home. President Hunter and Solomon Brown play a round of cornhole at a cookout for students at the Hunter’s home. Brown, defensive end on the football team, was named to the 2017 Big South All-Conference First Team.

selfie yet?’ The picture above

is that selfie! This was a great relationship to establish

because he is so welcoming, but also has a great sense of humor. Since then, we

have seen Dr. Hunter around campus many times and he

always stops to ask us how we are doing with our classes. Dr. Hunter is one of our favorites at Charleston Southern,

and his fun-loving presence

around campus will definitely

2017 • Air Force ROTC program expands from 2- to 4- year program.

• Cybersecurity major added to curriculum; Master of Science in Biology and Master of Science in Counseling Psychology added. • Dining Hall renovated.

• Communications IT building opens. • Athletic Performance Center opens. • Design process begun for a new residence hall.

• University Business Magazine features Dr. Hunter in “Portrait of a Leader: Faith in the Future.”

Spring 2018, vol.28 no.1

2018 • Singleton Baseball Complex opens. • Health Science building opens.

• Groundbreaking of new 400-bed Student Residence Hall. • Charleston Business Magazine names Dr. Hunter to 50 Most Influential People of 2017 list.

be missed!”

Skylar Stanley sophomore

music therapy major Walhalla, S.C.

Marci Morrow senior

nursing major

Lancaster, S.C.

CSU magazine 31


Class notes 1975


Thom Confer has been named head track coach at The Webb Schools. He started coaching in the early 1990s and is a USATF Level I track and field coach. He previously coached at Rosary High, El Modena High and Woodbridge High, where he produced several league and CIF champions in the middle distance events, hurdles and high jump. He is also the president of USATF’s Southern California Association and the 2017 recipient of USA Track and Field’s Milton Hershey award for service to youth track and field.

David Berry, head football coach at Blackville-Hilda High School in Blackville, was inducted into the South Carolina Football Coaches Hall of Fame in December 2017. He has been head football coach for 25 years, and he and his teams have had 24 consecutive winning seasons. He is also a member of the S.C. Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

1976 David Johns was the grand marshal of the 2017 Ehrhardt Christmas parade, the Schuetzenfest Lighted Christmas Parade. He works at Enterprise Bank and is active in his community. He and his wife, Dawn Floyd Johns, have two children and live in Smoaks.


Yarbi Winkle ’99 MEd, was recently commissioned by the Summerville Preservation Society to paint a panoramic of part of its business district, with the centerpiece focusing on Guerin’s Pharmacy. The painting is on display in Old Town Hall on West Carolina Street in Summerville.

1992 Melinda Sweat Turner opened a business in Summerville in October 2017. Cotton Down South has farmhouse, vintage and antique home décor. She and her husband, Scott G. Turner ’92, live in Summerville.

32 CSU magazine



1999 Dennie McDaniel has been named head coach of the Stratford High School football team in Goose Creek. He is a former head coach at St. John’s High School and most recently returned to Stratford, his high school alma mater, as an assistant coach. McDaniel played football for the Buccaneers while at CSU.

Craig Washington has been selected Principal of the Year for Florence District 1. Since arriving at Southside Middle School three years ago, test scores have improved from below average to average and Chrome books have been issued to each student. He and his wife, Barbie Walker Washington ’85, live in Florence.


1998 Dan DuPre was selected the 2016 South Carolina Department of Natural Resources Employee of the Year. He is the special events coordinator for the SCDNR’s office of media and outreach. He is director of the Palmetto Sportsmen’s Classic and director of Camp Wildwood. Brian Hyder ’17 MBA has joined Schaffer Associates as an account executive. Schaffer Associates specializes in the hardware, home improvement and building materials industry. He brings extensive experience in sales and business development from the building and home improvement products sector. He and his wife live in Charlotte, N.C.

Lauretta Joyner is the author of a children’s book, titled, “Respect Me,” which helps to teach children about the value of respecting others. The book is available through xulonpress. com/bookstore/bookdetail. php?PB_ISBN=9781545618431, Amazon or Barnes & Noble. She said, “Be sure to visit my facebook page at facebook.com/LadyLEJ/ for upcoming information on the book, including book signings.” She lives in Moncks Corner.

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David Schuj MBA has joined Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Southern Coast Real Estate.


Cynthia Taylor Thomas and her husband, Timothy, announce the birth of a daughter, Aniyah Thomas, born March 15, 2016. The Thomases live in Shallotte, N.C.

Hannah Diñoso Corre and her husband, Charlie A. Corre announce the birth of a son, Charles Mateo Diñoso Corre, born Sept. 7, 2017.

Dr. Jermaine Whirl MBA is vice president for learning and workforce development at Greenville Technical College. He was previously vice president of economic development and corporate training at GTC.


2002 Susan Anderson announces the birth of a son, Griffin Cruz Anderson, born Jan. 28 at MUSC.



Haley Anne Snipes and Samuel Edgar Steele were married Oct. 21, 2017, in Rock Hill. He works for Patterson Fan Company in national account sales. They live in Indian Land.

Trent Drafts ’10 MBA has been named senior vice president at South State Bank. He has been with South State since 2010. He is a member of the CSU Board of Visitors, the Historic Rotary Club of Charleston and the Trident Business Association.


2006 Derrick Apple has been named a partner at Jarrard, Nowell & Russell, LLC. He is a CPA and has been with the firm since 2007. He is a member of the CSU Board of Visitors, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the S.C. Association of Public Accountants. He and his wife have two children and live in Mount Pleasant.

Melody Lorraine Davis MBA and Juan Carlos Flores were married May 6, 2017, in Atlanta. She is a district sales manager with Meritor, Inc. They live in Atlanta.

Ashleigh Newell and Matthew T. Wojslawowicz, EJD were married April 28, 2017, on Isle of Palms. Ashleigh is a subject matter expert and instructor for the National Center for Biomedical Research & Training and has traveled internationally to assist in the delivery of CBRNE/WMD courses. She is also a crime scene investigator for the Charleston Police Department and editor for Daniel R. McCoy has been elected the South Carolina International a partner with Nelson Mullins Association for Identification Riley & Scarborough LLP. He is a Angie Grimes MEd has been (SCIAI). Matthew is the Sergeant litigator based in the Myrtle Beach named Teacher of the Year at Deer over traffic enforcement and the office and joined the firm in 2013. Park Middle School in North Major Accident Investigation Charleston. She is in her 18th year Team (MAIT) for the Charleston of teaching. Police Department. They currently live in Charleston.


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2012 April Sanders ’16 MEd is the assistant principal at St. George Middle School in St. George. She is a former Rookie Teacher of the Year and Teacher of the Year.

2013 Amy Skipper MEd teaches second grade at Spann Elementary School in Summerville. She is a former Honorary Rookie Teacher of the Year.

2014 Laura Grace Swindler Belote has joined the CSU volleyball team as an assistant coach. She has been a graduate assistant volleyball coach at Belhaven University in Mississippi for the last three seasons. She played volleyball at CSU from 2010-2013. She earned a master’s in health administration in 2017 from Belhaven University. Samantha Lee Bowers and Zachariah Maynard were married Oct. 21, 2017, in Aiken. She works at University Hospital, and they live in Augusta, Ga.

2016 Anna D’Annunzio has been accepted into the MUSC School of Medicine and will start classes in fall 2018. Joshua A. Smith MBA is the chief operating officer at Riverbend Youth Center in South Bend, Indiana. Riverbend serves children who have autism and developmental disabilities.

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BabyBucs 1



TO SUBMIT YOUR BABY BUCS PHOTO: Email a picture of your Baby Buc wearing the shirt to alumni@csuniv.edu. Pictures should be 1MB in size or larger, in jpg format.





1. Aniyah Thomas, daughter of Cynthia Taylor Thomas ’08 and Timothy Thomas 2. Sullivan Scott Smith, son of Keri Huff Smith ‘13 and Corey Smith 3. Charles Mateo Diñoso Corre, son of Hannah Diñoso Corre and Charlie A. Corre 4. McCartney Mosley, son of Jackie Harper Mosley ’07 5. Asharah and Charah Barr, daughters of Melissa Barr ’95, ’06 6. June and Luke Gale, daughter and son of Melissa Gale ’10 and Joshua Gale ’11

TO ORDER A SHIRT CSU graduates, if you have a child under the age of 2, let us know at alumni@csuniv.edu, and we will send a CSU onesie for your Baby Buc. The shirt is free; all we ask in return is a photo of your Baby Buc for the magazine.

7. John Warren Root, son of Savannah Root ’12 and John Root ’12

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STAY CONNECTED! Send us news about family additions, job changes and memories of your time at CSU. To include a photo, email a high resolution jpg. (If you send a professional photograph, please include permission to print from

ALUMNI AWARD NOMINATIONS SOUGHT The CSU Alumni Association is accepting nominations for its six annual awards. Submit your nominations via the web at charlestonsouthern.edu/alumni/recognition.php. Award nominations are sought for:

• Distinguished Alumnus of the Year • Outstanding Young Alumnus of the Year • Alumnus Community Service Award • University Mission Award • Alumnus Service Award • Outstanding Alumnus of the Year

the photographer.)

Class Notes: Email your news to magazine@csuniv.edu Address change: Email advancement@csuniv.edu Name change: Email register@csuniv.edu Follow the Alumni Association on Social Media:



in memory Claude “David” Burke, age 62, died Nov. 29, 2017, in Goose Creek. He was a longtime employee in the CSU athletic department and had attended CSU. He was a coach in Summerville and Goose Creek. Warren Edward Corbin, age, 89, died Dec. 7, 2017, in Augusta, Ga. He was a partner in C&C Farms of Brunson and was a longtime member of the CSU Board of Visitors. Memorials may be made to The Corbin Family Endowed Scholarship at Charleston Southern.

Robert “Bobby” Hoyle Edwards, age 88, died Nov. 3, 2017, in Lancaster. He was the owner of Catawba Fish Camp. He served multiple terms on the CSU Board of Trustees and was chairman of the board. He received an honorary doctorate in business from CSU in 2001. Memorials may be made to CSU. Craig Fletcher ’95, age 48, died Nov. 20, 2017. He had been a youth minister and was manager of operations at Cutter Insulation, Inc. Margarette M. Glover Johnson, ’08, age 32, died Oct. 16, 2017, in Columbia. She was employed at S.C. Works/CMCOG of Columbia.

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In May, HIS Radio to Accept Nominations for Free Year of Tuition In May, HIS Radio Network (Greenville, Charleston, Columbia, Savannah, Myrtle Beach, Charlotte, Asheville, Raleigh, Toccoa and Athens), listeners will be encouraged to nominate a friend or family member for a year’s tuition of college for free at Charleston Southern University based on the individual exhibiting qualities of good citizenship, community involvement and Christian leadership. Nominated individuals must be at least a rising high school junior. Listen to HIS Radio in May for details.

Clyde Hare McCants ’75, age 65, died Jan. 9. He currently worked for the South Carolina Department of Transportation and was an interim pastor. He previously was a pastor in West Virginia. Lewis E. McCormick, age 95, died Dec. 11, 2017, in Pinopolis. He was a founding member of the CSU Board of Trustees and served several terms on the board. He was pastor of Mullins First Baptist Church in Mullins. CSU granted him an honorary doctor of divinity in 1983, and the Lewis E. McCormick Endowed Scholarship was established in his honor.

Leonard “Buck” Franklin Thrower, ’83, age 69, died Sept. 30, 2017. He had been a City of Charleston police officer and was a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. Esther Touchberry, age 92, died Oct. 19, 2017, in North Charleston. She was a longtime employee of CSU, serving as residence director in the dorms, and was in charge of the switchboard. She also worked at Garden City Baptist Church. Memorials may be made to the Esther and Furman Touchberry Endowed Scholarship at Charleston Southern.

Allison Ruth Nettles Stanley ’93, age 46, died Jan. 31 in Walterboro. She was office manager at Folk Land Management and had formerly operated retail boutiques.

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On the Road Meet some Charleston Southern alumni living and working in Chicago. CSU Magazine asked alumni to tell us their favorite places to visit and eat in the Chicago area and some favorite things about their neighborhoods. Read on to discover things to do if you take a trip to Chicago. The next city we are visiting on our road trip will be Atlanta. If you are a BCC/CSU alumnus living and working in the Atlanta area, let us know at magazine@csuniv.edu.


Craig Washington ’06 For the last six years I’ve lived in Chicago working as an Environmental Claims Manager with Beazley Insurance. I’ve always been extremely inquisitive, and handling insurance claims appealed to my investigative nature. I began my career in Insurance back in 2007 at Allstate, initially handling Auto and Homeowner’s claims. Currently at Beazley, I oversee and handle a wide array of Pollution Liability claims ranging from Mold and Legionella Exposure, to Toxic site contamination, and run-off claims. Handling Pollution claims is extremely challenging with all the legal and moral pitfalls; however, it’s nevertheless rewarding. My wife and I have a 2-year-old son, who definitely keeps us busy and on our toes; now we’re currently expecting another in June. With everything that Chicago has to offer, we definitely have plenty to keep the little guy busy, and there is never a dull moment.

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Favorite free activity: Garfield Park Conservatory (one of the largest in the nation!). Our son loves looking at the thousands of plant species, and they have a lot of programs such as yoga, beekeeping classes, and a children’s concert series. Favorite Chicago Landmark: Sears Tower. (We know that it has a new name, but in Chicago we’ll never call it anything else). You can take an elevator up to the 103rd floor and see the entire city. You can literally see every single county in the Chicagoland area from there. Favorite thing about Chicago: The coolest thing about Chicago is learning how to get around. It’s built on a grid, and if you know where you are, in proximity to the center of the city, it’s practically impossible to get lost. (Learning this neat trick has helped me a LOT…that and Google Maps). Best place for a meal: There are so many to choose from! Our family favorites are Opart Thai (downtown), and a really great Ethiopian restaurant called Lalibela on the north side.

Favorite Museum: Museum of Science and Industry. It’s the largest Science Museum in the western Hemisphere, and they have an awesome Robotics exhibit for all the nerds like myself. Favorite Thing about our Neighborhood: Oak Park is a small neighborhood, but there are great restaurants, good public transportation (CTA and Metra) and a Children’s Museum which has done wonders for our family, relieving some of that extra energy from a 2 year old.

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DeAngelo Dereef ’95 As a Physical Education major, I played for the Charleston Southern football team from 1991-1994 and was inducted into the Charleston Southern Hall of Fame in 2011. I am blessed to be the father of five who are all growing into awesome individuals and continue to make me proud each day. Daydrion, Jailyn, and Preston are away at college while Carson and Donovan work in the industries of food and the armed services. I currently live in Chicago, where I have worked for Chicago Public Schools for the past 15 years. By day, I serve as the Dean of Students of Al Raby High School, and in the evening I take that hat off to take on the role of Athletic Director and Head Football Coach. During my 15 years at Al Raby it has been an

honor to impact students both on and off the football field. Through our football program I am afforded the opportunity to provide an escape from our city’s violence and expose them to what is possible for their future. We work hard to turn the average student into student-athletes, but most importantly we work hard to mold them into strong young men, who see beyond their block and look past the headlines. This year we enjoyed a historic football season as we finished with a record of 11-2, one game shy of the IHSA-4A State Championship; no need to fret, we will be back next year! When I am not working I enjoy wearing the hat of husband and spending time with my wife, Vanessa, as we enjoy long road trips, cooking, and spending time with our village of family and friends.

DEANGELO’S CHICAGO FAVORITES Favorite Museum: DuSable Museum of African American History Favorite Place for a Meal: Maestro’s Steak House…the butter cake is delicious too! Best Place for Dessert: Angelica’s Bakery Favorite Free Activity: Barbecuing at Promontory Point, it runs along the Chicago lakefront, and you see a beautiful view of the city’s skyline over Lake Michigan.

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Favorite Thing about Your Neighborhood: It’s location is ideal because we are minutes away from the beach; there are plenty of festivals and restaurants to try in the area, and family and friends are nearby for impromptu gatherings. Favorite Chicago Landmark/ Tourist Attraction: You can’t come to Chicago without seeing the Michael Jordan statue at The United Center, but I also enjoy seeing Buckingham Fountain during the summertime nights.

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SERVING Family members of Jim Settle and the late Howard Bagwell view the new Bagwell-Settle Track sign.

Facilities Update By Seth Montgomery, Jenna Johnson and Warren Peper

The Athletic Performance Center opened, and the Bagwell-Settle Track sign was unveiled in the fall. The Singleton Baseball Complex opened in February, and the Health Science Building will be dedicated during spring semester. Naming opportunities are still available in the Health Science Building. Contact the office of development at development@ csuniv.edu or call 843-863-7513 for more information. Athletic Performance Center/Angie and Sam Kelly Strength and Conditioning Center The 8,000-square-foot Athletic Performance Center, built adjacent to the Field House, combines a 5,000-square-foot strength and conditioning center for all athletes and space for football meeting and office facilities. The strength and conditioning center houses a nutrition center available to all CSU student-athletes and open following late practices to ensure all athletes have options for snacks, food and recovery. Athletic Director Hank Small said, “This is a dream come true; this facility will benefit

every athlete in the department, every team. We can’t forget about the football teams who played all of the games throughout the years to help have a huge role in this building coming to fruition.” In November 2015, Angie and Sam Kelly of Greenville announced a donation to fund a new strength and conditioning center for CSU student-athletes. The Performance Center effectively doubles the size and capabilities of the current weight room, with state-of-the-art Sorinex equipment and amenities. Sam said, “One of the things I’d like to put on the wall in here is Luke 12:48. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” Chad Scott, assistant athletic director for student-athlete development, said 200-300 student-athletes are using the center every day. “From a recruiting standpoint, it’s amazing to see the eyes [of recruits] wide open when they walk through the door. For our players, there’s a sense of gratitude, and a sense of heightened expectation.” Athletic Performance Center

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Bagwell-Settle Track Sign CSU unveiled new signs under the scoreboard in the south end zone to recognize Howard Bagwell Sr. and James C. Settle. Dr. Jairy Hunter, president, said, “A lot of people have had their lives changed in a very positive way thanks to the coaches and athletic director who have had an impact on their lives.” Howie Bagwell spoke on his late father’s legacy. “I see Dad’s stamp all over this campus everywhere, from the gym, the lake, the athletic fields, and this track complex. This is a tremendous way to honor him and Jim for their accomplishments and their dedication to this school.” “Howard Bagwell and Jim Settle were a really great team,” Ross Settle said. “They did so many things behind the scenes to help make the track program what it was. Dad was here 39 years and that is a tremendous amount of dedication, time and effort. He loves this school; we love this school.” Bagwell served as a track coach, a men’s basketball coach and the director of athletics from 1965-2000. He led then Baptist College from an NAIA school to NCAA Division I status. Bagwell compiled a 263-47 record as a track coach and a 27-16 record as men’s basketball coach. He was inducted into the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame in 1996 and was also a member of the CSU Athletic Hall of Fame. Bagwell was a co-founder of

Sam and Angie Kelly tour the facility named for them. Spring 2018, vol.28 no.1


the Big South Conference, and the Big South Player of the Year Award was created and named for Bagwell. Settle came to Baptist College as assistant cross country and assistant track coach in 1965, quickly developing the program into one of the finest in the Southeast, coaching multiple All-Americans, including 1992 Olympic Silver Medalist Charlie Simpkins. After four years out of coaching, Settle returned as head coach in 1985 and led men’s track to a 29-0 record. All total, the men’s track program posted 313 victories against only 62 defeats from 1966-92, including five undefeated seasons. Settle is a member of the CSU Athletic Hall of Fame. Singleton Baseball Complex The Singleton Baseball Complex includes a 3,500-square-foot building, a memorial plaza recognizing outstanding baseball alumni and the Love is Stronger memorial dedicated in honor of the victims, survivors and families of the Emanuel Nine, and a stadium courtyard. The first floor of the complex houses a locker room, training room and the Sharonda Coleman-Singleton Enrichment Center. Coleman-Singleton, mother of former CSU baseball player, Chris Singleton, was killed June 17, 2015, in the tragic Emanuel AME shooting in Charleston, S.C. The Sharonda Coleman-Singleton Enrichment Center celebrates her life and legacy and is a gathering space for athletes to grow spiritually and academically. Chris Singleton said, “When I think about this building, I smile about how awesome my mom was. If there was an awesome award, my mom would have won it 45 years straight. Every day when I wake up, I ask the Lord to give me strength and wisdom so I won’t let my mom down. With this building being

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dedicated to my mom and my family, I know I’m not letting her down today.” Singleton said about the portion of the complex dedicated to a learning center, “My mom would never let me make C’s, I never made worse than a B when I was here. Those guys better be studying in there.” Adam Ward, head baseball coach, said, “Baseball is a sport centered around a culture of the clubhouse where relationships are made. This is a lot more than a building. Ms. Singleton would be proud of this facility and what it stands for.” Eliana Pinckney, daughter of Rev. Clementa Pinckney, said, “We should never forget those who lost their lives. Don’t let an act of hate destroy that dream they had. Pick up where they left off and go to do greater things knowing each of them are watching over us from heaven.”

Her sister, Malana Pinckney, said, “As a survivor of the tragedy, along with my mom and three others, it is an honor to have Charleston Southern University recognize the victims of the tragedy and the survivors.” Rev. Anthony Thompson, husband of the late Myra Thompson, said, “She [Sharonda Coleman-Singleton] imparted love to every life she touched. This complex is a reflection of a central theme—that love is always stronger than hate.”

above: Caleb, Camryn and Chris Singleton Singleton Baseball Complex

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Powell returns to Lowcountry in Head Nursing Position By Warren Peper • Photo by Richard Esposito


arrie Powell ’01 is a rising star in the health care industry. She was climbing the corporate ladder, working in critical care nursing and left the Lowcountry for California 13 years ago. Powell has always been numerically inclined. Her people skills and a desire to be an advocate for nurses gently nudged her from the nurses’ station to the boardroom. “I like budgets and staffing. I wanted to learn it so I could lobby for resources nurses need,” said Powell. The last decade, Powell worked with Kaiser-Permanente, the largest nonprofit health care company in the United States. She also married and had four children. Life was good, but was it time to get closer to those who knew and loved her most? A chance opening caught her eye for a position at Summerville Medical Center. After a four month process of interviews and winnowing down the candidates, Powell was named Chief Nursing Officer. “It’s a great fit,” Powell said. Her children, ages 4 to 9, attend the same elementary school that she attended. They see their grandparents while learning about places that “mommy used to go.” Her job requires that she oversees 200 nurses. Each day starts with a trip to every nursing floor that usually takes two hours. “Happy nurses equal happy patients,” she maintains. “My job is to care for the people that care for the people.” As the quaint town she loves and remembers grows so does Summerville Medical Center. Powell feels privileged to be in a position to guide the growth of the nursing program. She is certain her experiences at CSU prepared her for this journey. “My spiritual foundations were solidified in those Chapel services,” she recalls. “And nursing is a very spiritual field of work. I’m excited to see CSU offering so many health care courses that prepare their graduates for careers.” As for what’s next? Powell says she’ll go wherever the Lord takes her.

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omen’s soccer player Grace Clark, a junior, plans to go into education and teach in the future. In the meantime, she wanted to help her fellow student-athletes understand the opportunities available to them and the power their voices carry in decisions that affect them. Clark attended the NCAA Student-Athlete Leadership Forum, in Washington, D.C., Nov. 16-19, and returned with a renewed passion for collegiate athletics and ideas on how

to help the CSU Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and her team in the future. Clark, the lone Big South Conference representative out of more than 300 studentathletes in attendance, says the experience was very cool and eye-opening to be there and see everything that happens behind the scenes with the NCAA. “I learned a lot about myself as a leader and my leadership styles,” Clark said. “Learning how to make myself the most effective leader

I can be, which is useful in any setting both on and off the field, as well as in life. I also learned a lot about the NCAA and how athletes can get involved in working with sports after their playing careers are over, which was really cool for me as an education major. For me, I really want to be a teacher, but sports have definitely always been an interest. The number of programs and things they do for athletes for their future was really cool to see.”

Takin’ It to the Streets By Warren Peper, Photo by Seth Friend


riday nights are valuable to most college students. It’s a springboard to the weekend and a break from the classroom until Monday. A group of CSU students has formed that heads to downtown Charleston every Friday night. But they have a different objective. The goal is to share Jesus with people they don’t even know. Hayden Jacobs, a Christian studies major from Boiling Springs, helped form the group in the fall of 2016. The average number of participants has grown to approximately 20 on any given Friday. They meet first in a designated residence for a devotional and a prayer. They then split up into teams and head to King Street, Marion Square, East Bay Street and The Market. The street ministry is called Urban. “We’re not asking for anything in return; we’re just planting seeds, and people notice that something’s different,” explains Jacobs. “We try to engage people. Some are very guarded; some are receptive. We ask intentional questions, and the Holy Spirit is faithful to guide the conversation.”

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The students who participate are not all future pastors or Christian studies majors. Actually, the majority are not. The teams all have a leader because even those who want to participate are not initially comfortable with these personal encounters. One very tangible outcome of this outreach is that students who don’t really know how to share their faith overcome those fears. Jacobs honestly admits that “sometimes, it’s a ministry of failure. But God’s doing things we can’t see.” The Urban team members are asked to look at their encounters as people not projects. Efforts are made to secure names and phone numbers for follow-up conversations. Sometimes, a person is interested in knowing more and will entertain the dialogue at a more convenient moment. The team has also bumped into people who just need help. One person needed shoes; the group found a way to get him a pair. A poor street artist was provided new supplies of brushes and paint. One team of students learned that a person they’d met

Hayden Jacobs, center, gets ready to lead the Urban team in prayer before they head to downtown Charleston.

on a previous Friday was hospitalized after being beaten-up on the streets. They visited that person and prayed for his recovery in his hospital room. The teams usually spend about 90 minutes on the streets of downtown Charleston. They then reconvene to learn about the various encounters and situations. Summit Church sponsors this Urban evangelism. There are no classroom credits or required attendance. This is a group of college students who are passionate about their faith and anxious to share it. Their goal is to encourage and empower.

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First-year and Senior Computer Science Presentations By Warren Peper/Photos by Richard Esposito


eginning and graduating computer science students showcased their work at the end of fall semester. Professor Fred Worthy instructed the various teams of first-year computer students to simulate Bible stories in a computer program. The students were allowed to choose their subject. Some chose Old Testament stories such as the book of Daniel regarding the three men protected by God in the fiery furnace. Another chose to depict the walls of Jericho falling down after Joshua’s army marched around the walled city seven times. In each story, every motion by a character required the student to write code for each body part that moved. Not a single student in the class knew how to make that happen when entering this class. Dr. Valerie Sessions, chair of the computer science department, congratulated the students and encouraged them to pursue

top: First-year computer students present their animated Bible stories. above: Joshua Dickard, a graduating computer science major, presents better data visualization of election centric information that can be used to understand critical information in upcoming elections.

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additional challenges in this field which is providing jobs for more and more graduates every day. She also invited the first-year students to stop by the presentations by graduating seniors to see how much farther they can expand their abilities if they decide to pursue a degree in CSU’s constantly growing curriculum. The presentations made by two senior computer science students dealt with efforts to make technology simplify, not complicate, how we interact with mobile devices and information. Matt McCrackin created an App that puts a locking mechanism in Apple messages. Messages can then be unlocked by the recipient using established parameters such as on a certain day or on a GPS-based location. During the demonstration, he walked around the class with his own cell phone and

allowed those in attendance to experience the functionality he had built into his improved system. The second presentation featured Joshua Dickard and his desire to create better data visualization for understanding election centric information. Dickard works for the Charleston County Election Commission, so this task was personal and professional. He explained how current files are impossible to read, though there’s a heavy reliance on the data. His mission was to create simple charts that could be easily interpreted by those seeking the information. Dickard used graphs and core charts that visually deciphered various demographics and critical information that can be used in future elections. Sessions said that each senior must complete such a project and present the findings before graduating.

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clockwise from upper left: The view of Lake Atitlan from the village of Santa Cruz La Laguna. A weaver in Santa Cruz La Laguna. CSU students worked with children in the after school program.


our CSU students used part of their winter break to visit a small village in Guatemala that was wired for electricity barely a decade ago. Sponsored by the computer science department, the students were part of a Creative Teamwork class that taught and ministered to children in the village of Santa Cruz La Laguna. Computer Science Chair Dr. Valerie Sessions and her husband accompanied the CSU contingent. Their hosts were Sara and Justin Wallace. Sara once worked for Blackbaud in Charleston and also attended church with Sessions. Brianna Woods, Matt McCrackin, Carla Contreras, and Craig Albertson spent a week interacting and teaching children in the village through a virtual reality system. The youngsters were mostly middle school ages. “These kids wanted to learn,” said Woods, a junior business major from Ohio. McCrackin marveled at the kids’ optimism. “They instantly grasped the technology

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and were so interested in knowing more.” McCrackin graduated with a computer science degree in 2017 and is now taking four postgraduate classes as he seeks his master of science in computer science degree. The Mayan village rests on a steep, junglecovered mountainside, reachable only by boat. The primary mode of transportation is a three-wheeled motorized vehicle known as a tuk tuk. There are no cars, no grocery stores, no ATMs, and often no cell service. For this group, that was no problem. Through a virtual reality app known as Cardboard Camera, the young villagers were shown videos of Charleston Southern. One day a week, children learn English and stories of the Bible after school is dismissed. The boys attend one day, girls another. The CSU students also found time to paint the classroom. As Sessions observed, “This is a small village and most have never traveled past the next town. The fact that CSU could bring the world to them through VR is incredible.”

Woods’ favorite moment of the trip was worshipping with others in a house church. About 20 people gathered in a local home to pray, sing and watch a streaming sermon from the United States. “It was so inspiring and moving,” she remembers. The trip also provided perspective on how much people in the U.S. have, compared to others. Yet, here is this small group from CSU, in a small village in Guatemala, telling the story of God’s love and showing young children videos of a university campus seemingly light years away from their front doors. McCrackin, a Stratford High School grad, was born across the street from CSU and has an immediate answer to why he was so thrilled to take such a trip. “It gave me a chance to do good stuff!” While that may not be the exact wording of The Great Commission, it certainly seems to put our students on the path to it. It also goes hand in hand with CSU’s vision of learning, leading and serving.

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AFROTC Cadets Receive Prestigious Scholarships

Surprise scholarship awarded to Isaiah Singleton

By Warren Peper, Photos by Richard Esposito


ir Force ROTC offers two Commander’s Scholarships, and two Charleston Southern cadets recently received them. Type 1 is given to a student pursuing a major in technical fields with a scientific basis. Type 2 is awarded mostly in technical fields. Isaiah Singleton was awarded the Type 1 Commander’s Scholarship providing unlimited tuition and fees for four years. Evelyn Eichberger received Type 2 which provides $18,000 per year for tuition and fees for three years. The scholarships were awarded during a surprise announcement at a detachment assembly on campus.

Isaiah Singleton’s family


t was supposed to be a surprise announcement, but Isaiah Singleton got a feeling something was up when his family arrived for what he’d been told was a routine squad inspection. The Stall High School graduate learned the Air Force was awarding him a Commander’s Scholarship to cover four years of unlimited tuition and fees along with additional stipends for books. “My mom and grandmother started crying immediately, and my Dad looked at me, pumped his fist and said, ‘that’s my man.’” Singleton wasn’t interested in CSU coming out of high school. His first choice was Ohio State University, but the price tag was prohibitive. He had a good visit to Charleston Southern and especially noticed how much people seemed to care. Enrollment advisor, Kimberly Ford, was so diligent, and he knew ROTC advisor, Major Kimberly Champagne, from church. He also liked the spirit of the campus. “As a teenager, my faith felt like a chore; when I got to CSU, it felt like a choice.”

Something else almost sidetracked Singleton from even qualifying to be a basic cadet. When he first showed up at CSU, he was 30 pounds overweight. Champagne said, “He was not within standards.” Champagne partnered Singleton with Charles Cannon, a senior level cadet. With Cannon providing leadership and Singleton showing a willingness to follow, the proper standard was achieved; the weight disappeared. Singleton’s major is biochemistry. His ultimate goal once his Air Force commitment is fulfilled is to enter the field of orthopedic medicine. This summer, Singleton will participate in a field training exercise in Alabama for 27 days. He also hopes to receive approval to study abroad for one semester. Singleton is thankful this scholarship allows him to do more than just the basics. He’s also grateful that the financial burden is lifted from his parents. As a member of a blended family, he has two older siblings and two younger.

Isaiah Singleton and Evelyn Eichberger

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Don’t underestimate Evelyn Eichberger


o, just to be clear, Evelyn Eichberger’s heard all the short jokes. She’s been the smallest kid in school all her life, and all 4’9” of her is now at CSU. “Inside my own head, I’ve always felt tall,” said the sophomore from Aiken. Her head is certainly in the clouds these days after receiving an Air Force ROTC Type 2 scholarship that keeps her financially secure for the remainder of her college life. “I was excited, and this money is much needed,” said Eichberger. “I would have found a way with loans and a couple of grants, but with this scholarship, I’m just so grateful.”

The ROTC admission folks knew Eichberger’s name quite well. Nobody called the office more than she did checking on her status. No matter the setbacks, frustration or tears, this young lady would not be deterred. When her initial premed major presented problems dealing with chemistry, no problem — she switched to general biology. Eichberger has a determination born of constantly being told she might be too frail, or too small or too this or too that. “Just because I’m short doesn’t mean I can’t do things,” she said. Major Kimberly Champagne, AFROTC advisor, has repeatedly cautioned Eichberger about worrying so much about the future.

“The Major keeps telling me to live for today, live in the moment.” Receiving this scholarship makes that a little easier to accomplish. But don’t get the wrong idea, this little airman-to-be isn’t resting on her laurels. On top of her schoolwork and ROTC commitments, she’s a server at a steak house not far from campus, because “I still gotta pay some bills.” In order to keep the Scholarship, Eichberger will need to maintain a certain GPA while also passing her physical training. Again, she doesn’t consider that a tall order. “That just motivates me to prove to them I’m one of the best.” Eichberger’s not short on confidence.

above: Evelyn Eichberger’s family

2017 HALL OF FAME CLASS ANNOUNCED By CSU sports information

Five former Buccaneers had their legacies cemented in history when they were inducted into the Charleston Southern Athletics Hall of Fame. Kelvin Martin ’12 Men’s Basketball, Olivia Jordan-Higgins ’10 Golf, Amanda Hill ’11 Volleyball, Javon Young ’13 Men’s Track, and Tyler Thornburg Baseball 2008-’10 were inducted Oct. 28, 2017.

The 2017 Athletic Hall of Fame inductees were recognized during the Homecoming game. Pictured are: Athletic Director Hank Small, Tyler Thornburg, Amanda Hill, Olivia Jordan-Higgins and President Jairy Hunter. Not pictured are: Javon Young and Kelvin Martin. Photo by Richard Esposito




Personnel Update Compiled by Jenna Johnson and Warren Peper

Davis New Leader of CSU Career Center


fter graduating from the College of Charleston, Dr. Nina Davis ’04 decided to pursue her master’s in criminal justice at CSU. Since then she has added a PhD to her resume in education and human services administration. As the assistant dean of the Career Center, Davis is making students even more aware of what the Career Center can offer. She is working with local businesses and wants them to think of CSU students when looking for employees.

Dr. Nina Davis

Fultz New Dean of College of Humanities and Social Sciences


r. Daniel D. Fultz, professor of communication and media arts, is the new dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the largest CSU academic division. Fultz has more than 25 years of experience in higher education. He has also worked in public relations, website design and served on numerous boards. He has been serving as associate dean for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and teaching. An ordained Southern Baptist pastor, Fultz has a master’s degree in business and a doctorate in communication.

Dr. Daniel D. Fultz

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Rhoton Named VP of Enrollment Management


im Rhoton ’07 MBA accepted a job as a residence life coordinator at CSU in 1999. While working for the university, he pursued his MBA and eventually landed in a class taught by school president, Dr. Jairy Hunter. Hunter had been impressed with his classroom work and recommended him to fill a position in the Office of Admissions. Rhoton has held several positions in Admissions and was recently named vice president for enrollment management. Rhoton said, “I believe CSU’s best days are ahead. It’s been wonderful to see the growth and development of the school these last 18 years.”

Jim Rhoton

Palmer Appointed Dean of the School of Business


r. David Palmer, associate professor of marketing, has been appointed Dean of the School of Business. Before joining the CSU faculty as associate professor and director of graduate programs in 2016, Palmer served as associate professor of management and marketing at Jacksonville State University (Ala.). Prior to joining academia, Palmer spent most of his business career working in the information technology side of the life insurance industry as a programmer, analyst and executive. He is active in research, having published or presented many peer-reviewed journal articles, conference proceedings and presentations. Palmer holds a bachelor of science, with a concentration in computer science, from Samford University, an executive MBA and a doctor of philosophy in marketing from the University of Alabama.

Dr. David Palmer

Spring 2018, vol.28 no.1

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2017-2018 Teaching Fellows, Photo by Richard Esposito


n fall 2017 CSU welcomed 20 new freshmen into its Teaching Fellows program, the largest freshman cohort in CSU history. The program has more than doubled in the past three years, with 49 Fellows beginning the 2017-18 academic year. In 1999, the South Carolina General Assembly, recognizing the shortage of teachers in our state, funded the Teaching Fellows Program. CSU was selected as a Teaching Fellows Institution in 2000, and is one of only 11 TF programs in South Carolina. CSU Teaching Fellows receive $24,000 in fellowship funds ($6000 a year for four years) while they complete a degree leading to teacher licensure. Upon graduation, a Fellow agrees to teach in a S.C. public school one year for every year receiving the Fellowship. Amber James, senior early childhood education major, said, “I appreciate the size of our program because I have truly been able to connect with all my fellow Teaching Fellows. While at first glance CSU tuition might seem unaffordable, with the Teaching Fellowship

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and other scholarships, it actually costs less money for me to come to a private institution than a large, public university. I adore our small campus, its location, and the professors at CSU. All in all, being a Teaching Fellow has made my college experience exceptional!” ​Campus director, Kimberly Baggs, can attest that the TF Program not only recruits the best of the best, it prepares these future teachers to positively impact education in South Carolina. Among the benefits to students in the program is the advanced professional development they participate in from their first year, including diversity education, leadership development, advocacy, and the use of technology to improve student achievement. Brian DeLesline, a sophomore majoring in secondary English education, said, “Before actually reaching your respective field, you begin to network with local teachers, principals, and superintendents who help shape this community. Because of the program, you are able to revisit the classroom, viewing it from the perspective of a teacher. Mentoring is key.

During your freshman year, you receive a Big Fellow to mentor and encourage you.” Alicia Patton ’15, a current third-year elementary teacher and TF Advisory Council member, said, “My Teaching Fellow title didn’t end when I graduated from college. That is where it started. I started teaching to the hearts of students like I was taught to do. I started becoming the successful, passionate and prepared educator that the Teaching Fellows Program molded me to be. I will always proudly identify myself as a S.C. Teaching Fellow as I pursue new opportunities that all started from this CSU program.” The mission of the S.C. Teaching Fellows Program is to recruit 200 talented high school seniors, who have exhibited high academic achievement, a history of service to their school and community, and a desire to teach in South Carolina, into the teaching profession. For more information, please visit www.cerra.org/teaching-fellows.html.

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Earl Smalley ’91 Vice President, Celek & Celek Construction, Inc.

What inspired you to contribute to the Singleton Baseball Complex? I think we were all inspired by Chris. He spoke such big words at the most difficult time; he’s a true American hero. As a fellow baseball alumnus, what did it mean to you to support a project honoring Chris Singleton? It’s a blessing. To be able to support so many worthwhile causes in one project; Chris, his family and values, love, legacy, spirit, sport, and the Emanuel families, just a blessing. Why do you think it is important for alumni to give back to CSU? It’s important to give back so that others can enjoy a new and improved CSU. I graduated in 1991, no pool back then. So, it’s great for the school to be able to offer these new programs and for the students to be able to compete in new sports facilities.

To learn about giving opportunities, email development@csuniv.edu or call the development office at 843-863-7513

Earl Smalley and Chris Singleton at the dedication of the Singleton Baseball Complex. Photo by Richard Esposito

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BUCCANEER PRIDE LIVES ON Charleston Southern’s Brick Program provides alumni, friends, faculty and staff the opportunity to leave their mark on CSU as well as support the future of CSU students.

E.J. Reddick, Class of 2017, highlighted his time on the Buccaneer track team on his brick.

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