CSU Magazine - Spring 2020

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Spring 2020

On the cover: Freshman Zoreim Lara packed 80 OCC boxes with the help of her family and friends. Photo by Laurie Diel

© 2020 Charleston Southern University

EDITORIAL STAFF: Jan Joslin ’82, Editor, Director of Publications Richard Esposito, Director of Integrated Marketing Jenna Johnson, Assistant Director of Integrated Marketing Tyler Stokes, Graphic Designer CONTRIBUTORS: Dr. Michael Bryant ’95, Tom Clemmons Laurie Diel, Cady Nell Keener ’15 Green Bay Packers Photos, Betty Palmer Dr. Jason Peterson, Ricky Reyes ’03, ’11, Shari Richmond Dr. Valerie Sessions, Jim Slater, Bill Ward ’90 Dr. Scott Yarbrough

INTERNS: SarahBeth McKenzie ’20 Wesley Myers ’20 CSU Magazine is published three times a year by the office of marketing and communication for alumni and friends of Charleston Southern University. Contact us at magazine@csuniv.edu. Address changes: csudevelopment@csuniv.edu

contents LEARNING

3 3 4 8 10

First PA Class Graduates DPT Launching Soon Benefits of Christian Education Shuler Digging History Computer Science Opportunities

LEADING 12 Founding Trustee Visits CSU

13 Five Grads Ordained 13 Hunter Receives Award 14 Invitation to Change the World 15 U.S. News Ranking Tops in S.C. 16 Athletic Training for the Packers SERVING 18 French Founds Dictionary Project 19 Covington’s Toy Story 20 Faith Revealed in Red & Green 27 Beyond the Box 29 Help Fill Boxes 30 Behind the OCC Scene 31 OCC Volunteer Shares Power of Box 32 Lara Packs 80 Boxes 32 Love in a Box 33 Employees Go All Out SCHOOL TIES 34 Class Notes 36 Baby Bucs 37 Alumnus Fights Invasive Lionfish 38 Dewees Family Miracle 38 In Memory FOREVER CSU 39 Boatwright Brothers Win

Design and layout by: Bob Durand Design www.facebook.com/bobduranddesign

Printed by: Knight Printing and Graphics www.knightpandg.com

Dr. Andrew Blauch, director of the engineering and applied math programs, works with engineering students. CSU has added engineering with concentrations in computer and electrical to the curriculum, and mechanical concentration coming soon. Photo by Richard Esposito

39 Daniels Start Scholarships 39 Stewart Endowed Scholarship 40 Word of Mouth Leads to Donation 40 Nominate a Fellow Alum 40 Mark Your Calendars


By Dr. Dondi Costin


went to high school with a guy who was good at any sport he ever tried. Baseball, football, basketball, golf, track and field, ping pong. You name it, he was good at it. You know the type. The kind of athlete who makes you wonder if he siphoned off some of your talent as his was being formed. A natural who would make you nauseous if he wasn’t so nice. He was the friendliest fella you could hope to meet, which made me cheer for his success even harder. The perfect

combination of giftedness and will to win, he was confident without being cocky and competitive without being combative. You wanted this guy on your team. We played in the same Little League. Unfortunately, we were on different teams. Among other things, Mike was a tall, lanky pitcher with a wicked fastball. He struck me out the only time I faced him. At least that’s what the umpire said. I never saw the ball and can’t remember swinging the bat. But the rat-a-tat-tat of earsplitting smacks in the catcher’s mitt, followed by the ump kindly pointing me back to the bench, gave it away. I saw him dunk a basketball in junior high, but he was never quite good enough to make the varsity his first year in high school. He was still on the football and baseball teams then and was a high jumper my first year on the track team. He got pretty good at basketball along the way, though, and a few famous college coaches crowded our gym his

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senior year. North Carolina’s Dean Smith was in that number. When Coach Smith comes to town, people perk up. But as good as Mike got, we never expected a guy from our high school to make it big. Why? Jesus said it best: “A prophet is without honor in his own hometown” (Mark 6:4). Famous people don’t grow up down the street from you. That’s just the way it is. But that Mike made the last-second shot that handed Dean Smith his first national championship in 1982. A week or two later, our Mike was honored as the North Carolina Azalea Festival Parade Grand Marshall. In our hometown, it doesn’t get any bigger than that. Suddenly, Mike had everyone’s attention. The next thing I knew, he was calling himself Michael, and I was saving to buy basketball shoes sporting the name and likeness of a guy who graduated from my high school one year ahead of me. I still have those special-edition Carolina Blue Air Jordans in my closet, along with a pile of shirts emblazoned with his silhouette. Let’s just say that, these days, Michael Jordan has all the honor he can handle in our hometown. From where I sit, Charleston Southern is the Michael Jordan of my new hometown. The old Baptist College once seemed like a day’s drive from downtown Charleston, but we now occupy the epicenter of one of the country’s fastest-growing population centers. Good thing. Because we’d love for as many students as possible to hang out with our Michael Jordan. Always known for providing academic excellence in a Christian environment, U.S. News and World Report recently ranked CSU No. 11 in the nation for its online bachelor’s degree programs, and No. 8 in the nation for providing such high-quality programs for veterans. Consistently one of the two largest private universities in the state, CSU is routinely honored for educating a student body in which 35 percent are students of color. To meet workforce demands in our hometown and beyond, CSU’s brandnew engineering degree program with

concentrations in electrical and computer will quickly expand to include mechanical this summer. We recently broke ground on a state-of-the-art facility to house these in-demand programs. Our year-old Doctor of Education in Leadership degree program just launched its fourth cohort, which means 87 emerging leaders are now being equipped to make a difference in our hometown. And we’re just getting started. In May of 2022, our first Doctor of Physical Therapy cohort will take its place in a just-finished addition to the world-class facility now preparing our third class of Physician Assistants. The best news for future patients is that their caregivers’ primary trainer is The Great Physician. CSU’s football 2020 recruiting class sits among the best in the FCS, picked No. 13 in the nation, according to HERO Sports. Not to mention the thousands of students in undergraduate and graduate programs preparing for careers in the sciences, medicine, law, cybersecurity, education, business, counseling, law enforcement, music, and the ministry, just to name a few. Marinated in a liberal arts core and saturated in the biblical worldview, students in every major are transformed into techsavvy, critical-thinking problem solvers ready to change the world. So when you want to hire the best our hometown has to offer, look for the most enthusiastic servant leader you can find and ask them what year they graduated from CSU. Given our impact in this neck of the woods, the old Baptist College is worthy of high honor in its own hometown—and beyond. Just like Mike. Hometown heroes grew up right before our eyes. Mike became Michael Jordan, and Baptist College became Charleston Southern. By the way, Michael and I attended high school just three hours north of here. Our mascot? The Buccaneers. Our colors? Blue and Gold. Because that’s how we roll in our hometowns.

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he inaugural CSU Physician Assistant class graduated December 14. All 25 students in the first cohort, which began in January 2018, received a Master of Medical Science in physician assistant studies degree. The PA students finished their clinical rotations in December and became eligible to sit for the national certification examination for physician assistants and will be able to apply for licensure in the state in which they wish to practice medicine. Gabrielle Poole, director of the physician assistant studies program, was instrumental in creating the program. She said many of the PA graduates already have jobs. “It is a gift to get to train students in a Christian environment,” said Poole. The faculty recognized graduate Kristy Gonzalez for inspiring and encouraging personal and professional development in her classmates. Gonzalez said, “I have no doubt we are going to achieve amazing things.” She said the inaugural class is making a donation to the Ronald McDonald House in appreciation of the city they have called home for two years. The class also started a photo wall in the health science building to recognize each PA class.

In his remarks to the PA Class of 2019, Dr. Dondi Costin, president, told the graduates, “Your job is to be Jesus with skin on for your patients.” During their clinical rotations, PA students work with preceptors who agree to take the class under their wings. The inaugural class of PA students chose Dr. Caroline Keller for the Preceptor Award. Upon learning of the award, Keller said the CSU PA students gave her back her love of medicine. Another highlight of the program was the white coat ceremony for the second cohort. The white coat ceremony marks the beginning of the final year for the 30 students in the second cohort. They began studies in January 2019. Their clinical rotation year begins in January 2020. Special Awards: Excellence in Academics: Ashley J. Black of Summerville, S.C. Excellence in Leadership: Kristy A. Gonzalez of Oviedo, Fla. Excellence in Compassion: Brianna A. Blanton of Summerville, S.C. Preceptor of the Year: Dr. Caroline Keller, OB-GYN.

Gabrielle Poole, director of the PA program, presents Kristy Gonzalez the Excellence in Leadership award.

President Dondi Costin presents Maya James with her Master of Medical Science in physician assistant studies degree. Photos by Richard Esposito



he Doctor of Physical Therapy Program will begin accepting applications in July 2021, with the first cohort of 48 students set to begin in May 2022. The full-time program is 120 credit hours, and students will complete the DPT in 2.5 years. In addition to the traditional classroom experience, students must complete three 10-week full-time clinical experiences – which include inpatient, outpatient, and student choice. Students are also required to participate in multiple service-learning projects. “We are very excited to be partnering with organizations that allow our students

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opportunities to use their skills to provide service to others,” Dr. Jacob Thorp, director of the physical therapy program, said. Those interested in participating as a clinical instructor may contact the department at dpt@csuniv.edu. Currently, Thorp is hosting building tours of the newly completed physical therapy wing. CSU recently completed the modern health science building expansion dedicated to meet the unique needs of PT students, including research and teaching labs, several classrooms, as well as seven break out areas that can be used for individual and group studying. Interested applicants, current

students, alumni and community members are welcome to contact Thorp at dpt@ csuniv.edu to schedule a tour. “The vision of the DPT program at CSU is to embody biblical values and be a nationally recognized leader in academic excellence, compassionate service and advanced clinical care,” Thorp said. “We want to show our students the importance of professionalism in this service-oriented career.” Learn more about the newest addition to CSU’s academic degree offerings at charlestonsouthern.edu/DPT. Pending approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

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By Jan Joslin / Photos by Richard Esposito

“It matters who your son or daughter listens to every day in class, so I think the great value of a Christian education is that young minds and hearts and souls are looking up to godly men and women and learning from them,” said the Rev. Tom Clemmons, CSU’s vice president for enrollment management.

Students gather for Bible study in Java City.


lemmons is in a position to know. Not only is he heading up efforts to enroll students at Charleston Southern but he and his wife, Melissa, are the parents of three young men, one of whom is a current CSU student. Clemmons said, “Students at Christian universities are sharing life with faculty and staff and peers who share a biblical worldview. That’s a great investment in them now and in their future. I would say a much better investment than spending 30 or 40k on a cool car – invest in something that will drive them for the rest of their lives. A purpose. A mission to make much of Christ and not themselves. They will soak in the classroom and the athletic fields, the stairwells and the dorm rooms, and these sponges will then be squeezed one day. We hope that Christ will ooze out of them as they integrate their faith in any and every profession and calling.”


From the Beginning The founders of the Baptist College at Charleston, now known as Charleston Southern University, saw the need for an additional college in the Lowcountry of South Carolina due to population growth in the area. From the beginning, they knew that a faith-based school was the answer. In the late 1950s, there was not a faith-based college east of Columbia. Fast forward more than 60 years, and Charleston Southern has made its mark on the city, state and beyond by equipping graduates to integrate faith in all that they do. The founders used Matthew 28:19-20, also known as the Great Commission, as the guiding direction for the university: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations … teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you.” The Great Commission still provides the driving force for the university.

Universities. CCCU conducts extensive research and releases reports regularly which debunk that impression. Many factors play into higher education funding, and a private Christian school may be cheaper than you think. In “The Case for Christian Higher Education,” CCCU reports, “Christian colleges and universities see it as their mission to provide an affordable quality education for students and families choosing Christian higher education. Students receive more financial aid from our campuses than they do from state and federal governments. Our institutions are priced below other private schools and welcome students with high financial need. At the same time, our graduates repay whatever funds they do borrow at significantly higher rates than their peers. CCCU institutions have the lowest default rates in higher education.” A study conducted by Econsult Solutions titled “Building the Common Good: The National Impact of Council for Christian Colleges & Universities” reveals some interesting facts: • “For every $1 in federal grant money a student receives, CCCU institutions provide $5 in aid to that student through grants and scholarships.” • According to the U.S. Department of Education, CCCU students take out the least in loans. • “CCCU students are more likely to be first-generation students and are less likely to come from high earning families.” • “CCCU students and alumni bring a faith-informed perspective to careers in a wide range of fields, including business and finance, which represents the top career cluster for CCCU students. In addition, CCCU students are overrepresented in fields that may not maximize earning but deliver social benefits such as human services and education.”

Benefits of Christian Education In an increasingly tough higher education market, it can be difficult to sell a private university education to prospective students and their parents. The false impression that people have is that a Christian private education will be more expensive than public and other private schools. Charleston Southern is a member of the Council of Christian Colleges and

Beyond Financial Benefits Prospective students and their parents are looking for a guarantee of a job following graduation. While CSU desires the same thing for our graduates, administrators, faculty and staff know that a Christian education offers so much more. It prepares students and graduates to make better decisions long-term, to be parents who will pass on values to their children and

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grandchildren, to serve in their churches and communities, and to be employees who are ethical and exercise integrity. President Dondi E. Costin points to the Great Commission and CSU’s role in making disciples as the basis for the university’s strategic plan for 2020-2025. He said, “We are coordinating a comprehensive system to ensure every student has the opportunity to find and fulfill their life purpose. “By equipping students with a biblical worldview, competencies to perform at the highest levels, godly character, and experiences to grow their grit, our mission includes guiding them to find their sweet spot in life. As an ideal, this sweet spot occurs at the intersection of what you love,

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“We are coordinating a comprehensive system to ensure every student has the opportunity to find and fulfill their life purpose.” — CSU President, Dondi E. Costin

what you’re good at, what the world needs, and what you’re paid for. We call it living a life of significance on purpose,” said Costin. “Preparing students for that purpose is what we do.” In addition, he said, “Christians develop a long-term view and learn to be content, thankful, joyful, productive, and Godglorifying in every situation, regardless of their circumstances.” Some additional benefits of Christian universities are: • Experiencing an atmosphere where people have a genuine love for Christ and others • Preparing for a life of service • Learning from the best-selling book

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of all time through the study of the Old and New Testaments • Understanding and training for a greater purpose as well as training in specific fields of study • Incorporating a holistic view of life • Learning from Christian faculty, staff, coaches, mentors and counselors • Training that will provide the background and knowledge to face a future filled with jobs and challenges we can’t even imagine now. When New York Times columnist David Brooks was writing his book, The Road to Character, he visited multiple Christian college campuses. Reflecting on the experience with a group of Christian college

leaders, Brooks said, “You guys are the avant-garde of 21st century culture. You have what everybody else is desperate to have: a way of talking about and educating the human person in a way that integrates faith, emotion and intellect. You have a recipe to nurture human beings who have a devoted heart, a courageous mind and a purposeful soul. Almost no other set of institutions in American society has that, and everyone wants it.”

CSU’s faith-based environment spills over into the classroom, the residence halls and the playing fields.

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“I wanted to get out and find history. It’s awesome to get to hold something no one has touched since the 1700s.” — Ethan Shuler

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he most interesting items Ethan Shuler has found in his archaeological dig at Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site in Summerville are a musket ball and a red glass jewel bead. He’s also found mounds of broken bricks, but that hasn’t dimmed his enthusiasm. “I wanted to get out and find history,” said Shuler. “It’s awesome to get to hold something no one has touched since the 1700s.” Shuler is an intern with Mary Mikulla, a South Carolina archaeologist/interpretive ranger at Colonial Dorchester, and is receiving academic credit toward his Charleston Southern University history degree. He has also volunteered on digs at Charles Towne Landing and Hampton Plantation. Shuler is learning archaeology on the job. Mikulla gave Shuler his own dig site as a learning lab. He is in the process of uncovering the foundation of a building. Shuler lays out a grid, marks it off and carefully catalogs what is found during the preliminary dig. Everything is documented on paper and photographed. “I clean everything I find and catalog it,” said Shuler. “Items are either kept on site or sent to Columbia to the state parks headquarters. Items may end up in a museum.” He is also working with Colonial Dorchester’s current archaeological dig which began in 2006. The staff believes it is a kitchen building, and shovel tests indicate the site may have belonged to one of the town’s richest citizens.

Several things contribute to the uniqueness of Colonial Dorchester’s site. “Colonial Dorchester is an archaeological time capsule of the 1700s,” said Mikulla. It is unusual that the site has not been touched since the 1700s. Also, the park has access to a map of the town’s outline. While it doesn’t show great detail, the park staff knows where building lots are located. Mikulla said archaeologists are able to take their time with digs since Colonial Dorchester is a state historic site. She said the park exists to preserve history and relies on the efforts of interns and volunteers to help with the work. “We are working to gain a better understanding of colonial life in South Carolina.” Shuler works on site several days a week. He is interested in medieval history with the dream of working on a castle in the United Kingdom. The Charleston Southern history department supervises internships at Lowcountry historic sites to provide history majors the opportunity to enhance their knowledge of the discipline while engaging with historians, archaeologists and the general public within a hands-on learning context beyond the traditional classroom. Dr. Mark Williams, associate professor of history, said, “Often, an internship serves as a career affirming experience, as working at Colonial Dorchester this semester has for Ethan. He has used the internship as a platform to apply for graduate study in archaeology in Europe.” Shuler is a junior history major with a minor in Christian studies. He is from Moncks Corner.

Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site is located on what was once the town of Dorchester, established in 1697 as a major trade center on the Ashley River. Notable historical figures Francis Marion and Thomas Sumter were stationed at the tabby fort at Colonial Dorchester during the Revolutionary War before Charles Towne fell to the British, and the British took over the fort. The town was abandoned after the war.

FACING PAGE: Mary Mikulla, archaeologist/interpretive ranger at Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site, is supervising Ethan Shuler’s archaeology internship. ABOVE: Ethan Shuler documents the layout of a new dig site. Photos by Jan Joslin

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he stereotypical image of a computer major is someone sitting in front of a computer for hours on end with little interaction with the outside world. The CSU computer science department is exploding that image with the work they are doing with the Charleston Women in Tech mentorship program, the national competitions the cybersecurity team competes in, volunteering at the Charleston STEM Festival, hosting the Charleston chapter of The Next IT Girl, and more. CSU2 Sponsored by Palmetto Roost The CSU Cybersecurity Club, dubbed CSU2, is a student-led organization devoted to growing interest in cybersecurity as a profession and applying what they have learned in the classroom to local and national competitions. The team is aided in this cause by the Palmetto Roost, the

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Lowcountry chapter of the Association of Old Crows. The AOC is a professional organization specializing in electronic warfare, tactical information operations, and associated disciplines such as cybersecurity. The Palmetto Roost has sponsored the club over the past five years and has given more than $10,000 to help the students travel to competitions or bring in fantastic speakers. The club recently heard from Col. Ryan Gunst, who spoke on cryptocurrency and its role in national security. The Palmetto Roost is pleased to sponsor the students in their efforts and believe that competitions such as the Southeast Regional Cyber Defense Competition, Georgia Tech’s Hungry Hungry Hackers, or the local Palmetto Cyber Defense Competition, are instrumental in students learning and growing as professionals.

Rich Nelson, president of the Roost, said, “CSU’s integration of cybersecurity is an insightful and exciting response to future needs of our commercial industry, government, and our military. We are pleased to partner with CSU in growing the future of the cybersecurity profession.” Cybersecurity a Growing Field Dr. Yu-Ju Lin is the director of graduate studies in computer science and is founder of the Cybersecurity Club, now CSU2. The cybersecurity major has experienced exponential growth, starting with only eight students and growing to over 30 in just two years, with all of the recent graduates opting to pursue careers in the defense sector, finding employment at the Naval Information Warfare Center. Technology pervades every aspect of life, and this is reflected in the growth of the

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industry. Cybersecurity is a rapidly growing field with incredible potential in the greater Charleston area. “The U.S. Bureau of Labor predicts that in the next 10 years, the job market related to cybersecurity is going to raise 28 percent,” Lin said. “There’s just such an abundance of riches here in Charleston, no matter what field you want to go into,” said Dr. Valerie Sessions, chair of the computer science department. Sessions previously worked at NIWC, where she continues to work part time. Students from CSU intern at a variety of companies in the Charleston area, including NIWC, Blackbaud and Benefitfocus, with some students receiving highly sought after internships in federal agencies. “If a student comes to our program, they definitely have a lot of jobs waiting for them,” said Lin. One of his students was recently hired by J.P. Morgan, reportedly beating out candidates from universities such as Yale and Harvard. Students within the major have the opportunity to gain valuable real-world experience through the Cybersecurity Club. “It really is a student-led organization, so we have just come up alongside them to try to help foster that and help foster their desire to do that,” said Professor Julie Henderson, academic advisor for the club. “During the competition, they will learn something that we are unable to teach them, like real-world defense or real-world attack,” said Lin. “In class we make the environment, so they know how to hack or how to defend, but in the competition they are experiencing firsthand the real-world situation.” Adjunct Professor Lane Melton is an operations security manager at NIWC and believes that in today’s world cybersecurity is more important than ever. Melton is a Navy veteran and worked in Project SeaHawk and other antiterrorist operations. He reinforces the importance of cyber defense today, saying “It’s not just about Department of Defense; it’s not just about warfare; it’s about espionage as well; it’s about business competing against business, country against country in the business world.” CWIT Includes CSU Students Charleston Women in Tech is a local community of tech professionals who

provide invaluable resources for education. Sessions, a member of the CWIT Board of Directors, values the opportunities it provides to students. “It’s really great to be able to gather with a really big group of women and to support those students,” Sessions said. CWIT recently started an extensive mentorship program, which connects women in tech, including Charleston Southern students, with experts in their fields, allowing for deeper personal connections. Jennifer Schultz, head of the CWIT mentorship program and a software engineer for Tallo, originally graduated as a psychology major. After spending time working in data organization, she became familiar with the software and wanted to explore her interests further. She is also the founder of the Charleston Women Devs group. The CWIT mentorship program has grown rapidly since its inception, and currently boasts 27 mentors and 93 mentees. “It has been shocking to be honest, how many people signed up for this program,” Schultz said. CWIT prides itself on providing a strong community of growth for anyone seeking a career in tech, and this can clearly be seen through their CodeON program. CodeON stands for Coding in Our Neighborhood, and it is a program that provides resources for youth to experience and learn how to program and get involved in computing careers by going into underdeveloped communities. The program originally started off meeting in a laundromat, but they have since expanded and now have three locations at community centers and churches in the Charleston area. CSU computer science students volunteer with CodeON and recently repurposed computers to be used in the CodeON program. At a CodeON meeting, youth learn about programming and apply their knowledge, providing invaluable experience in a rapidly growing field, and providing opportunities that many people would otherwise never have. CSU students majoring in computer science or cybersecurity need not fear they won’t have interaction with the public.

“If a student comes to our program, they definitely have a lot of jobs waiting for them.” — Dr. Yu-Jun Lin

Palmetto Roost not only provides funding for the CSU2 but also provides guest speakers such as Colonel Ryan Gunst, who spoke on Cryptocurrency and national security. CSU students repurpose computers to be used by youth in the CodeON project. CSU2 students compete in national competitions. Photos provided by CSU computer science department.

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remembers the preacher saying if Jesus is the Christ and He loves me, then no sacrifice will be too great. On his eight mile ride back to the base in the blacked out countryside, Palmer said, “Oh God, I do believe.” He committed to the ministry and decided he needed to be as sharp as he possibly could if he was to serve the Lord. He married Ellen, his wife of 73 years, and said, “That was a good decision.” He earned four degrees including his doctorate and taught New Testament Greek in college and seminary while serving as a pastor. Palmer went on to pastor several churches in South Carolina and other states and was headmaster at a private school in Tennessee when he retired at the age of 85. The Palmers live in Tennessee and have three children, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. His son, Dr. David Palmer, dean of CSU’s College of Business, introduced him.


member of CSU’s founding Board of Trustees returned to campus to deliver a Veterans Day message. Dr. William L. “Bill” Palmer was pastor of Dorchester-Waylyn Baptist Church (now Doorway Baptist Church) from 1957-1961. It was during that time that he met with Dr. John Hamrick and Rev. Chester Russell about the need for a Baptist college in the lower part of the state. Palmer served on the founding Board of Trustees elected in 1964. He said in their wildest dreams the founding group never envisioned what CSU is today. Palmer told students, “You are accountable to God Almighty in this world.” Students lined up to thank Palmer for his service in World War II and to share stories of grandparents and great-grandparents with him. Palmer was a staff sergeant in the U.S. 8th Army Air Force, 381st Heavy Bombardment Group which flew B-17s

out of Ridgewell, Essex, England. After he was drafted, he went through training and was on his way to England 90 days later. He went by train to New York where he boarded the Queen Elizabeth. “Sounds good, right?” he said. The ship had so many troops on board that he was assigned an eight hour shift in a bed that was occupied when he wasn’t in it. “I belonged to a group that lost half of our B17s in the war,” said Palmer. At 98 years old, Palmer said he is one of the few left around from WWII. “A lot of time has passed, but I am young at heart.” Describing himself as ancient and an antique, he said he likes to have fun, pulling up his pant leg to reveal his “happy socks,” colorful polka dotted ones. While in England, Palmer rode his bike eight miles to a revival. He doesn’t remember who the preacher was but

Members of the CSU golf team had their photo taken with Dr. Bill Palmer. Photo by Betty Palmer. Dr. Bill Palmer shows his fun socks to Cady Nell Keener, assistant vice president for development and special gifts. Photo by Jan Joslin

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ecently, Summit Church ordained five young men to the ministry, all of them graduates of Charleston Southern. Summit, which meets on the campus of Charleston Southern University, is a multigenerational congregation that disciples all ages. Nick Ballenger, executive pastor, said, “We created an initiative called Summit Labs which offers practical pastoral training, along with opportunities to preach at Summit and other churches that may

need assistance. Our aim is to disciple and develop pastors through practical methods to be sent out to help other churches in our state and across the world.” The group meets weekly and receives training from Summit staff as well as ministers such as Randy Harling from Summerville Baptist, Jake Brown from Radiant Church, Steve McKinion from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and Bobby Wood who works for the North

Nick Ballenger, Seth Friend, Zack Sibrava, David Dyer, Hayden Jacobs, Jonathan Franklin and Jon Davis, teaching pastor of Summit Church. Photo by Ricky Reyes

American Mission Board in Utah. The men are serving in a variety of positions: • Hayden Jacobs ’19 is the associate pastor of Portside Baptist Church in North Charleston. • Zach Sibrava ’16 is pursuing a Master of Education at CSU, and serves as a residence life coordinator at CSU and is the college pastor for Summit. • David Dyer ’19 is beginning a Master of Divinity at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and is the administrative assistant to the Christian studies department and campus ministries at CSU and also serves as missions pastor at Summit. • Jonathan Franklin ’15 is finishing his Master of Divinity at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and is a pastoral resident at The Church at Greer Station in Greer, and is hoping to plant a church in Nova Scotia with the North American Mission Board. • Seth Friend ’19 is pursuing a Master of Divinity at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.



r. Jairy C. Hunter Jr., president emeritus, received the 2019 Joseph P. Riley Leadership Award from the Charleston Metro Chamber. Recipients of the award are dedicated to serving and strengthening the Charleston community. Serving as the president of Charleston Southern for 34 years, Hunter demonstrated dedication to higher education and the community. He also served on a variety of for-profit and not-for-profit boards, including the Council of Independent Colleges, the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities and five years on the Charleston Metro Chamber board. The award is named for former Charleston Mayor Joe Riley’s late father. Dr. Jairy Hunter and Sissy Hunter at the award ceremony. Photo by Richard Esposito

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t the January Board of Trustees meeting, CSU launched its new 20202025 Strategic Plan. The plan presents a bold vision for the institution outlined in seven major goals. President Dr. Dondi Costin said, “We believe God will use the Strategic Plan to propel Charleston Southern to new levels of success. The plan is a tool to accomplish larger kingdom purposes, which include advancing the university’s Christian mission and vision. CSU is God’s university, and we want Him to use it as His instrument to change the world.” Anyone familiar with the successful completion of a strategic plan recognizes the need for many partners. “We cannot complete the plan by ourselves,” said Costin. “We need alumni, current students, parents and friends to come alongside CSU, for it’s only when God’s people join together to pursue a common purpose with passion that dreams become a reality.” Partnering with CSU to complete the plan could involve

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funding student scholarships, establishing endowments for academic chairs, giving to enhance athletic facilities, or simply encouraging high school students to take a campus tour. There are many ways to advance the goals and objectives found in the plan. No effort is too small. Everyone can make a contribution. Partnering with CSU to complete the Strategic Plan will benefit current and future students by raising the bar in regard to their spiritual and educational experience. Furthermore, it will benefit families, churches, mission-sending organizations, healthcare professions, businesses, schools and law enforcement agencies by graduating servant leaders who pursue lives of significance that serve God and others wherever He places them. Costin said, “We need people with a passion to transform the world for the kingdom to read the plan carefully and ask, ‘What can I do to help CSU?’ If everyone who loves CSU will be willing to help in

some way, God will use their contribution, and the vision will become reality.” The plan is designed to prepare students for significant lives and will result in completing three metrics-driven Wildly Important Goals: 1. Enrollment: Enlarging enrollment intentionally across all channels (undergraduate and graduate, on campus and online) will maximize the number of students who benefit from a CSU education. 2. Retention: Increasing retention rates in every category will push CSU to improve the student experience across the board. It will also afford more students the chance to take full advantage of this golden opportunity to discover their passion, design their pathway, develop their potential, and declare their purpose. 3. Graduation: Improving 4-year and 6-year graduation rates will allow students to leverage their education investments and move from student status through success to significance much sooner. Deploying them with purpose as soon as possible is CSU’s moral obligation and the most obvious indicator of student success. The quicker CSU graduates students, the quicker they can change the world. Will you join us in the work? The 20202025 Strategic Plan is visionary and bold for any Christian university. But its vision is larger than CSU. Grounded in the Great Commission (Matt. 28:19-20), its intended influence is as broad as God’s plans for His kingdom. Major Goals • Goal 1: Exemplify a Distinctively Christian Identity - Promote a clear Christian identity in everything from hiring to equipping faculty and staff, obeying the Great Commandments (Matt. 22:37-40) and the Great Commission (Matt. 28:19-20), and promoting a biblical worldview • Goal 2: Pursue a Culture of Excellence and Innovation - Foster an E.P.I.C. culture marked by Extra-Mile service, a passion for student

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U.S. NEWS ONCE AGAIN NAMES CSU TOP-RANKED IN S.C. FOR ONLINE BACHELOR’S DEGREES success, innovation across the institution, and Christian community; refine and improve student services across campus to ensure excellence in customer service; continue to advance a Christ-centered NCAA Division I athletics program marked by excellence and success in academics, compliance, competition and facilities. • Goal 3: Attract and Engage a Vibrant Student Body - Increase enrollment, improve retention rates and expand innovative use of technology throughout the curriculum. • Goal 4: Prepare Graduates to Flourish Spiritually, Intellectually, Physically and Professionally - Develop servant leaders to pursue significant lives through a holistic campus discipleship program and by raising graduation rates, expanding career development, increasing global education opportunities, providing a safe campus, and more. • Goal 5: Inspire, Empower and Equip CSU Faculty and Staff - Provide professional development opportunities, employ information technology best practices and devise a university compensation plan consistent with peer institutions.


.S. News and World Report’s 2020 ranking for online programs lists Charleston Southern University at No. 11 nationally for Best Online Bachelor’s Programs. This ranking represents a jump of 14 positions in a single year and again makes CSU the top-ranked school in the state of South Carolina for online bachelor’s degrees. CSU also ranks No. 8 in the nation for Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans – a jump of 12 positions since 2019. Charleston Southern is also listed on the Best Online Non-MBA Business Master’s list and Best Online MBA Degree Programs for Veterans lists. “This impressive accomplishment demonstrates Charleston Southern’s relentless commitment to academic excellence as a vehicle for career preparation and character development,” said Dr. Dondi E. Costin, president. “By equipping our graduates with the right mix of cutting-edge theory and hands-on experience, we make a difference every day in workplaces across the country and around the world. Here’s the bottom line: a Charleston Southern

degree is by far the best bang for the buck.” In compiling these lists, U.S. News evaluated 1,600 online degree programs. To name schools to the best online programs for veterans’ listings, U.S. News studies programs that provide an online education that is affordable, accessible and reputable to veterans and active-duty service members. “This is great news for CSU Online,” said Dr. Marc Embler, associate vice president for academic affairs-online programs, technology and grants. “Our faculty and staff continually try to improve our program to stay on the cutting edge in online education. We strive to provide our students with the skills and knowledge to advance their careers. Our faculty members not only have academic credentials but also have extensive practical experience. We believe in a learn today and use tomorrow philosophy so that students become better employees while earning their degree. It is gratifying for Charleston Southern to be recognized for the hard work and dedication that goes into developing our outstanding online degree programs.”

• Goal 6: Renew, Develop and Strengthen Relationships to Fulfill the Institution’s Mission and Vision - Engage a robust community of alumni, parents, faculty, staff, students, churches and companies that will advance the university and the lives of others; develop relationships for strategic purposes by employing the resources of the Whitfield Center for Christian Leadership. • Goal 7: Faithfully Steward Resources - Maintain a sound financial base to support and advance the university’s programs, services and facilities to improve student satisfaction. To read the entire plan, go to charlestonsouthern.edu/about/strategic-plan/. Over the next five years, we will share specific needs and updates on the plan’s progress.

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ordan Lane has covered a lot of ground since receiving his CSU athletic training degree in 2017. He’s earned a Master of Science in advanced athletic training from the University of South Carolina, worked with the USC football team and been a graduate assistant at Benedict College, a Division II HBCU. Currently, Lane can be found on the sidelines with the Green Bay Packers where he is completing a yearlong athletic training internship. The move from South Carolina to Wisconsin hasn’t been a big adjustment since Lane grew up in Connecticut. “Green Bay in general has a slower pace than Charleston which I enjoy, and you’ll be hardpressed to find a more supportive community due to its incredible history, including being the only publicly owned, not-for-profit professional team in the U.S.,” said Lane. “The people are just as down-to-earth and as friendly as South Carolina, and I wouldn’t change anything about this experience for the world.” Life with the Packers The two biggest benefits of working with the NFL are the experience and connections. It is very rare to have a staff athletic trainer hired without having completed at least one yearlong internship, with the majority completing two or three before finding a permanent position. Almost every team has some sort of seasonal position but their roles and responsibilities vary greatly depending on the organization. With the Packers I have been fortunate to receive much more autonomy than I expected regarding player treatments, rehabilitation plans and evaluations. The Professional Stage Having previously worked middle school, high school, and various levels of college football, I was extremely interested

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prior to the rest of their busy day. Then we’ll work on stocking trunks or preparing the stadium based on our next game, inputting treatment logs, and practice setup for the next few hours while the players lift and have meetings. From there we tape and brace the players based on their injuries to prepare them for practice. At practice we provide immediate medical care and hydration while one of our staff members takes our injured players through more functional-based exercises. We’ll have another treatment and rehabilitation session immediately postpractice that is more focused on recovery and management of any new injuries. We will also use this time to complete any other exercises or activation work with the players. After that we’ll grab some food and work on any projects we couldn’t finish prior to practice to make sure we’re prepared for the next day. in pursuing the professional setting. Being at this level it has been amazing to see firsthand the strides our profession has taken regarding player health and safety both on and off the field. One of the most recent focuses has been awareness paid to concussions. The implementation of athletic training spotters in the booth during games and their ability to call a medical timeout and communicate with us on the sideline has been awesome. Typical Day with the Packers A typical practice day will start about 6:15 a.m. to setup the athletic training room for treatments and to grab some breakfast before the day starts. Then we’ll have our most intensive treatment and rehabilitation session that lasts about an hour and a half and is focused on getting the players up and moving so we can complete their exercises

I Never Thought I Would For training camp each team will hire between 4-8 summer interns to help account for the increased workload and added players. One of the players has sponsored an intern Olympics for the last three years for the summer and yearlong interns. This serves as an icebreaker and something fun to help with what can be a grind during those long days. The events were always very creative but the most memorable was a conspiracy theory presentation. Each of us was given a random topic ranging from the Earth being flat, gravity being nonexistent, the moon landing being fake, etc. We were then judged by our athletic training staff and any players that wanted to join on: 1. the quality of our research and 2. the level of belief that we portrayed. We had about 20 hours to put all of this together. I had the moon landing topic and needing to research

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that was the last thing I thought would be one of my job requirements. Nonetheless, the entire competition was a ton of fun, and it was awesome to see the players taking an interest in us on a personal level. The Future The current goal is to complete another yearlong internship or two, improving my skills and connections while seeking out full-time positions within the NFL. However, I truly enjoyed my time working collegiate football and know I would be very happy if I needed to adjust my focus for a staff position in the NCAA.

FACING PAGE: Jordan Lane ABOVE: Athletic Training staff for the Green Bay Packers. Lane is second from the left on the back row. RIGHT: On the sidelines with the Green Bay Packers. Photos provided

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ary French ’95 never dreamed that responding to a letter in the newspaper requesting help distributing dictionaries to school children would lead to establishing a nonprofit and traveling the globe. Initially, she was just looking for a way to use her English degree, but The Dictionary Project has grown into a major enterprise with dictionaries delivered to almost 33 million children in 50 states and 15 other countries. More than 1.2 million dictionaries have been distributed this school year alone. French and her late husband, Arno, formed the nonprofit to give dictionaries to all third graders in South Carolina. After a

story ran in the Wall Street Journal in 2002, the project exploded to include all 50 states. The project relies on community supporters for help with funding and distribution. Relying on the experience of educators, the project targets third graders because third grade is typically the time when children learn dictionary skills and also move from learning to read to reading to learn. The excitement of the children keeps French motivated. In a tech-heavy world, children appreciate having a printed dictionary of their own. Typical thank-you letters from children say, “I’m really glad you gave me this dictionary because I don’t

have to use my mother’s phone to find a word.” French is an ambassador for print and the written word. “How many meanings to words there are and the depth they have always surprises me,” said French. “Words have an impact on the way people perceive things because of the meaning they have been given.” French is now writing her own dictionaries including a word, its meaning and a sample sentence of truth to show how the word is used. An advocate of finding teachable moments, French believes that anyone who uses a dictionary is going to be smarter than one who doesn’t. The last 10 years have been rough for French with the death of her husband and her brother, both big influences in her life, and the departure of her children to college. French has also battled cancer and said she is in a period of reinventing herself. In her travels, she has learned to slow down and leave room for serendipity. “Curiosity is one of the strongest teachers,” said French. She now plans half of her day and leaves the other half to see what happens such as meeting people who weren’t in the original schedule. She said, “It’s about leaving enough room for God to walk through the room.” To learn more, visit dictionaryproject.org.

“It’s about leaving enough room for God to walk through the room.” — Mary French

Mary French ’95, Photo by Jim Slater

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wo years ago, God spoke to Anna Covington’s heart about a big idea: to provide some joy in the lives of children battling cancer. The Charleston Southern University public health major drew inspiration from her four-year-old cousin, Jonathan – currently battling Leukemia. “He hopes to fully beat his cancer next month! Ever since he was diagnosed, I wanted to somehow find a way to bring just a little bit of happiness to these kids,” Covington said. “Acts 20:35 says it best, ‘In everything I did, I showed you by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus himself: It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” In summer 2019, doors of opportunity began to open. Her first meeting was with Prisma Health Children’s Hospital in Columbia. “I just wanted to meet with them to see what we could do and how we would go about doing it,” Covington said. Within a month, Covington’s idea became a joint mission project with churches, businesses and individuals to raise funds and toys for kids fighting cancer. They called it “Jonathan’s Toy Drive” in honor of her little cousin. Covington spoke at churches and shared information with businesses. And within a little over a month, donors statewide raised a total $3,308.45 – $2,000 went to Camp Kemo Programs and $1,308.45 went towards buying toys and gift cards for the families at the children’s hospital. “I did not do this alone. It was because of God and through prayer, donations and support from my friends, family and community that this toy drive was the amazing success that it was,” said Covington. Covington delivered the toys and gift cards to the children at the hospital over Christmas break. “I honestly do not think there is a word I can use to describe the way it felt when I saw those smiles on those kids’ faces. It was a sight I will never forget and

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“I did not do this alone. It was because of God and through prayer, donations and support from my friends, family and community that this toy drive was the amazing success that it was.” — Anna Covington

Delivering toys to Prisma Health Children’s Hospital. Photos provided

moments I will treasure forever…those kids changed my life forever.” Dr. Lindsay Egli, assistant professor of public health, said that Covington is a blessing to the CSU public health program. “Anna is one of those students who came into our program with a passion for helping others. She is inspiring to watch, and we cannot wait to see what her future holds.” Director of the Public Health Program Dr. Christine Palmer agreed. “Anna exemplifies public health in action, and proves that students can make a difference in the lives of others. Anna has a promising career ahead of her improving the health and quality of life for those around her.” Currently a junior, Covington plans to continue the toy drive project, with hopes that her story will encourage more participation. “Even if it is not this specifically, I will always encourage and support everyone who wants to go out and make a difference.” She also credits CSU for making a difference in her own life. “My relationship and love for God has grown so much because of CSU and for that I will forever be thankful.”

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By Jan Joslin/Photos by Richard Esposito and Laurie Diel

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Fake snow helped kick off the annual Packing Party.



atthew 17:20 says “if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you” (NIV). There is nothing small about Laurie Diel’s faith. But this fall the Lord showed her it could be bigger, much bigger, through a mountain of red and green shoeboxes. Each summer the student services team plans a theme and events for the year. Two years ago the team implemented CSU’s Sweet 16 – 16 big events for the year, eight per semester. Diel, executive assistant to Dean of Students Clark Carter, was working on the theme and the Sweet 16 events. CSU’s t-shirt vendor, Shawn McCarthy of IMM Promotionals, was actually the person who came up with the year’s theme of Bucs WIN. WIN stands for What I Need is Jesus.

Students select from an assortment of supplies to pack each box.

Diel said, “The idea behind Sweet 16 is making memories.” A conscious effort to build community and school spirit has led to greater attendance at events. “Through Sweet 16 and Bucs WIN, students are noticing,” Diel said. A Dream Takes Shape Throughout the summer, Diel had a persistent thought about CSU’s participation in Samaritan’s Purse’s Operation Christmas Child program. OCC provides small toys, school supplies, hygiene items and the gospel to children in remote countries who don’t ordinarily receive anything. “We packed 2,400 boxes last year, and I felt we could do so much more,” she said. She had read that the most boxes packed by a university was almost 5,000. In early October she woke up with an idea on her mind. Diel said, “When I wake up with ideas, I pay attention because they are usually from the Lord. I thought, why don’t

we try to set a record, pack more boxes than any other university.” She couldn’t wait to get to work and share her idea with Carter. The conversation in the next few weeks went like this: Carter: “That’s crazy.” Diel: “BUCS WIN. It’s not about CSU, it’s about the Kingdom. It’s bigger than us; it’s a God-sized goal.” Carter: “3,000 would be huge.” Diel: “I don’t want huge; I want a Godsized goal.” Carter told her to order the boxes thinking that they could store the extras until the next year. Carter was campus minister when CSU started participating in OCC. That first year, CSU packed 300 boxes. Carter said, “Laurie

Bucky and giant shoeboxes added to the festivities.

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thought 5,000, and I was thinking 3,000. Was it a lack of faith? It took us seven years to reach a record of 2,415. Now, we’re going to double it in one year?” Diel took to leaving sticky notes on Carter’s desk and light switch with the number 5,000 on them. They kept up a friendly debate about who would win. Carter began to think. “OCC exists to make a difference in a child’s life and show them they are valuable.” Several years ago Carter was invited to go to the Dominican Republic for the distribution of the shoeboxes. “It’s not about giving toys; it’s giving kids the Gospel. I always say I only want to do what can only be from God,” said Carter. He began to think he was going to lose.

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Collection Day For the first time, the OCC event was divided into a Collection Day and a Packing Party, held a week apart. Collection Day would give an indication of how many boxes were filled and how far CSU had to go to get to 5,000 boxes. “On collection day, the energy was unbelievable,” said Diel. Students came bearing armloads of boxes. Campus departments came wheeling out hand trucks and wagons loaded with boxes. Bucky, Santa Claus and the Grinch made appearances. Collection Day yielded 2,261 boxes. Diel was hoping for at least 1,000 that first day. Instead, CSU was almost at the halfway mark. The call went out to bring supplies for

the Packing Party. Lots of supplies. On previous packing days, Diel said, we did a lot of work for the students. Working with local OCC volunteers, leftover supplies from churches were delivered to CSU for the Packing Party. Diel wanted to equip the students to do all the work themselves. The afternoon of the Packing Party, Diel met with students and told them, you’re going to see a Christmas miracle. However, Jennifer Roberts, a volunteer with OCC, told Diel, you need between $5,000 and $6,000 worth of supplies to fill the rest of the boxes. Diel went home to change her drenched t-shirt. Tired and frustrated, she was almost crying by the time she drove back onto

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Last night we needed supplies and a whole lot of JESUS, and we got a bunch of BOTH! These CSU students witnessed and were part of a true Christmas MIRACLE! — Laurie Diel

campus. “I wanted to have faith,” she said. “I told God, ‘You started this, You’re going to have to finish it.’” Out of Supplies The supplies ran out 45 minutes into the Packing Party. Diel said, “There was no reason why this should be successful. We were out of money. Local Walmarts had bare shelves. There were no more toothbrushes or washcloths.” Students began working together. They wanted to do something bigger than themselves. Diel was awed knowing they would never even see the fruit of their labor. Students once again emptied their pockets, called their friends, parents and

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other family members asking for donations to buy supplies. Vladimir Prokhnevskiy, the OCC speaker, gave $200 of his own money. He said, “I want to be part of it – it’s amazing. I’ve never seen anything like this.” Students stood in line with empty boxes waiting on other students to get back with more supplies. In a huge act of faith, Diel shared her Venmo account number, and students started sharing it on social media. Diel gave a student her debit card and said go shopping. “I just kept relaying how much money was in the account,” she said. President Dondi Costin was all in and stayed at the event until the end. “At 4,800, Dr. Costin said, ‘you’re going to make it,’”

said Diel. Carter said, “We’re going to get to 5,000.” Roberts started sending photos and videos to Samaritan’s Purse, letting them know what was happening. “When we hit 5,000, I told the students, you just got your Christmas miracle,” said Diel. “Jesus fed the 5,000 in the form of a Christmas box.” Final count – 5,249 boxes. Samaritan’s Purse later confirmed that it was the most boxes ever packed by a university. The next day, a still overwhelmed Diel wrote out her thoughts on Facebook: “Last night we needed supplies and a whole lot of JESUS, and we got a bunch of BOTH! These CSU students witnessed and were part of a true Christmas MIRACLE!

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Students turned out in a big way for the first Collection Day.

2,415 was the record number of boxes ever packed by CSU – not only did we fly past that number, but we flew past the record number for the entire United States! Two local news stations showed up, social media coverage went nationwide – we had the attention of everyone, and then we ran out of supplies and still had a long way to go and NOT ONE student backed down. They had FAITH that HE was FAITHFUL, to complete what HE started! They were running to the stores, reaching out to friends, families, social media, etc. We even had people at the stores, STRANGERS giving money to get supplies! It was the modern day miracle of JESUS feeding the 5,000, and these students were watching it happen; social media across the nation was watching it happen; clerks in the stores were watching it happen! “So many things I wanted to say to these

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incredible students last night, but my heart was way too overwhelmed to put thoughts together, but here are a few points I hope they take away from last night: 1. Faith makes the impossible POSSIBLE! 2. Nothing is too BIG for God! 3. You don’t have to go to a BIG school to do BIG things! 4. God sees CSU, and He is not only present, but HE is ALIVE and ACTIVE and moving in mighty ways! Last night wasn’t about meal plans, dorms, financial aid, exams, schedules, fancy buildings, bigger this, better that, it was ALL ABOUT JESUS!” And Laurie Diel is already planning for next year. “You’ve got to have a heart and a vision,” she said. “Let’s do something nobody else is doing.”

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By Jan Joslin

Laurie Diel distributes shoeboxes in Trinidad and Tobago.


fter a February trip to Trinidad and Tobago with Operation Christmas Child, Laurie Diel said, “The box is actually a small part of what they do.” Diel was invited to go on the vision trip to the Caribbean to see how boxes are distributed. OCC has 180 million communities in the world they are trying to reach with the gospel via a shoebox. They hope to give one box to each child in these communities. The earliest OCC will go back into a community to distribute boxes is four years, but many communities will never be visited again. Children are invited to a special event and don’t know they will be receiving a box. After a program of puppets, songs and a gospel presentation, the children are given

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the boxes and told to open them on the count of 3. After the box event, children are invited to come back to participate in The Greatest Journey, a 12-week discipleship course that is similar to Vacation Bible School, with scripture memory and stories. If the children attend all 12 sessions, they are able to participate in graduation. Diel said, “The volunteers that are on the ground in these countries full time are the real heroes.” Each teacher is trained by OCC to make sure the gospel is shared the same way in every country. In 2019-2020, more than 7,000 teachers in the Caribbean received six weeks of training in sharing the gospel. During that same time, 264,449 boxes were delivered to the region, and

133,362 children enrolled in The Greatest Journey. CSU has been asked to be an OCC priority Christian college, meaning more CSU students will be able to go on vision and OCC mission trips and have internship opportunities. OCC’s mission is to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way. Diel said, “The gospel is shared so many times from that one box. Children tell their families and friends. It’s a big circle. One box leads to a child participating in The Greatest Journey, and many times that child comes back to help lead younger children through The Greatest Journey. And the circle of discipleship goes on and on.”

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HELP US FILL THE BOXES! Here’s your chance to participate with CSU & Operation Christmas Child. We’re collecting supplies ahead of our annual packing party. There are two ways to participate: 1. Send supplies to Dean of Students, CSU, P.O. Box 118087, Charleston, SC 29423 April 20-30 Squeaky Clean Bar soap, washcloths, rubber bands, plastic bar soap keepers, zip lock bags

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August 17-31 School Supplies Notebooks, coloring books, crayons, pencils, erasers, journals, reading books, play dough, markers, pencil pouches, pencil sharpeners September 21-30 Socks 4 the Box Fuzzy, colorful, athletic, girly, short, tall, silly or plain socks – sizes for ages 2-14 2. Donate funds for supplies Donate to: charlestonsouthern.edu/occ

CSU magazine 29 Members of the Student Life team put in many extra hours with the OCC project.



ry to imagine all the work that goes on behind the scenes to fill 5,249 shoeboxes. Here’s just a glimpse: The Operation Christmas Child red and green boxes are shipped flat. Each one of those boxes had to be folded by hand. On kick-off day, boxes were placed on each seat in the Chapel, 1,500 plus. When employees arrived on campus the morning after kick-off, they found a box at each door or cubicle. Promotional items were prepared to tell students and employees what to pack and what not to pack. Operation Christmas Child has strict regulations to make sure boxes make it through customs in the different countries. Filled boxes that were delivered to the Dean of Students office had to be moved and stored. Filled boxes that were given on Collection Day had to be moved and stored until the Packing Party. Empty boxes had to be folded for the Packing Party. Supplies to fill the boxes were collected and sorted prior to the Packing Party and placed on long tables for students to fill boxes. All the filled boxes were packed into larger cardboard boxes and taken by truck to a local collection site. To make sure boxes were packed correctly, different stations were set up to check them. A letter writing station was set up so students could write letters to the children. Students took it seriously and took their time writing letters. OCC places a book in each child’s box, The Greatest Gift, explaining the gospel in their own language. Older children are invited back to go through a 12 week discipleship course called The Greatest Journey. Ever wonder what the $9 requested by OCC covers? The $9 covers shipping, The Greatest Gift and The Greatest Journey and training of volunteers in the countries. Some people included the $9 in their packed boxes. And CSU made a donation to Samaritan’s Purse for the rest of the boxes.

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ladimir Victor Prokhnevskiy, who goes by Vlad, knows firsthand the difference a shoebox makes. He was the featured speaker at Chapel the day before the CSU OCC packing party. Growing up in Kyiv, Ukraine, Prokhnevskiy was one of nine children, the son of an underground pastor. Scarcity was the norm in the household. The children heard there was a Christmas celebration and endured a train ride and the tram to get to the celebration because they heard they would get a gift, something they had never had. He said, “It was like stepping from black and white Ukraine into a colorful world.” His favorite gift was mint flavored dental floss. “My mouth went numb licking it. I thought it was some kind of weird American candy,” said Prokhnevskiy. “I had my own bar of soap; it was so white and smooth, and there was a dove on it. I thought it was a picture of the Holy Spirit. “I never forgot how it made me feel – I felt loved. It was a gift given with NO strings attached,” said Prokhnevskiy. He urged students to pray as they packed the boxes. “They are not just boxes, they represent children who will open them,” he said. When Prokhnevskiy was 12, the family left the Ukraine at three in the morning. The KGB was after the family because of his father. The family ended up in east Tennessee, sponsored by two different denominations. He remembers being so impressed by that. “In Ukraine, different denominations hate each other,” he said.

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His parents boldly walked out their faith. He said, the KGB was always asking our neighbors about us. One neighbor said, we hear rushing water at night; we think they are using unauthorized water. “That sound was 60 people in our apartment praying. Other people heard it as rushing water,” said Prokhnevskiy. He credits his mother with showing the power that exists in praying over others. “The heart of a mother is something special,” he said. “To this day, we don’t call my Mom between 7 and 8, that is prayer time. You could call at 6:50 with a request, but not between 7 and 8. She would take her hands and speak life over us, scriptures, prayers, from the time we were in the womb.” Operation Christmas Child estimates six to eight children hear the Gospel per shoebox. “Children are the future of the world,” Prokhnevskiy said. Parents can be

reached through them. “If you want to show love to me, love my kids,” he said. Today, Prokhnevskiy lives in Charlotte and designs websites for a living and volunteers with Operation Christmas Child. He encouraged the students, telling them if you squeeze a Christian, love comes out. Prokhnevskiy knows because he’s seen it, he’s lived it, and he wants everyone to know it. Shoeboxes are one way to show that love.

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or freshman Zoreim Lara, the Operation Christmas Child project at CSU sparked not only a chance to get involved but also a chance to involve her family and friends who are like family. “My parents taught me to give what you can; I grew up knowing that,” said Lara. “I wanted to contribute whatever I could. It became bigger than I thought.” She and her family packed 80 boxes. Born in the U.S. to Mexican parents, Lara grew up in a Hispanic community. She and her family lived in Mexico for a year where she saw people literally give coats off their

backs to others. “It was inspirational for me to grow up like that,” she said. Her enthusiasm for the OCC shoeboxes prompted her little sisters and parents to pack boxes. Lara said, “I spent my whole paycheck packing boxes because I knew others needed more than I did.” A public health major, Lara said Operation Christmas Child has changed her life. “What I want to do and my faith has changed; my perspective has changed,” said Lara. She has set her sights on creating a nonprofit and traveling the world to help third world countries. Zoerim Lara


tudents were inspired to participate in Operation Christmas Child in part by CSU senior, Hope Ivanova, an education major, who received a box as a child. Originally from Bulgaria, Ivanova was living in the country of Macedonia in 2001, where her parents were missionaries, when she received a box. Her parents were helping with refugees. At the time, Macedonia was experiencing war, and the Ivanovas were separated from their family in Bulgaria. The box served to remind the family that the Lord was with them. They were impressed with the American items in the box because they were dreaming of relocating to America. Ivanova remembers especially the Crest toothpaste. She and her family still refer to it as a “box of love.” Ivanova is currently student teaching. Dr. Robin Franklin, her adviser, said Ivanova is the first education student to obtain a teaching job before student teaching. “Hope is a treasure,” said Franklin. “She will be continuing my legacy.”

On kickoff day, Hope Ivanova, on left, President Costin and Bucky encouraged the campus to participate.

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aculty and staff were encouraged to pack boxes and deliver them to designated tables on Collection Day. Some departments went all out staging packing parties in the office and getting creative by hosting packing parties in their homes and collecting extra supplies from family and friends. President Costin upped the challenge by announcing that the department collecting the most boxes (by percentage, so small departments were not penalized) would receive a day off with pay. The office of marketing and communication won the day off. Rick Esposito, director of integrated marketing, created an event for neighborhood friends offering his legendary homemade pizza in exchange for one packed box. The Espositos and their friends packed an amazing 36 boxes.

TOP BOX % STAFF DEPARTMENTS: 1st place: Marketing and Communication – averaged 14 boxes per person 2nd place: Library – averaged 10 boxes per person 3rd place: Student Success – averaged 8 boxes per person TOP BOX % FACULTY DEPARTMENTS:

Diane Ladson of facilities services packed four boxes.

IT Services employees add boxes to their division’s table.

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1st place: College of Education– averaged 1.6 boxes per person 2nd place: Department of Communication and Media Arts – averaged 1.4 boxes per person 3rd place: College of Christian Studies – averaged 1.3 boxes per person

Enrollment staff members deliver boxes.

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Class notes 1978 Dr. Carl E. King Jr. has joined the faculty of Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tenn., as an associate professor and academic education instructor in the Graduate School of Science and Research. He brings 23 years of experience as a physician assistant to help inaugurate a new PA Program at Meharry. He is also continuing his medical missions work through Global Encouragers Ministries, Inc., which he serves as CEO/President. He is married to Wanda F. King ’77.

1984 Alan Garner is a commercial real estate adviser for Anston Group Real Estate in Charleston. He has been a senior program manager and business developer at CSRA and SRA International and holds a Master’s degree in logistics management from Georgia College.


grown sons. The book is available through iTunes, Amazon and Barnes and Noble.


Angela Gause Brown recently received the Humanitarian Award 1993 from the Prince Hall Masons of South Carolina for her work with Lucretia Bryant Collins recently organizations such as Stop the earned a Master’s degree in music Violence, Anti-Bullying, Ebony’s therapy from Saint Mary of the Hope, gun violence groups, rape Woods College in Indiana. crisis and law enforcement in Horry County. She is director 1994 of victim’s services at J. Reuben Kevin Brownlee is the deputy city Long Detention Center in Conway manager of Hot Springs, Arkansas. for the Horry County Sheriff’s Department. Previously, he served as the chief executive of the South Central Arkansas Electric Cooperative. 2002 He and his wife, Kathy Dantzler Amanda Smithgall, CRNP, has Brownlee ’95, have two children, joined the endocrinology team Bryce and Meredith. at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Susquehanna in Melissa Johnson was inducted Williamsport, Pa. She is board into The Fayette County High certified by the American Nurses School Distinguished Alumni and Credentialing Center and has over Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2020 nine years of clinical experience. at Fayette County High School She holds a Master of Science in in Fayetteville, Ga. She played Nursing from the University of basketball at CSU and was a fourTennessee College of Nursing. year starter.


William Robinson MBA has been re-elected to the Board of Directors for AgFirst Credit Bank. He is owner-operator of Robinson Family Farm in St. Matthews, which consists of hay, corn, cattle and timber. He is executive director for The SEFA Group, Kathy Smith Woodbury has an engineering, construction published How Did They Get Taller and transportation company; Than Me?, a book about raising a member of Orangeburg Area children to adults. Filled with Cattleman’s Association and South biblical references and humor, Carolina Farm Bureau and is on Woodbury explores the journey of the board for TriCounty Electric raising a child. She is married to Cooperative. Greg Woodbury ’87, and they have

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Edward Semlitsch, a sergeant with the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office, is assisting with a new Adopt A School project which pairs CCSO deputies with schools which don’t have a school resource officer. Deputies can volunteer for the program which will put deputies in the schools at least once a week.

Arthur Wright III received his Doctor of Education degree in music education from the University of Georgia in December 2019. He currently serves as director of bands at Berkmar High School in Lilburn, Georgia.

2004 Gene Corvino MBA has been named president of William M. Bird and senior vice president and chief financial officer of William M. Bird’s holding company, Southern Diversified Distributors. He has 31 years with the company.


Jamie Alutius Kuznik and David Kuznik ‘05 announce the birth of their second son, Shane Rylan Kuznik, born Sept. 23, 2019. Shane is also the grandson of Wanda Williams Helms ‘92. The Kuzniks reside in North Charleston.


Carlean Browning was recognized as the Teacher of the Year in the Indian River County School District for Gifford Middle School in Vero Beach, Fla. She was a member of the CSU track and field team as an undergraduate.

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STAY CONNECTED! Send us news about family additions, job changes, etc. To include a photo, email a high resolution jpg. (If you send a professional photograph, please include permission to print from the photographer.)

Class Notes: Email your news to magazine@csuniv.edu


Name change: register@csuniv.edu Follow the Alumni Association on Social Media: alumni_csu

J.W. Myers has been named head varsity football coach at Pinewood Preparatory School in Summerville. He is a middle school social studies teacher at Pinewood and formerly was the line coach for the football team. Prior to Pinewood, he was a teacher, head varsity football coach and co-athletic director at Coastal Christian Preparatory School. He and his wife, Beth Myers ’08, have one daughter, Mary Mac. Trey Oakley, CEO of the Williams YMCA of Avery County in Linville, N.C., has been named to the North Carolina Alliance of YMCAs Board of Directors.

Address change: csudevelopment@csuniv.edu


Shawn Fagan is the head football coach at Cathedral Academy in North Charleston and is a middle school science teacher at Mevers School of Excellence in Goose Creek.


serving as president of the Charleston alumnae chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.

2008 Brianne Peters-Hudak ’17 MEd has been named the new School Leader of K-12 Lowcountry Leadership Charter School in Meggett.

Robert Brunson MBA is a project manager at Heatworks. He is a former program manager at Tru Simulation + Training.

Richard Mounce was inducted into Blythewood High School’s inaugural Athletic Hall of Fame in September for his football and Audra Pinckney MEd was recently baseball accomplishments. He named a Cool School Teacher was a two-year starter on CSU’s by WCBD News 2. Pinckney football team. Mounce and his is an instructional coach at St. wife, Katie, have three children James-Santee Elementary Middle and live in Raleigh, North School. She and her husband have Carolina. three children. She is currently

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Joshua Gale and Melissa Gale ’10 released a single, “Taking Ground,” on all major music platforms in November. Joshua writes, “The song, ‘Taking Ground,’ is a declaration of victory over God’s people, calling his worshipers into a posture of praise towards a mighty and powerful God. A declaration that our God given dreams would not be extinguished by fear and opposition.” The Gales are a part of North Palm Worship. The group released their 2019 worship album on Nov. 8, 2019, and performed with Grammy award winner, Tasha Cobbs Leonard, at the Charleston Music Hall for

a Charleston Worship Night. For more information about the group, visit northpalmworship. com. Dr. Troy Hall MBA has released a book, Cohesion Culture: Proven Principles to Retain Your Top Talent. Hall is chief strategy officer at South Carolina Federal Credit Union. He said the book is “a look into how we’ve (SCFCU) built such a remarkable, profitable culture and a guide on how other business leaders can too.”

2014 Zac Johnston was named to 40 Under 40 by The Covington News in Covington, Ga. Johnston is owner of Bread & Butter Bakery and is a linebacker coach at Eastside High School. Andrew Woodall has been promoted to engineer by the North Charleston Fire Department.

2017 Curtis Inabinett Jr., owner of Cardiac Imaging and Sound, a mobile echocardiography service, is the adult daycare director at Sea-Island Comprehensive Healthcare Cooperation on John’s Island. He is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in healthcare management from Colorado Technical University and is in the Nursing Home Administrator-inTraining program. He is also a jazz saxophonist and the author of The Legendary Florida A & M University Marching Band, The History of the Hundred. Scott Kates MBA has accepted a new position as the national operations manager – LCL Import USA with ShipcoTransport, Inc.

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Baby Bucs

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.

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.







1. Nova Rae Crosby, daughter of Lashonda Holmes Crosby ’10 and Shawn Crosby 2. Julianna Grace Gamble, daughter of Jasmine Gamble ’18 and Ashton Gamble 3. Everest Lane Moody, daughter of Jarrod Moody ’15 MBA

4. Jackson Calvin Obuchowski, son of Jessica Obuchowski and Michael Obuchowski ’09 5. Shane Kuznik, son of Jamie Alutius Kuznik ’05 and David Kuznik ’05 and the grandson of

Wanda Williams Helms ’92

6. Asher Gaither and Bennett Gaither, sons of Hannah Gaither and Ryan Gaither ’13

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Compiled by Jan Joslin


he state of Florida has crowned Ken Ayers Jr. ’78 of Panama City Lionfish King for the second time. He was Lionfish King in 2017 also. He completed more than 175 dives in 2019 hunting lionfish. Killing more than 3,500 lionfish in the last three years, Ayers is doing his part to protect the Gulf of Mexico environment and its fisheries. The lionfish is an invasive species in the Gulf, and special precautions must be taken when handling these venomous fish. Lionfish Hunter I was introduced to shooting lionfish in 2015 while diving with a local dive company. We went to a reef called Warsaw Reef, and there were lionfish everywhere. I shot them with a fiberglass pole spear and collected them with a bag designed to hold them. It was challenging and incorporated all my dive skills, the perfect confluence.

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Invasion of the Lionfish The lionfish is a voracious eater and multiplies exponentially if not placed in check by a natural predator. Unfortunately, the Gulf of Mexico does not have any natural predators of the lionfish. Only divers can control the numbers. Lionfish have been harvested that have eaten crabs, lobsters and all variety of fish. They are not picky eaters. I have personally killed one that had five baby lobsters in its gut! A female lionfish can lay up to 30,000 eggs every three weeks. The egg mass is expelled and floats up and gets into the Gulf Steam and moves around distributing freshly hatched lionfish, so they spread far and wide throughout the Gulf of Mexico. Lionfish like depths of 65' to 250' generally. I have found the majority of them around the 95110' environment. Recreational divers can cover the 65-130' range. Traps are being developed for the deeper depths. Lionfish prefer warmer water, so they occupy the 65165' range generally.

Since BCC (CSU) After graduating in 1978 from the AFROTC program, I spent an additional 16.5 years as an officer in the Air Force, retiring after 20.5 years in 1995. While at Baptist College, I was the first South Carolina AFROTC Cadet to reach the cadet rank of colonel and receive the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Gold Medal Honor Award for “Outstanding Leadership and Academic Excellence” as top South Carolina AFROTC cadet. I have also graduated from Colorado University with a Master’s in telecommunications and Florida State University with a Specialist Master’s in mathematics education. While in the Air Force, I served in Desert Storm at Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and had 70 combat hours and received the AF Air Medal performing duties as the EC-135 Radio Relay Aircraft Commander. By retirement I had been awarded three Meritorious Service Medals, three AF Commendation Medals, Good Conduct Medal, two National Defense Medals, Southwest Service Medal with two Battle Stars, Kuwaiti Liberation Medal and numerous service ribbons. I started diving in 2004 while working in Hawaii reaching the PADI Master Instructor rating and have over 1,900 dives in the past 15 years. Father of three, Nichole Galvin, Kelly, and Kenny Ayers and six grandchildren: Isabella Marie Ayers, Isabella Grace Galvin, Brendan Max Galvin, Jasmine, Kenny IV and Oliver Ayers. All three of his children hold master’s degrees. photo provided

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n Ezekiel 36:26 it says, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you…” Charleston Southern alum, James Dewees, lived through this promise in a much more literal way than most. Dewees graduated in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in business management. He has since then worked his way to a Lean Practitioner position at Boeing, where he still is today. Dewees and his wife, Dr. Bridget Dewees, discovered in 2010 that he had congestive heart failure. This discovery came shortly before he almost lost his life to a major heart arrhythmia in 2011. Thankfully, he recovered from these events and continued on as normal for the next six years. In 2017, the Dewees family began to walk through another series of difficulties. James’ heart started failing again in the fall of 2017. In August of 2017, he had almost 35 pounds of fluid removed from around his heart. In April, he would be admitted to the hospital in need of a transplant. This was extremely difficult on both James and Bridgett, but they chose to make the best of the situation they had been placed in. They set their minds to transforming their environment, holding tightly to God’s promises and

James S. “Jim” Allen ’76, 91, died Sept. 14, 2019, in Oxford, Miss. He was a U.S. Air Force veteran and supported the U.S. Secret Service in providing security for several U.S. presidents. After retiring from the military, he became the director of security at CSU. He and his two sons, Marc S. Allen ’77 and William B. Allen attended classes at the same time. He was an ordained minister and retired from the ministry. Frederick Baily Dent, 97, died Dec. 10, 2019, in Spartanburg. He was awarded the honorary doctor of commerce and industry from CSU in 1973. He was a veteran of World War II, serving with the U.S. Navy. Prior to retirement, he was president of Mayfair Mills.

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James and Bridget Dewees on local news.

blessing others while they waited for their blessings to come. The blessing came on the weekend of their 28th wedding anniversary and 65 days after James was admitted to ICU. They received the news that a heart had been found. God had been working so miraculously through this entire experience and continued to do so. In the midst of James’ transplant, as blood began to pump though his new heart, the heart began beating on its own. This confirmed to them both that the purpose of everything they had experienced was to bring glory to God. There was no doubt in their minds that God was at the center of it all. “I’ve seen miracles,” James said. “I’ve seen God do so many different things throughout my life, but I had never been in a place where I had to face a mountain and not

Sarah “Gennie” Schipmann Dorr ’78, 62, died Sept. 10, 2019. She worked at Mead Westvaco as an accounting analyst for 29 years. J. Alan Ferner, 82, died Nov. 20 in Cape May, N.J. He was a school superintendent prior to retirement. He was previously a basketball coach at CSU. The Rev. James W. Herron, 85, died Nov. 11, 2019, in Rock Hill. He had pastored churches in North and South Carolina and was director of missions for Greenville Baptist Association prior to retirement. He had been a member of the CSU Board of Trustees.

photos provided

know how I was going to get over it. I had to put my trust in God.” And he encourages anyone struggling with a tough decision to do the same. Trust and believe in the word of God, and never forget to give Him praise. James and Bridget have written books about the 65 days James spent in ICU and the entire experience. They also speak frequently about the experience. Learn more at icugod.com.

in memory Sam Thomas Lee ’69, 72, died Dec. 2, 2019, in Charleston. He was a U.S. Navy veteran and served as principal of James B. Edwards Elementary School in Mount Pleasant for more than 25 years. Jose Luis Orozco, 27, died Oct. 20, 2019, in Charleston. He was a junior at CSU majoring in English. He was a U.S. Army veteran. Wanda Kay Durden Webb ’78, 63, died Oct. 7, 2019, in Lawrenceville, Ga. She had been an environmental engineer with Inland Corporation, Georgia Pacific and International Paper. Dr. Reba Houser Yarborough, 58, died Nov. 7, 2019, in Summerville. She was a school teacher and had been an elementary education professor at CSU from 2013-2017.

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rothers Harrison and Harold Boatwright of Florence captured the championship and second place trophies in the 2019 CSU Sporting Clays Fun Shoot for Scholarships. Not surprising since Harrison, a 2016 alumnus, and Harold, a CSU junior majoring in management, are two of the most competent young shotgunners in South Carolina. The brothers ran roughshod over a field of 60+ shooters to claim the top titles. The Boatwrights will have a chance to compete for the prize at the 2020 Fun Shoot for Scholarships in late March. All money raised at the event goes to scholarships for students.



he family of Joe Stewart, a member of the Class of 1969, presented a gift from Stewart’s estate to establish the Joseph W. Stewart Jr. Endowed Scholarship. Stewart died in 2001. He was an educator and spent his entire career teaching at Remount Road Elementary School in North Charleston. His cousin, William E. Spaulding Jr., said, “Joe felt it was important to have male teachers in elementary schools, so they could serve as role models for the

impressionable minds of young children.” Email Bill Ward at wward@csuniv.edu for more info. Three generations of Joe Stewart’s family were present for the gift presentation. Pictured: Paige S. Lawrence, second cousin; Ruth Ellen Reeder, first cousin; Eleanora Ragland, third cousin; Bill Ward, CSU assistant vice president for development and planned giving; and William E. Spaulding Jr., first cousin.

Harold and Harrison Boatwright. Photo by Bill Ward



hen Stephanie and Steven Daniels graduated from CSU in 2013, they married and moved in with her parents to save money. Stephanie, a nursing major, and Steven, a computer science major, paid off more than $100,000 in student loan debt in just three years. Recently, Steven called Cady Nell Keener, assistant vice president for development and

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special gifts, to express interest in starting a scholarship for computer science students. He said, “You may not know this about me. I grew up in section 8 housing with my mom and two sisters. I want to

help students who are like me.” Steven and Stephanie both started funded scholarships this year. They are living in California, where Steven is pursuing a master’s in computer engineering, and Stephanie is pursuing a doctor of nursing practice.

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enneth E. Swain’s passion to help others has led him to give substantial donations to Charleston Southern, including establishing two endowed scholarships. A retired Myrtle Beach pharmacist, Swain, 91, has been an active environmentalist, visionary and philanthropist. His philanthropy extends to higher education, and he recently made gifts to CSU because he wanted to make a difference in the lives of college students who want to make a difference in the world for Christ. Swain’s involvement with Charleston Southern demonstrates the power of word of mouth. Swain learned of the mission of the university through a relative who works at CSU, who then introduced Swain to President Dondi Costin. Swain is a lifelong Baptist and has been an active layman in the church. His gifts sprang from a desire to see the Gospel spread throughout South Carolina and the world. The gifts include two endowed scholarships

Ken Swain. Photo by Tom Clemmons


Giving Day

Oct. 23 Class of 1970 50th Reunion Oct. 24 Homecoming Bucs vs. North Alabama

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(named for his mother, Jewel Clemmons Swain, and an aunt, Rea Swain Clark) which will go to students who are seeking a degree in Christian studies or a church-related vocation. These endowed scholarships and another substantial gift reflect his humble passion to see lives changed now and for eternity. Swain also joined the CSU Legacy Society, the university’s planned giving organization. Inspired by CSU’s vision of preparing graduates to integrate Christian faith as they learn, lead and serve others in many different career paths, Swain said, “I want my money to keep funding student scholarships for many, many years after I am gone.” Swain graduated from the University of South Carolina in the 1950s, served in the Air Force during the Korean war, and later returned to his beloved hometown of Myrtle Beach and opened a pharmacy. His family has roots in Horry County, South Carolina, and Brunswick County, North Carolina.



he CSU Alumni Association is seeking alumni award nominations to recognize outstanding alumni and their achievements. Nominations for these awards are accepted from several sources: alumni, the Board of Trustees, administrators, faculty, staff and friends of the university. These awards will be presented to winners at the annual Graduation Luncheon on May 8. Submit your nomination online at charlestonsouthern.edu/alumni/alumnirecognition/

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Nonprofit Org. U.S. Postage


Charleston SC Permit #1202

Charleston Southern University P.O. Box 118087 Charleston, SC 29423-8087


Announcing CSU’s 2nd Doctoral Program! DOCTOR OF PHYSICAL THERAPY Program begins accepting applications July 2021. Classes begin 2022. More info at charlestonsouthern.edu/dpt. Tours of the recently completed PT wing now available. Inquire at dpt@csuniv.edu.

Pending approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges