CSU Magazine - Fall 2019

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volume 29


number 3


Fall 2019

On the cover: Senior SarahBeth McKenzie is thinking ahead to life after graduation and how she will manage her finances. Photo by Richard Esposito

© 2019 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: Jordan Brannock Photography, Tom Clemmons Jim Killian, Seth Montgomery, Jason Peterson Shari Richmond, Dan Steffy, Sol Photography Scott Yarbrough

INTERNS: Grace Marshall ’21, 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 Partnership with Kangnam University 4 Center for Personal Financial Management 7 Financial Management Changing Lives 7 U.S. News Names CSU to Best Colleges 8 Ralissa DeJong Interns in NYC 10 David Gamkredlize’s Life in Georgia 13 Buc$ense 13 CSU Named to Lists Again 14 New Academic Programs Added 15 1,000 New Students 16 Resources Available for Managing Debt

LEADING 17 International Club Connecting Students 17 Did You Know? Christianity Today 18 Computer Science Grad Comes Full Circle 20 CSU’s Passport to Purpose 24 Key Positions Filled 25 New Video Scoreboard for Buc Field 26 Hall of Fame Inductees 27 Alumni Make Top List SERVING 28 Volunteer & Missions Fair 29 Donating Bike Helmets 30 PA Students Serve in Dominican 31 Gorsky Practices Music Therapy in Jamaica SCHOOL TIES 32 Class Notes 34 Baby Bucs 35 #BucTreasure 35 In Memory 36 Bruneau Publishes Book FOREVER CSU

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

A new scoreboard, food trucks and activities for kids are just some of the fun added to CSU’s game day experience. Photo by Richard Esposito

37 Golden Bucs Reunion 37 Life in 1969 38 Memorial Scholarship: David Gray 38 Leave a Legacy 38 Alumni Association Council

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

38 Amazon Smile 38 Giving Tuesday, Dec. 3 39 Scenes from Homecoming



ne of the many joys of my job is hanging out with alumni who haven’t been to campus in a while. Moving about with their heads on a swivel, I see the wheels turning as they quickly compare the campus of their memories with what appears before them as the campus of their dreams. The reaction is always the same: “Unbelievable! Look what God has done.” Exactly. It’s the reaction I have every time I come to campus. And it never gets old. Lately, I’ve wrapped that sense of wonder in profound gratitude for the many sacrifices others made through the decades so we could enjoy the results of their vision and the fruits of their labor. Once our forerunners saw that God was in this, they prayed and gave and taught and studied as if He really was. Outsiders doubted, but they believed. Because when it comes to the promises of God, insider trading is never against the law. They walked by faith so we could walk by sight. Their risk is our reward. We are the return on their investment. Pretty good deal from where I sit. Considering this good deal drives me to God’s message for His people as they entered the Promised Land: “I gave you a land you did not labor for, and cities you did not build, though you live in them; you are eating from vineyard and olive groves you did not plant. Therefore, fear the LORD and worship Him in sincerity and truth” (Joshua 24:13-14). Sounds like He’s speaking directly to us. The Lord blessed us through the sacrifices of others in building this university. Now it’s our turn to leave a legacy for generations to come. It won’t matter if they ever know our names, as long as they come to know the Name above every name. Fulfilling this sacred obligation is the point of strategic planning. It’s looking under the hood to see how we’re doing, looking down the road to decide where we’re going, and laying on the accelerator to make sure we

arrive. It’s asking God to do what only He can do if we demonstrate the faith our founders displayed when all they had was a dream from the Lord, the desire to get it done, and the determination to see it through. It’s never settling for the status quo or meddling in mediocrity. Instead, it’s driving toward God’s destination until He directs otherwise. “A man’s heart may plan his way, but the Lord determines his steps” (Proverbs 16:9). As we unveil CSU’s new strategic plan in this magazine, we’re asking God to unleash revival on our campus and in our community. Yes, that kind of revival. And more. In our dreams we see students preparing by the thousands to become servant leaders pursuing significant lives. We see a culture of innovation that transforms the latest technology and the best ideas across campus into mind-blowing gains for student success and community impact. We see a flurry of cam-

pus construction to make way for new students in new programs because they see that God is on the move at CSU. We see a generation of graduates who receive their diplomas as Passports to Purpose so they can make a difference in this world for the good of others and the glory of God. We see a strategic plan that turns passion into purpose for every student the Lord sends our way. It’s our turn to walk by faith so others can walk by sight somewhere down the road. Now that our plans have been made, we trust the Lord to bring these plans to life. So alive that one day, long after we’re gone, some alum will return to see the campus and community of our dreams. “Unbelievable,” they’ll exclaim. “Look what God has done.” Even better, they’ll drop by next week and say, “Look what He’s doing right now.” Exactly.

Bucky and Dr. and Mrs. Costin pose on the Golden Pearl at Homecoming. Photo by Richard Esposito

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r. Dondi Costin, CSU president, and Dr. Shinil Yoon, president of Kangnam University in South Korea, signed an agreement of partnership this summer. The partnership grew from a relationship both universities have with Dr. Billy Kim, evangelist and chairman of the Far East Broadcasting Company-Korea. Kim spoke at CSU in the spring at the invitation of Costin. Kim then invited Costin to South Korea and introduced him to Kangnam University. Costin said, “I am excited beyond words at what the Lord has made to develop. This partnership is going to glorify God. Students

from CSU and Kangnam will learn together, worship together and study together.” “This partnership is very important to us,” said Yoon. “We share the common goal to share the Kingdom of God. Dr. Costin visited Korea, and only four months later, all this has happened. God has worked through all of us.” Kangnam University is a private Christian university. Kangnam University students began studying in August in the Horton School of Music. Yoon said, “We are starting with the music exchange program and hope to expand into other programs.”

Also assisting with the partnership to provide a home away from home for the students will be Charleston Korean United Methodist Church, located just blocks from CSU. Ki Hung Kim, a church elder, said the church would welcome the students and provide a comfortable experience for them. Pastor of the church, Rev. Yon Taek Bae, is a graduate of Kangnam University. He said the pianist at the church is a Charleston Southern graduate, so CSU and Kangnam have already been in partnership. Costin presented Yoon with a crystal vase engraved with the seals of both schools and Ephesians 2:10.

Dr. Dondi Costin and Dr. Shinil Yoon, president of Kangnam University in South Korea, sign an agreement of partnership between the two universities. Photo by Richard Esposito

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he College of Business launched the CSU Center for Personal Financial Management, in association with the Ron Blue Institute, this fall. The Center for Personal Financial Management is training and equipping CSU students and the greater CSU family with biblical principles of financial wisdom and money management. More than 600 students are participating in its programs this fall. President Dondi Costin said, “At Charleston Southern, we believe that faith should permeate every aspect of our lives, including our finances. The Center for Personal Financial Management will equip our students with the skills to apply biblical financial wisdom, helping them live lives of purpose for the glory of God.” “We are excited about the Center for Personal Financial Management and the impact it will have on our students, alumni and the community,” said Dr. David Palmer, dean of the College of Business. “Our commitment to the wellbeing of students is foremost in the minds of the faculty and leadership of the College of Business. The center, and its association with the Ron Blue Institute, shows we are dedicated to supporting students and providing the best possible financial literacy education available.” For current and future students, the CPFM will provide the tools and resources for financing an education, managing money and investing in the future. In addition, CSU has developed Buc$ense, a project to introduce basic financial literacy information and tools to students, parents, alumni and other stakeholders. Buc$ense is funded by a Title III Technology Grant. Ron Blue said, “We are so excited that Charleston Southern University shares our passion for preparing students to enter a world that will be challenging their faith with a clear understanding of what God’s Word has to say about money and money management.”

College of Business students work on a group project. Photo by Richard Esposito


SU has been teaching a personal finance course for 11 years. Through the CPFM, the College of Business is elevating the course and broadening its reach. The center will focus on teaching topics that include a biblical view of money, stewardship, budgeting, debt management, investing, charitable giving and wealth management. The center began partnering with freshman seminar classes to teach freshmen about personal financial literacy this fall. A benefit to students pursuing a Bachelor of Business Administration in financial management will include completing the training courses for the Certified Financial Planner certification while in the undergraduate program. Graduates will only need to get in two years of work experience prior to being eligible to take the CFP certification test. The freshman seminar classes use the Ron Blue Institute’s Four Hs of Financial Wisdom, also known as the 4H Tool: • HEART: behavior follows belief • HEALTH: today’s reality • HABITS: five biblical principles • HOPE: tomorrow’s promise

WHO IS RON BLUE? Ron Blue is a businessman who has worked in accounting, management and financial planning and is the author of 18 books including the bestseller, Master Your Money. The CPA firm he established in the early 1970s is one of the 50 largest CPA firms in the United States. He has established several businesses over the years including a financial planning firm, Kingdom Advisors, designed to equip Christian financial professionals, and the Ron Blue Institute, which is housed at Indiana Wesleyan University. The Ron Blue Institute offers financial resources for churches, pastors, college students and high school students. A frequent guest on radio and TV programs, Blue has also written for Christian magazines and served on numerous boards.

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Blue said, “The Ron Blue Institute was formed for two purposes. One was that every student in a Christian university would be taught a biblical perspective on money and money management. God’s word speaks more to money than any other topic, and I have had the privilege over the last 40 plus years of helping Christians plan and manage their finances according to a biblical worldview. Not only is a biblical worldview the most practical and rational way to manage money but also it is profoundly simple in its concept. “The second purpose for the Institute is to move God’s biblical financial wisdom into academia for credibility and authenticity purposes. There are very few universities that share the passion of Charleston Southern for these two purposes, and I am privileged to be a part of the effort.” Business majors and traditional and online students can take the personal financial management course as an elective or as part of the liberal arts core in the social sciences. The textbook used in the course is Mastering Personal Finances, a Biblical Approach by Ron Blue and Boyce Smith. Smith is an assistant professor in the CSU College of Business and is leading the efforts of the Center for Personal Financial Management. Smith traces his interest in personal finance to a series called Master Your Money by Blue that Smith and his wife completed in their church in Spartanburg 30 years ago. “This was the first time we spent significant time studying what the Bible had to say about managing money,” said Smith. That Bible study led to a life change resulting in new attitudes about giving, saving, investing and debt. “Soon, we became volunteer teachers and coaches for Christian Financial Concepts (later Crown Financial Ministries),” said Smith. “Our desire was to help fellow Christians learn to manage money God’s way. God then led us to CSU and the opportunity to help many young adults gain timeless biblical wisdom about managing money.” To date, more than 1,000 CSU students have taken the personal finance course. When Smith first began teaching personal finance, he had plenty of secular materials on financial planning as well as plenty of materials on what God has to say about managing money. “A few years later, Ron

“Our desire was to help fellow Christians learn to manage money God’s way. God then led us to CSU and the opportunity to help many young adults gain timeless biblical wisdom about managing money.” – Boyce Smith

and I agreed that we need college and high school textbooks that combined both the biblical wisdom and the practical application tools,” said Smith. “The textbook then evolved with the help of the RBI staff. Now, the staff has developed far more materials such as the 4H tool which is the basis for the workshop that we are teaching in freshman seminar.” The Center for Personal Financial Management also is creating a peer-to-peer counseling service for students and will host nationally recognized personal finance speakers on a regular basis. CSU chose to affiliate with the Ron Blue Institute because of RBI’s mission to advance biblical financial education, enabling Christians to make financial decisions within a biblical framework. Blue has written more than 20 books including the bestseller Master Your Money. The Ron Blue Institute is hosted by Indiana Wesleyan University and houses the intellectual property generated by Blue’s work. The RBI staff serve as consultants to partners such as CSU to further develop and deliver biblical wisdom. A launch dinner for the Center for Personal Financial Management, sponsored by Wildes Financial Strategies, was held Nov. 13.

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tudent debt dominates news stories, and Charleston Southern is addressing it head on with the creation of the Center for Personal Financial Management and inserting classes on financial literacy into freshman general education courses. CSU has been teaching biblical financial management for years. A recent article in The DeVoe Report, titled “Teaching Courses in Personal Finance at Christian Colleges and Universities,” said, “The subject of personal finance is extremely relevant for college students today. There are new resources available and new approaches to delivering personal finance courses from a biblical perspective. CSU has quietly been on the forefront in this development process.” The DeVoe Report is a publication of the DeVoe School of Business at Indiana Wesleyan University. Two graduates and a current student recently were interviewed about their experiences in personal finance. Nathan Prater ’15, kinesiology major, football team member Nathan Prater recently received a doctor of physical therapy degree from the Medical University of South Carolina and joined the Premier Physical Therapy practice. He stressed the two things he learned in personal finance that have been the

most helpful are budgeting and having an emergency fund. He said, “Especially going to grad school, my wife and I were able to establish a budget that we felt like eliminated taking on unnecessary debt.” They have a strategic plan to eliminate debt. He said budgeting freed him to tithe more willingly and give to others. Prater said, “We all know life happens, and we need to be prepared for that when it does with an emergency fund.” He said the personal finance class carried him past graduation and helped prepare him for life. Amy Greer ’17, financial management major Originally from Indiana, Amy Greer came to Charleston with the Air Force 10 years ago. After graduating from CSU, she went to work at a nonprofit in the area of debt management. She saw her parents struggle with money and determined to get as much financial training as she could. “I work with people with credit card debt and help them get debt payment every month down to a reasonable level,” said Greer. She also teaches financial classes and helps first-time home buyers get their credit score to a place where they can buy a home. Greer advises students to budget the little bit of funds they have now, so when they have more funds they can tell their funds

what to do and where to go. She does have student loan debt, mainly from needing to make repairs on her home while in school. She said, “It’s a misconception that owning a house is cheaper than renting. The upkeep can be steep.” However, she has made sacrifices in the short-term and is employing the debt snowball system to pay debt down. “It will take about three years to get my student loans paid off instead of the typical 20 years.” Sarah Fleming, junior, majoring in accounting, part-time job in CSU’s business office After taking the personal finance course, Sarah Fleming decided to make some changes. She made a budget for food and shopping. She started shopping at stores such as Plato’s Closet and Goodwill to help her stay on budget. Her biggest change was adjusting her class schedule so she will graduate a semester early to save money. She is also working as an accounting intern on campus. She said by working during the school year, she won’t have to touch her savings account. “The biggest take away is that money is a tool. It is God’s, and not ours. We don’t need to be selfish with it,” said Fleming.



n U.S. News & World Report’s recent rankings of Southeastern colleges, Charleston Southern University earned Best College honors and climbed 31 spots above its spot in the previous year.

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Contributing factors to its selection are Charleston Southern’s student-faculty ratio of 12:1, with 62.3% of classes listing fewer than 20 students. And the university offers a nationally ranked, dynamic online program in addition to traditional on-campus programs.

Earlier this year, U.S. News & World Report named Charleston Southern #25 in Best Online Bachelor’s Programs and #20 in Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans in the nation, ranking CSU #1 in South Carolina for online bachelor’s programs.

Boyce Smith CSU magazine 7 Photo by Richard Esposito


“It was eye-opening to see that these powerful men on Wall Street and all throughout New York haven’t let money and greed and all the things you think about when you think about Wall Street get to them.” – Ralissa DeJong

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hen Ralissa DeJong sent in her internship application to the Meraki Honors Program of King’s College, she had no idea that she had just set into motion a series of events that would lead to the summer of a lifetime. Born and raised in Arizona, DeJong came to visit CSU after a friend recommended the school to her, and she immediately fell in love. She liked the layout of the campus, but what really captivated her heart was the people. The size of the school allowed her to really develop relationships with both her peers and her professors. “You really get to know students and professors individually,” DeJong said. Currently in her third year at CSU, DeJong is working toward her undergraduate degree in accounting. This past summer, she worked as an intern at Verisk Analytics, one of the top data analytics companies in the world, and one of Forbes 2018 World’s Best Employers. DeJong was recommended for the internship by Dr. Heather Chadwick, assistant professor of finance and economics, who felt she would be a fantastic candidate for the internship after being impressed with their conversations, as well as her class performance. “She is very smart, very intelligent, very caring, very passionate, very consistent, and she has a lot of perseverance. She keeps trying, and she works hard; she’s just a very exceptional student,” said Chadwick. Despite her qualifications, the road ahead would not be easy for DeJong. The Meraki Honors Program only accepted five students this year, and she was going to have to work hard if she wanted to be one of them. In fact, she almost didn’t apply at all, because she was so nervous that she wouldn’t hold up to the competition. Chadwick pushed her to try it, telling her, “if you don’t apply you’ll never know.” So, she applied, becoming one of the many students vying for the limited space in the internship. The application process

was harrowing, first she had to submit a full resume, as well as a short essay, several references, and a video discussing her ambitions and why she felt she was a good fit for the program. Even after she was accepted as a candidate, she then had to go through several more rounds of interviews before she was finally accepted and assigned to a company. DeJong was accepted to the program in December of 2018, one semester before her summer internship would begin. “She definitely has a lot of humility, and she was so excited, it brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it,” Chadwick said. Once DeJong was in New York, she worked in the Verisk Analytics tax department alongside other interns, working primarily on sales taxes, while also having opportunities to help with audits, reconciliations and refunds. She felt that her time at Verisk served to solidify her plans to work in accounting. “Working in the accounting department really solidified that yes, I am in the right major and this is something I do want to do as my career,” DeJong said. In addition to her regular internship work, she and a small group of other interns were responsible for identifying a need within the company and then presenting their solution to the board of executives. DeJong and her team noticed that people within each department knew very little about the people in the other departments, so they created a virtual map which allows anyone in Verisk to click on a cubicle or office and see who works there, their special skills, and even their birthday. This plan is set to be implemented soon. In addition to her internship work, DeJong was able to be a part of King’s College Faith and Finance course, where each week she heard leaders in finance speak about how their faith impacts their work. Her two favorite presenters were Benjamin Ketwich, of Ketwich Capital, and

Andy Mills, co-CEO of Archegos Capital Management. “It was eye-opening to see that these powerful men on Wall Street and all throughout New York haven’t let money and greed and all the things you think about when you think about Wall Street get to them,” DeJong said. Back at Charleston Southern for her junior year, DeJong seems refreshed, with a new energy in the classroom and around campus. Chadwick notes that she has gained confidence, is more willing to speak up in the classroom, and has begun offering to mentor younger students. DeJong wants to work on a master’s degree in accounting, and then come back to CSU to teach, largely due to the impact her professors have had on her through their mentoring, which has given her a desire to give back. She is actively looking for another internship opportunity in the Charleston area, and Verisk Analytics has offered her an opportunity to return as an intern next summer. DeJong is grateful to CSU for the opportunities she has had, saying, “Everything about CSU has made my life better.”

above: Ralissa DeJong and the other Meraki Honors Program interns in New York City. Photo provided facing page: Ralissa DeJong Photo by Richard Esposito

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t the intersection of Europe and Asia lies the Republic of Georgia. The country, most recently occupied by the Soviet Union, is known for its grand centuries-old cathedrals, ancient cities and vineyards, mighty mountain peaks and hospitable people. Georgians, like David Gamkredlize ’08, are eager to share their homeland’s history, culture and selfless desire for stability. Gamkredlize spent his entire life in Georgia before studying abroad as a high school student at Wade Hampton High School in Greer, S.C. It was there he learned about Charleston Southern. The private Christian institution near the coast appealed to him. “I spent four years at Charleston Southern University where I gained lots of knowledge, where I gained lots of friends,” Gamkredlize said, adding that due to his long last name, most people called him “David G.” He was very involved in student life as a studentathlete for men’s soccer and drum player in New Vision. Gamkredlize commented on the personal growth and individuality he gained at CSU that he had not experienced in his home country — for example, with his coursework. “I had to choose classes myself, but in Georgia everything is planned for you. The student is not allowed to think for himself.” At CSU, he learned from his mistakes and credits the experience with making him a leader. Some of those courses, such as business ethics and communication, are what Gamkredlize ascribes as life changing. “If you want to work for a good company or the government, you need these skills.” He said that something as simple as writing effectively goes a long way in furthering one’s career. That, and a higher ethical standard. “The Christian environment is helpful for everybody there. It’s very important.”

David Gamkredlize

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INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT GEORGIA: Geography: • Border countries: Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Turkey. • The highest mountain peak in Europe, Mount Elbrus (18,510 feet), lies just outside the Georgia-Russian border. The third highest peak in the Caucasus mountain range, Shkhara, is Georgia’s highest point (17,060 feet). • Georgia has more than a dozen climate zones – including snowy mountains, coastal cities, rolling vineyards and deserts. Politics: • It became a unitary parliamentary republic after secession from the Soviet Union in April 1991. It contains two de facto independent regions, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, that remain occupied by Russia. Language: • Primary language is Georgian and is considered one of the oldest languages in the world. The Georgian alphabet consists of 33 letters, and the script does not use capital letters. Most older citizens speak both Georgian and Russian; younger generations speak Georgian and English. Religion: • Christianity has been the state religion since the 4th century AD; 85% of Georgians are Orthodox Christian. • The Jewish community is one of the oldest in the world – going back 2,600 years. • The country is respectful of other religions in and outside of its country.

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History & Culture: • In Greek mythology, ancient Georgia (Colchis) was the location of the Golden Fleece. • The first Europeans are believed to have originated from Georgia based on archeological digs. • Famous for its natural hot springs, Georgians believe in the healing power (both physically and mentally) of the water. Sulfur baths are quite popular in its capital city, Tbilisi. Georgians also are proud of their mineral water – restaurants have water lists on their menu with a variety of choices. • In the midst of so much Old World architecture and ancient charm, you will find futuristic space-age architecture scattered throughout. One popular site is the Bridge of Peace in Tbilisi. Food: • Georgia is considered the birthplace of wine. • Popular cuisine consists of dough and meat – such as Khinkali (meat dumpling) or Khachapuri (similar to a cheese pizza). • A special sweet treat is Churchkhela, which hangs from store fronts mesmerizing passersby – main ingredients are grape must (crushed fruit), flour and nuts dipped in a variety of fruit juices that reflect a rainbow of colors. Money: • Georgia is budget friendly for American travelers. The Georgian Lari (GEL) is a third of a U.S. dollar, and most historical sights and museums are free or as cheap as $1.25. • “Fast & Furious 9” filmed in Tbilisi, Georgia, this year bringing more than 67 million GEL and more than 8,000 jobs to the region.

In one class, Gamkredlize remembers a pop quiz that changed the way he thought about decision making. “We Georgians are like the Italians with our emotions. I didn’t know how to answer the questions, so I didn’t turn it in.” The next day, the professor called Gamkredlize into his office and asked for the test. “I told him that I didn’t know the information, and I wasn’t comfortable writing stupid things.” The professor assured him it wasn’t for a grade, but rather testing his knowledge and decision-making skills at the beginning of the course. Gamkredlize described this story as a learning experience — just one example of his many impactful memories at CSU. “I learned how to effectively make decisions. The main reason to go to CSU is to be a decision maker, to make a change for the world,” he said. “I came back to my country to grow it. CSU is the best place for foreign students to gain knowledge and to come back and make huge contributions in their home countries.” More than a decade later, professors and staff still remember “David G.” Dr. Arnold Hite, professor of economics in the College of Business, said that Gamkredlize was quiet and polite, but often asked piercing questions about economics. “I knew that, for him, the questions related back to life in Georgia…not just those of an intellectually curious student. I knew that my answers would follow him home.” Barbara Mead, associate dean of students and international services director, remembers Gamkredlize’s caring heart, meditative nature and political ambition. “He possessed an undeniable desire to do something for his nation. He voiced the need to firstly become educated and, secondly, to gain experience in working with leaders to eventually protect Georgia’s territorial integrity and address its hardships,” Mead said. “I vividly remember David saying to me that his strongest professional desire would be to become president of his country.” And it was at CSU that Gamkredlize gained the career mobility he sought. Graduating with a degree in business administration with a concentration in finance, Gamkredlize moved back to Georgia to work in the private and business sectors

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as well as nonprofit organizations. He most notably worked in Georgia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs as Counsellor in International Relations, Multilateral & Regional Economic Affairs. In this role, he worked with Europe and the United States as well as United Nations offices in the Asia Pacific region, visiting countries such as Thailand and India. “CSU gave me skills to be a leader, to represent myself well in any situation,” Gamkredlize said. “My experience at CSU gave me individual freedom. It made it possible for me to move ahead in my country.” Currently, Gamkredlize works in the nonprofit sector focused on Georgia’s development and is a leader in a new political party. Having achieved two master’s degrees, he is now a PhD candidate at the Georgian Institute of Public Affairs and lectures at Caucasus University. Gamkredlize charges current students to study hard and respect each other but to also gain experience and do one’s best to make a difference in their area of influence. “We can all make a change. I made a change in my country,” he said. “You have to gain practical experience during your studies…get internships. Combine practical experience with theoretical knowledge.” An advocate for studying abroad, Gamkredlize hopes that Georgian students and American students will continue to learn from one another. “It’s important to tell the history of Georgia to others. CSU students should see the past history and take that data to connect the past to the future. They can see what happened 20 or 30 years ago; they can see the history and the culture; they can see the huge social capital that Georgians have. They should come here and integrate their knowledge and skills with Georgia.” He added that Georgian students should find a way to attend Charleston Southern. “I was very, very lucky to go to CSU. Charleston Southern University is one of the best schools in the world.”

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uc$ense, a user-friendly financial literacy program, will launch in early December. The office of academic technology, with help from other offices on campus, has compiled a broad array of articles, videos, webinars and tools to help current students, prospective students and the general public learn more about their finances. Buc$ense offers information about financing an education, explains the FAFSA and financial aid, includes tips for creating a budget and spending wisely, understanding

credit, taxes, student loan repayment, investing, learning what the Bible says about finances, debt, stewardship and much more. The program is designed to train students on all aspects of their financial life, beginning with applying for financial aid all the way to life after college. Buc$ense was made possible through a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, which is calling for all universities to educate students on financial literacy.

CSU MAKES 100 BEST COLLEGE BUYS AND BEST CHRISTIAN COLLEGES LISTS AGAIN National lists celebrating affordable colleges and Christian education have once again included CSU. CSU has been named to America’s 100 Best College Buys for 15 consecutive years and America’s Best Christian Colleges for 21 consecutive years. To be considered for America’s 100 Best College Buys, an institution must be an accredited, four-year institution offering bachelor’s degrees and have an out-of-state cost of attendance in 2019-20 for two semesters below the national average cost of attendance or not exceeding the national average cost by more than 10 percent. According to Institutional Research & Evaluation, Inc., “Survey results showed a national average cost of attendance based upon the regular cost at private institutions and the out-of-state cost at public institutions for 2019-2020 of $45,406.” CSU’s cost of attendance is $36,700, significantly lower than the national average. CSU understands that funding a college education is a major investment, and the university strives to offer students a quality education at the lowest possible cost. Just three universities in South Carolina made the 100 Best College Buys list for 2019-2020: CSU, Anderson University and Coastal Carolina University.

America’s Best Christian Colleges is awarded to those Christian colleges which are providing an educational experience incorporating basic Christian principles and beliefs into the instructional curriculum and/ or social environment. To qualify for the list, colleges must also be an accredited, fouryear institution offering bachelor degrees and have had an entering freshman class in the fall of 2019 with a high school grade point average and/or SAT/ACT score equal to or above the national average for all freshmen entering Christian institutions of higher education. South Carolina schools making the list are: CSU, Anderson University, North Greenville University and Presbyterian College. Both lists are administered by Institutional Research & Evaluation, Inc., which identifies outstanding colleges offering high quality educations at the lowest possible costs and American colleges and universities providing students the highest quality education in a Christian environment.

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degree program in CSU’s criminal justice department are eligible for a 20% First Responders/Public Safety Tuition Discount. Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing Now Available The College of Nursing is now offering an accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing which can be completed in 16 months. Students must have a minimum of 58-60 credit hours of previous college credit or have earned a bachelor’s degree in another field. Classes are offered online and in the evening. Bachelor’s Program in Engineering Begins


SU has added additional degrees in response to national and regional needs and trends. 3+2 Athletic Training Program Leads to Two Degrees in Five Years CSU’s undergraduate athletic training program has transitioned to a graduate program with the option of a 3+2 program, allowing a student to complete a Bachelor of Science in kinesiology and a Master of Athletic Training in just five years. Dr. Brian Smith, director of the athletic training program, says the benefit of the program is students earn two degrees in five years versus the traditional six years if students earned their undergraduate degree at another institution. Smith said, “After the completion of the Master of Athletic Training degree, a student will be eligible to sit for the Board of Certification exam for athletic training.” Additional benefits of the CSU 3+2 program are: • A student can use undergraduate scholarships and financial aid for the first 22 units of the Master of Athletic Training program since these units also count toward the bachelor’s degree.

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• Students have interaction with the athletic training faculty prior to the start of the master’s program because all of the athletic training faculty teach courses in the kinesiology undergraduate program. • If a student doesn’t meet the prerequisites for the Master of Athletic Training program by the completion of the junior year (third year), he/she can continue in the kinesiology undergraduate degree program with an emphasis in either clinical or strength and conditioning. The program is open to incoming CSU students and transfers. Students who have earned an undergraduate degree at another institution are eligible to apply to the Master of Athletic Training program. Public Safety Management Degree Added The new Master of Science in public safety management is offered in a traditional classroom setting or entirely online. Students will learn to effectively manage and lead public safety agencies in a supervisory position. This program qualifies for a tuition discount. All active and retired First Responders/Public Safety personnel (Certified/Sworn Local, State and Federal Officers) enrolling in an online

For the first time, CSU is offering a Bachelor of Science in engineering with emphases in computer engineering and electrical engineering. CSU also offers a program in applied mathematics and engineering in cooperation with several affiliate universities. These include dualdegree agreements with Clemson University and the University of South Carolina, and an articulation agreement with The Citadel Computer engineering students will take courses in electronics, advanced programming, computer architecture and networking. Electrical engineering students will take courses in electronics, power systems, electro magnetics and communication systems. CSU is one of just a few Christian universities offering engineering programs in the Southeast. Undergraduate Supply Chain Management Supply chain management is now available in two formats at the bachelor degree level. The on-campus program is a Bachelor of Business Administration in supply chain management, and the online program is a Bachelor of Science in supply chain management. Students will learn about logistics, distribution, transportation, procurement and more to enhance a career in supply chain management.

above: The first accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program students started this fall. Photo by Richard Esposito

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fter graduating its largest class in school history this May, Charleston Southern University welcomed 820 new undergraduate students to the Buccaneer family this fall, as well as posting a recordbreaking total graduate school enrollment of 585. CSU’s total enrollment remains at more than 3,400 students.

CSU is one of the most diverse universities statewide amongst its private and public counterparts, and is the most diverse fouryear university in the Charleston metro area. The most recent data shows that 33% of the student body are people of color. Though

more than 80% of students are from the state of South Carolina, CSU’s global relationships continue to grow, with 26 new international students having joined the CSU global family this fall.

above: Members of the Class of 2023 gather for a picture on Move In Day. Photo by Richard Esposito

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ne aspect of the Center for Personal Financial Management is helping students understand that they are called to be faithful stewards of the resources God entrusts to them. This includes understanding consumer and student loan debt. Along with the CPFM, Buc$ense is available to students online. A Student Loan Repayment section in Buc$ense provides information on repaying student loans. A link to the Student Loan Repayment Checklist from the Federal Student Aid website is also included. The programs of the CPFM will teach students the difference between good debt and bad debt, how to avoid overborrowing and how to avoid a cycle of decline if they have overborrowed.

The CSU Office of Financial Aid also works to educate students on the student loan application and repayment processes. Teri Karges, director of financial aid and veterans services, said anyone who has taken out a loan during their time at CSU will receive an email when he/she is a graduating senior. Karges said, “This email explains what needs to be done with their loan now that they are graduating. They are required to complete exit counseling with the U.S. Department of Education.” Karges describes the exit counseling as intense. The Department of Education’s exit counseling explains what to expect, covers different repayment options, expected payment amounts, at what point a loan would default, what would happen if a graduate defaults on a loan and who to contact should this happen. Karges said, “We provide students with a link to the National Student Loan Data System which provides them with the amount of their total loan debt from all institutions attended and the servicer of their loan. We also attach an exit counseling guide from the Department of Education.” Students utilizing Buc$ense and taking advantage of all the Center for Personal Financial Management has to offer will be better prepared to transition from college student to working adult with bills to pay. A recent article in Inside Higher Education, “Being Smart with Money in College Helps Graduates Feel More Like Adults,” by Greta Anderson, said, “Students and graduates who displayed responsible financial behavior – effective budgeting, spending and building credit – during their fourth year of college and those who improved behaviors by the time they reached their late 20s to early 30s had fewer mental health conditions and felt stable while transitioning into the work force.” It’s never too late to learn about managing finances. Tools to help you understand your finances and get them on track are available from the Ron Blue Institute at ronblueinstitute.com/tools.

Did You Know? “Reframing Student Debt Totals,” a study by The Council of Independent Colleges includes interesting facts about student debt at CIC member schools, of which Charleston Southern University is a member. The study reports: “Data from the U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid Data Center indicate that only 16% of all federal student loan disbursements in the 2017-2018 academic year went to students enrolled at CIC member colleges and universities. Moreover, 39% of loans to students at CIC institutions were used to finance graduate study. Here are the full results of the analysis: Total disbursements in the 20172018 academic year: $86.4 billion Disbursements by sector: • Public: $42.4 billion (29% in graduate loans) • Private $33.5 billion (39% in graduate loans) • CIC: $14.2 billion (39% in graduate loans) • For-Profit: $10.5 billion (37% in graduate loans)

Teri Karges, Photo by Richard Esposito

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Did You Know? Christianity Today Interviews President


tudents have formed a community based on culture, diversity and connection. The International Club was founded in 2017 and has grown into a place for students to meet with others from their own cultures and to broaden their horizons through meaningful interactions with students from other cultures. The club serves as a melting pot of ideas, with a typical meeting consisting of some fun activities and a time where an international student talks about their home country and their experiences growing up. Terraince Holiday, secretary and a Charleston native, has been a part of the club almost since its foundation. He has been impacted by the club a great deal, as it has helped him grow. “It’s been a very inviting club and a very informational club,” he said. “It’s broadened my thought process and my own life.” The club provides valuable opportunities for international students to learn about culture in the United States. President of the International Club, Busola Oseni, experienced this firsthand when she came to CSU from Nigeria, finding opportunities to make connections with other students in an accepting environment.

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“The International Club, I feel like, was very good for me to be in when I came to the U.S.,” Oseni said. “It explained to me what American culture was all about.” This is all part of the vision established by Hope Ivanov, a native of Bulgaria, the club’s founder. She experienced the difficulty of being an international student, and she founded the club to create a positive environment for any students interested in learning about new cultures. “As an international student, I experienced my own culture shock and cultural experiences, so I wanted others to feel welcomed,” said Ivanov. Ivanov and Oseni are both adamant that the International Club is about much more than simply providing a safe place for international students. It is a place for all students to come together in appreciation of their diversity. Oseni stated that as the club has grown, their priority has been on teaching students that the club is open to everyone. “People thought it was just for international students, which is not true; it’s for everyone.” she said.

Dr. Dondi Costin, president, was recently featured in Christianity Today in Betsy Abraham’s article: “The Tedious Balance Between Tradition + Innovation: New Leaders at Prestigious Christian Institutions Weigh the Cost of Progress.” Five top leaders explained what it was like to step into new roles. Citing the similarity to working at the Pentagon prior to coming to CSU and working in academia, Costin said he relies on the university staff to guide him through the procedures and processes of higher education. Calling himself a “cultural anthropologist,” Costin studies the landscape and procedures to learn what is working and what isn’t. Abraham quotes Costin, “The principles that work in one organization will almost always work in another as long as the leader is willing to be a learner.” In the article Costin said he relies on prayer and planning to navigate leading CSU. The article is available in the November issue of Christianity Today.

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s an undergraduate, Napiya Nubuya was taken aback by the lack of women, and especially women of color, in the computer science program. Once she was in the workforce she realized how serious it really was. So, she set about to change it. In August, Charleston Southern hosted the inaugural Charleston chapter of The Next IT Girl, a nonprofit founded by Nubuya. The Next IT Girls’ mission is to educate and mentor women and girls of color in the IT field. The nonprofit began in Indianapolis and has chapters there, Atlanta, and now in Charleston. No one is prouder of Nubuya than Dr. Valerie Sessions, chair of the computer science department. “The turnout was incredible -- 15 young ladies -- as well as S.C. House Reps. JA Moore and Krystie Simmons,” said Sessions. Nubuya identified with Sessions, the only woman in the computer science department when Nubuya attended, as someone who had blazed the trail. Nubuya graduated in 2014 and began looking for a job and applying to grad school. A year went by, and she was told in interview after interview that she needed more experience. She was about to head to graduate school when a company in Indianapolis reached out to her. She had written out her goals in 2014, with number one being finding a job in her field. The Indy company sent her an airplane ticket for July 15, 2015 – a year to the date she had written down her goals. “I said, ‘God is that really you?’” said Nubuya. “It scared me to death.” On her tour of the company, she was excited to observe it was diverse. The company hired her as a data analyst and within a month she was living and working in Indianapolis. The company has given her opportunities to grow and promotions. She still works for the same company but now lives in Atlanta. Once on the job she learned that although the company was diverse, the IT department was not. Until just recently, she was the only woman in IT.

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Nubuya said her college friends seemed to have things they were doing outside their professions, so she decided to give a fashion blog a try, since that was one of her interests. She called it The Next It Girl, but it never really got off the ground. She found she wasn’t interested in posting pictures of fashion every day. About that same time, a coworker’s daughter asked her what it was like to be a woman in the tech world, specifically a black woman in tech. “I started wondering if a lot of girls were wondering the same thing,” said Nubuya. She said African American women make up just 3% of the tech field. She also noticed that women in general came into the tech field but didn’t stay. All of those experiences led to The Next IT Girl. “If you can see it, you can be it,” said Nubuya. She set out to let young women of color know that there are thousands of opportunities in the tech world. “There’s more to tech than coding,” she said. The Next IT Girl will celebrate four years in December. They host summer workshops and work with girls ages 8-22. “We started with eight, because at that age kids start understanding the concept of careers,” said Nubuya. “And, we went up to 22 because they are looking for mentorship about jobs, and negotiating salaries, etc.” Bringing the Next IT Girl to Charleston feels to Nubuya like coming full circle. “It was awesome holding the workshop at CSU because it was a great opportunity for the girls to be on a college campus and to see Dr. Sessions as the chair of the computer science department,” said Nubuya. She said, “When I started at CSU in 2009, I didn’t know if tech was for me. Pursuing computer science has been well worth it. It has helped me get where I am today.” She said what she loved about her time at CSU was being exposed to everything in the tech field, not just an emphasis, and the fact that the program is faith based. “Seeing the fruits of the labor now is really cool,” said Nubuya.

She said when starting a nonprofit, “Face your fears and give it multiple tries. And have faith.” South Carolina Rep. Moore serves on the nonprofit’s board and has been an advocate for The Next IT Girl. Charleston Women in Tech and the CSU computer science department have also been advocates. “We are always looking for supporters through donations and partnerships,” said Nubuya. She would love to see fellow alumni get involved with The Next IT Girl. Learn more at thenextitgirl.org.

Photos provided facing page: Napiya Nubaya above: Learning to take apart a computer and put it back together is one thing taught at the Next IT Girl workshops.

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or the first year of his presidency, Dondi Costin asked questions, listened, observed, prayed, studied, and listened some more. His next step was gathering stakeholders to establish the university’s strategic plan for 2020-2025. He said, “The plan is the work of more than 70 planners representing every pocket of the university. These planners analyzed data from nearly 1,200 surveys and numerous listening sessions to hear from every constituency with skin in the game: students, faculty, staff, coaches, parents, trustees, alumni, pastors, community and business leaders, and high school guidance counselors from across the state, just to name a few.”

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s the plan came together, CSU’s bottom line became clear – to prepare servant leaders to pursue significant lives. A Charleston Southern education is a Passport to Purpose. Helping students navigate life’s journey even better, and doing so for as many as possible, is the bullseye for the strategic plan, said Costin. Using author Simon Sinek’s idea of “starting with why,” or what Sinek calls “The Golden Circle,” the strategic planning team identified CSU’s Why, How, and What. CSU’s Why: The Great Commission, Matthew 28:19-20 Costin said, “Providentially, the Golden Circle demonstrates the Great Commission’s central role in the life of CSU. Charleston Southern was founded in obedience to Christ’s command to make disciples of all nations, teaching them to align with His design. It is why we exist today. At CSU, ‘teaching them to obey everything’ Christ commanded is not just rhetoric, it is real.” CSU’s How: Faith Integration in Christian Community “Our educational philosophy is driven by our mission statement’s push for academic excellence in a Christian environment,” said Costin. In nurturing student growth, academic excellence is the seed, and Christian environment is the soil. It is both/ and, not either/or. Meanwhile, our vision statement plants the process in fertile terrain

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as the community of faculty, staff, coaches, and peer mentors cultivate; students work the ground, and God provides the harvest. Saturating the entire campus community with this vision – integrating faith in learning, leading, and serving – ensures that faith integration is not an afterthought. Rather, it is the central thought in equipping students with a worldview in which faith forms character and character drives action. CSU’s What: Servant Leaders Pursuing Significant Lives Our strategic plan is designed to guarantee that everything CSU does helps students become the servant leaders God wants them to be: a colleague who demonstrates the value of going the extra mile and inspires coworkers to follow suit, a spouse who models the character of Christ at work and at home, a parent who puts family before themselves, a neighbor whose faith impacts every fiber of his being seven days a week, and an engaged citizen making a difference in the church and the world. At CSU, serious scholarship and real relationships lay a solid foundation for servant leadership. Leadership is not limited to CEOs. Costin said, “Everyone has the opportunity to lead by serving others within their particular sphere of influence. Regardless of job title or position on the organizational chart, servant leadership is influencing your team to accomplish its mission for the good

of others and the glory of God. It is no more complicated than that, but it takes competence, character, and commitment to do that well.” By preparing our graduates for what Jesus called “the abundant life” (John 10:10), a CSU education becomes far more valuable than simply earning a credential or starting a career. “Mounting evidence indicates that increasing numbers of students in this generation are experiencing a decreasing sense of meaning and purpose,” said Costin. “But from matriculation through graduation, CSU students learn that a life of significance – serving God, investing in others – is one’s primary reason for being and ultimate measure of success. Helping students live that life to the fullest is why our faculty and staff have been called to serve.” Pursing Significant Lives Costin said, “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 – a condition the Japanese refer to as Ikigai (reason for being).” This sweet spot occurs at the intersection of: 1. What you love 2. What you’re good at 3. What the world needs 4. 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.” The sweet spot framework can be filtered through a biblical lens to help students discover their passion, design their pathway, develop their potential, and declare their purpose during and after their CSU years. Students can tie their passion to their purpose as they move from success to significance even before their diplomas are in hand. Designing and implementing a Christcentered approach for preparing servant leaders to pursue significant lives is a major element of our strategic plan and is fundamental to solidifying our value proposition. Using a passport to depict a student’s progression through the CSU years reflects our work as a system.

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• Freshmen leave home and use their first year to discover more about God, themselves, their passions, and serving others as they explore career options and possible majors. • Sophomores, if they haven’t already, typically choose their academic majors and design their particular pathway to graduation. • Juniors develop their potential to perform as members of their chosen profession as they transition from core courses to higher-level courses within their majors. • Seniors complete their degree programs and declare their purpose, deploying with purpose to pursue a life of significance. • Graduate, transfer, and online students take this route as well, though often with a head start and at a much faster pace. Going the Extra Mile This system represents the tangible difference a CSU education makes in preparing students to go The Extra Mile. “For the system to work optimally, it must be designed and implemented as a system,” said Costin. Our curricular and cocurricular enterprises, including faculty, students, advisors, mentors, coaches, curriculum coordinators, deans, the student success team, the spiritual life team, the career center, and others, must lock arms to propel students from passion to purpose. For a CSU education to produce maximum advantage, students must be exposed to a holistic development enterprise, not just a degree-granting exercise. Designing and implementing this system to benefit every student ends with issuing every student a Passport to Purpose, then sending them on their way to impact every corner of the globe for Christ. “Where we’re headed is a comprehensive approach to preparing servant leaders to pursue significant lives,” said Costin. The Best Is Yet to Come Despite the higher education headwinds of declining national enrollment trends, public questioning of the value of a college degree, and increasing societal

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secularization, Charleston Southern is radically blessed and well-postured to strengthen our position in the most competitive landscape of our lifetime. “If you were asked to pick any place to plant a university, the data would direct you to our street address,” said Costin. “If you could start with the facilities we have, the community support we experience, the number-one tourist destination we enjoy, the population growth headed our way, our unrivaled church and denominational connections, and the mighty God we serve, you would fall to your knees to praise him for this unbelievable opportunity. Then, you would get up and get to work.” Costin continued, “As confident believers in the God of all creation, ‘we walk by faith, not by sight’ (2 Cor. 5:7). In contrast to those who must see it to believe it, we believe it so we can see it. In our dreams we see a flourishing campus filled with students pursuing significant lives, aided

by faculty and staff who are following a calling, a culture of innovation, increasing partnerships, and much more. And this is just a smattering of what we can see. But, this is only what we can see as we get ready to run. Thankfully, the best is yet to come because God is on the move at CSU.” Costin said, Most importantly, we see the words of Ephesians 3:20-21 as we lean into this lap: ‘Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations for ever and ever! Amen.’”

Notes: All Scripture references are from the New International Version. Ikigai and modified Purpose graphic. See “Simon Sinek and The Golden Circle” (https://thebeautifultruth.org.uk/human-insight/ sinek-golden-circle/). The Golden Circle graphic. See Simon Sinek, Start with Why: How great leaders inspire everyone to take action, New York: Portfolio/Penguin, 2011.

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harleston Southern University has named Dr. Ben Phillips as dean of the College of Christian Studies, Rev. Tom Clemmons as director of church relations, and Dr. Jacob Thorp as director of the physical therapy program. Prior to coming to CSU, Phillips was director of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s undergraduate program in the Texas Prison System and was an associate professor of systematic theology at Southwestern’s Houston campus. “I’m thrilled to be at CSU and to be part of its conservative, evangelical College of Christian Studies,” said Phillips. “My calling is to serve the churches of South Carolina through preaching, teaching and to prepare the students they send us to integrate the faith onceand-for-all delivered by God’s inerrant Word into every aspect of life, work and ministry.” Phillips holds an MDiv and PhD in theology from Southwestern Baptist

Theological Seminary and a bachelor’s degree in ancient history from the University of Maryland. He is a native of Maryland, and he and his wife, Joelyn, have two children. Clemmons most recently served for eight years as a senior pastor in Colorado. He has also served as the associate director of admissions and director of prospective student services at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, as a North American Mission Board campus minister at the U.S. Naval Academy and a teacher and dean at The Classical Academy in Colorado Springs. Clemmons said, “My life verses are John 17:3-4, ‘This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given me to do.’” He earned an MDiv with languages from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

and a BS, in national security studies from the U.S. Air Force Academy. He was ordained in 1991 by Crosswell Baptist Church in Sumter. Clemmons and his wife, Melissa, have been married for 29 years, have three sons, one daughter-in-law and two grandchildren. Thorp will serve as the founding director of the physical therapy program. He joined CSU from East Carolina University where he was an associate professor in the physical therapy department as well as the director of the clinical faculty practice. Thorp earned his Bachelor of Science from Trevecca Nazarene University in 1999, his Master of Science in physical therapy from Des Moines University in 2001 and a Doctor of Health Science from the University of Indianapolis in 2006. His research, teaching and clinical expertise are in the areas of orthopedics and chronic pain. Thorp, and his wife, Michelle, have three children.

Rev. Tom Clemmons

Dr. Jacob Thorp

Dr. Ben Phillips

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Photos by Richard Esposito

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new Daktronics video scoreboard display and a new sound system were installed at Buccaneer Field for the 2019 football season. The LED video scoreboard end zone display features a 15 high definition pixel layout and measures 22 feet high by 52 feet wide to bring excellent image clarity and contrast with wide-angle visibility to fans in every seat. The board replaced the existing scoreboard behind the south end zone. “We talk a lot about the little things we are doing to improve our department, but this addition to both football and track doesn’t fall under that category,” Jeff Barber, director of athletics, said. “This new video board is a game changer not only for fan experience but also sponsorships. With the addition of player introductions, fan cams, games and in-game graphic elements, the football game experience at Buccaneer Field is outstanding. I hope that our fans see this new addition as another commitment to CSU building a national-caliber football program.” The street-side display, facing University Boulevard, helps generate university sponsors and shares messages of upcoming events. A Sportsound 2000HD audio system is integrated into the video and scoring system at Buccaneer Field. The 6 foot high by 22 foot wide sound cabinet provides full-range sound reproduction and clear and intelligible speech for a powerful audio experience for fans. “We’re honored to have this opportunity to be working with Charleston Southern University on their new football scoreboard and sound system project,” said Corey Williams, Daktronics sales representative. The main display features variable content zoning allowing it to show one large image or multiple zones of content such as live video, instant replays, up-to-the-minute statistics, graphics and animations, and sponsorship messages. Daktronics is also including its powerful Show Control System with this installation.

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This industry-leading system provides a combination of display control software, world-class video processing, data integration and playback hardware that forms a user-friendly production solution. In addition, the Buccaneers made marked improvements throughout the facility over the last year with the addition of palm trees, new signage, game day ambassadors and enhanced dining options with the addition of food trucks, a new kids zone, additional bathrooms, and in-game and postgame firework displays. CSU also added a new entrance/exit on Buc Club Dive, a special VIP Hospitality Tent in the North End Zone, as well as end zone bleachers for special guests and the Blue Crew, student section. “Our goal is to establish a premier fan experience for Buc Nation at our home football games,” Barber said. The addition of food trucks in the gravel lot located behind the home stands will continue to enhance the opportunities

for our guests to partake in cuisine while avoiding long lines at the concession stand. The trucks will vary based on the game and will provide a supplement to the existing partnership with Aramark and Chick-fil-A that is already featured on game days. The kid zone, located to the right of the Daktronics video scoreboard, features inflatables and games during competition. An additional restroom facility is featured near the Visitor Pass List gate next to the gravel lot. This facility adds to the existing restrooms at Buccaneer Field for expected increased attendance this year thanks to the Lowcountry Community Days. The addition of end zone bleachers adds additional seating to Buccaneer Field and serves as a place for visiting high school bands to sit and perform, as well as providing on-field access to the Blue Crew student body.

The Mayor of Hanahan greets Hanahan citizens at one of the Lowcountry Community Days. Photo by Jim Killian

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By Seth Montgomery


our former Buccaneers had their legacies cemented in history when they were inducted into the Charleston Southern Athletics Hall of Fame on Oct. 4. “Being elected into your alma mater’s Hall of Fame is one of the greatest achievements a student-athlete can earn,” Director of Athletics Jeff Barber said. “All four of these inductees put in tremendous work in the classroom, court and tracks and are highly deserving to be in this year’s class.” Katie Tull Women’s Basketball – 2007-2011 Katie Tull was named the 2010-11 Big South Player of the Year and was the first to earn the honor from CSU since the 1995-96 season. Over the course of her career, she set the CSU and Big South career records for 3-pointers made. She also broke the school record for threes made in a game. Tull was the first player in more than a decade to lead the Big South in scoring and left CSU fourth all-time in school history and 21st in Big South history in scoring. She led the nation in 3-pointers per game in the 2011 season with 3.6. At the end of her playing career, she was ranked in the top 20 in NCAA history in three-point field goals made with 314 for her career.

Katie Tull and Gabrielle Houston were honored at halftime of the Homecoming game. Photo by Richard Esposito

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Gabrielle Houston Women’s Track – 2008-2012 Gabrielle Houston became the first Charleston Southern female athlete to be awarded the Big South’s top honors in 201112 as the redshirt junior was named the Big South’s 2011-2012 Female Student-Athlete of the Year. This award came after Houston was selected as the conference’s Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year after earning six All-Conference plaudits during the 2011-12 season, including a pair of gold medals at the 2012 Big South Indoor Track & Field Championships. At that meet, she tied both the Big South championship meet record and overall record as she won the 200-meter dash with a time of 24 minutes, 14 seconds. Her second first-place finish of the meet came in the 4x400 meter relay as she anchored the Buccaneers to a time of 3:51.97. Houston closed out the indoor championship with a second-place finish in the 60 meters with a time of 7.49. During the Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championship, Houston placed second in the 100-meter event with a time of 11.80 and followed with a second-place time in the 200 meters at 24.13. She helped CSU place third overall in the 4x100 meter relay with a time of 46.13. Additional highlights from Houston’s 2011-2012 campaign included the conference’s top times in both the outdoor 100-meter dash (11.45) at the NCAA Preliminaries, and the indoor 60-meter event (7.46) at the Big South Championship. Houston collected Honorable Mention All-America accolades after finishing 18th in the country with a time of 23.68 in the 200-meter event at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Her time of 23.42 in the 200 at the NCAA Preliminaries qualified for nationals, and set the Big South’s all-time standard in the event in the process, before breaking the mark in her senior season. She added another strong finish in her senior season setting Big South outdoor meet records in both the 100m (11.47) and the 200m (23.45) that are still the conference standard today, as well as the indoor meet record in the 60m (7.41)

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Olga Makhova Women’s Tennis – 2009-2012 Olga Makhova started one of the most successful tennis careers in Big South history earning back-to-back Big South Conference Player of the Year recognition in both 2009 and 2010. Her success in the 2010 season paced the Buccaneers to their first Big South Conference regular season championship since the 1998 season, snapping a stretch of 11 consecutive seasons where Winthrop and Coastal Carolina held the title. She was influential with the team earning Tournament Runner-Up honors in both 2009 and 2010. Makhova was the Big South Freshman and Player of the Year in the 2009 season, and followed up in the 2010 season in becoming just the second player in program history to earn the postseason recognition. She was a four-time All-Conference singles honoree and added doubles recognition in her senior year. She is one of eight players in conference history to earn All-Conference singles recognition in all four seasons. She added Flight Championship honors in both 2009 and 2010. Lavon Allen Men’s Track – 2009-2013 Lavon Allen finished off his storied jumping career with the Buccaneers as a 2013 NCAA All-American in the long jump. He was a two-time Big South Indoor long jump champion (2011, 2013) and back-toback Outdoor long jump champion (2012, 2013) setting off a reign that spanned four years with the Bucs finishing on top of the conference in the event. In his All-American season in 2013, Allen placed 20th nationally with a distance of 7.39m for one of the top finishes in program history at the conclusion of his career. He currently remains the Big South Indoor Championship long jump record holder at 7.58m. He was also a member of the team that set the CSU school record in the Distance Medley Relay at the time. Allen was a six-time conference champion, received 15 All-Conference honors, and was a six-time NCAA Division Regional Qualifier.



wo Charleston Southern University graduates have made FLEX College Prep’s 47 Top Entrepreneurs & CEOs with Liberal Arts Degrees list. Danny Nicholson ’84, president of Connie Maxwell Children’s Home, is listed at No. 31, and Millicent Brown Lann ’93, managing partner of Premier Care, is listed at No. 40. Both graduated with communication degrees. View the entire list at flexcollegeprep.com/ceos-liberal-artsdegrees/. FLEX College Prep said, “The critical thinking skills, broad perspective and lifelong learning habits of the typical liberal arts major lend themselves well to a wide variety of career pathways and goals.” FLEX determined their Top Entrepreneur’s & CEOs with Liberal Arts Degrees through researching Inc. magazine’s 5000 List. FLEX College Prep is a consulting agency helping families with college prep.

Danny ’84 and Debra ’86 Nicholson spend time with some of the Connie Maxwell children. Photo courtesy of the Baptist Courier.

Millicent Brown Lann ’93 is managing partner of Premier Care in Columbia. Photo provided

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he annual Volunteer & Missions Fair hit a record attendance and had six alumni in attendance as volunteers or representing an agency. The fair is designed to connect students with organizations who are looking for volunteers and to make students aware of mission opportunities. Dr. Nina Davis, director of the career center, said 627 students attended the fair. This well exceeded last year’s attendance of 385.

Alumni who attended representing an organization as an employee or volunteer were:

• Alonia Lever ’19, Communities in Schools

• Ronnie Jacobs ’09, Metanoia

• Tiffany Isaac ’19, Trident Literacy

• Kristina Crosby Gaddy ’13, Awaken Church and Brain Balance

• Jeffrey Mikell ’19 and Madelyn Capers ’19 served as event volunteers

Vendors explain volunteer opportunities to CSU students. Photo by Richard Esposito

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Photos by Richard Esposito



SU students and employees donated funds to purchase 56 bike helmets for the Going Places bike reveal at SandersClyde Elementary School in June. Going Places donated 425 bikes. The nonprofit works to provide bikes to disadvantaged kids for the simple purpose of spreading joy.

Bucky, Mackenzie Montana, a marketing major, and several faculty and staff volunteered at the event.

Bucky showed Sanders-Clyde students how easy riding a bike can be.

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Going Places donated 425 bikes to Sanders-Clyde Elementary students.

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ight second-year physician assistant (PA) students and two faculty members from Charleston Southern University, along with four members of the nonprofit Sowers of the Kingdom, traveled to the Dominican Republic to provide medical care and food to more than 800 patients this summer. The weeklong medical mission trip was an option for PA students, who only receive two breaks in an incredibly challenging 12-month clinical phase of their final program year.

Left to Right: (Front Row) Scott Wade, Bruce Pearson (Second Row) Gabriela Garza, Brianna Blanton, Halie Curry, Kristy Gonzalez, Skylar Stewart-Clark, Barbara Lamos, Jessica Robinson (Third Row) Beau Bachman, Megan Christian, John Kinney, Ashley Black (Not Pictured) Ellen Pearson, Sherilynn Reynoso, Glegney Ruiz

PA students Kristy Gonzalez and Halie Curry and Dr. Skylar StewartClark at a home visit in Sanchez.

With the support of the CSU Global Education Committee, the PA program and Sowers of the Kingdom arranged the trip in partnership with multiple churches, missionaries, community leaders and Habitat for Humanity. PA student Kristy Gonzalez said this experience was one where she truly felt like a medical provider. “I was finally doing what I came to PA school to do. I have a huge heart for mission work and want to continue to have a career that incorporates mission work into my practice,” she said. “This trip confirmed God’s calling on my life, and I want to continue to follow where he is leading me—I hope that is more mission work in the Dominican Republic.” Brianna Blanton, another PA student, added that every moment of her experience in the Dominican weighed heavily on her heart—specifically one family riddled with health issues and living in poverty. She noted without a local pastor and church, that family probably wouldn’t survive. She fondly remembers one young man in the family. “Despite all this, Alexander smiled the entire time we were visiting. He is truly a light, and I am blessed to have met him. We brought them all food and medicine, but I couldn’t help but break down when we prayed together. I think about this family daily, and I pray they are doing well. I cannot wait to go back one day and see them again.” The team rallied to provide medical services and meet basic needs in the communities of Come Pan, Sanchez, Las Terrenas and Agua Sabrosa. PA program faculty Scott Wade PA-C, and Dr. Skylar Stewart-Clark were joined by students Beau Bachman, Ashley Black, Blanton, Megan Christian, Halie Curry, Gabriela Garza, Gonzalez and Jessica Robinson.

Students compared the medical needs they experienced to those of rural America. “I think there is a much broader need for healthcare in the Dominican Republic; however, there were a number of patients that reminded me of some of the pediatric patients that I saw at Fetter Health Care. So, I know that the needs still exist here, even if not to the extent that there is in the DR,” Bachman said. This trip was a first for some, and for others, a continuation of mission work. Blanton shared what she has seen of healthcare in countries like Togo and DR. “While these countries are vastly different from the U.S., it is important to note that there are areas in S.C. and the U.S. that have major health disparities. Many rural areas have little access to healthcare and have very little education in regards to health and sanitation. I think it is so important to focus on these areas in S.C. and the U.S. along with areas outside of the U.S.” Blanton said, “I think the major difference would be that many countries outside of the U.S. have little access to clean water which contributes to many of their disparities. The world could always use more of Jesus, and I hope to continue spreading His love not only in S.C., but around the world as well.” PA program faculty and staff are hopeful that providing students an opportunity to serve on the mission field as students will encourage them to continue to be missional as practicing clinicians after graduation. Wade, director of didactic education for CSU’s PA program, said, “As Jesus taught in Mark 4, the kingdom of God is like a mustard seed, that although the smallest of seeds when planted, grows to become the largest of all garden plants. It is our hope and prayer that planting this mustard seed of missional service will inspire students to continue to share God’s love through medical ministry and to bless the world through their learning, leading and serving.”

Photos provided

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elinda Gorsky’s study abroad trip to Jamaica this summer included working in Jamaican schools, care centers, orphanages, and hospitals and living and studying in rural Jamaica. Gorsky, a music therapy major, learned of the program through CSU’s Director of Music Therapy, Dr. Jennifer Whipple. She applied and was accepted to the Jamaica Field Service Project, a State University of New York accredited service learning program. The field of music therapy combines Gorsky’s love of music and her passion for psychology. “Music has always been a vital part of my life and being able to help

others through music means everything to me.” The Jamaican trip served as not only a chance to learn more about music therapy but also instilled a deeper passion for the field in Gorsky. “My time in Jamaica really opened up my eyes about my future as a music therapy major and a future board-certified music therapist,” said Gorsky. “Going into music therapy, I wanted to focus primarily on working in a psychiatric setting, and after getting to work with that population in Jamaica it confirmed that. I also learned to not hide behind my guitar and try something even though it might not work

since everything is a learning opportunity and you may only have one shot to work with clients, especially when you are only seeing them one time.” Gorsky hopes to return to Jamaica someday and is grateful for the lessons she learned on the trip. “I learned to be more confident and that no matter how scary something may seem, do it anyway,” she said. Students from the U.S. and Canada made up the Jamaica Field Service Project team of mostly music therapy students and some other majors as well. Gorsky is a junior from Brookeville, Md., and her major in music therapy includes an instrumental emphasis.

The Jamaica Field Service Project team gathered from across the U.S. and Canada to fly to Jamaica.

“I learned to be more confident and that no matter how scary something may seem, do it anyway.” – Melinda Gorsky

Melinda Gorsky works with a client in Jamaica. Photos provided by Eric Wills, director of the Jamaica Field Service Project, of the State University of New York at Potsdam.

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Class notes 1970

Ron Jackson, founder of Parsons Pantry, reports that the organization has reached a new milestone. They have raised more than $1 million and helped more than 1,000 families. Parsons Pantry exists to help needy pastors, widows of pastors and married ministerial students. The ministry is based in Gaffney.

also written a fiction series. The Untamed is available on amazon. com or at untamedgroup.com. Todd Horton is the pastor of First Baptist Church of Elloree. He and his wife, Pam Eason Horton ’90 previously lived in Lugoff, where he was pastor of Springvale Church.



Richard Fluharty has been named vice president, relationship manager for SmartBank in Murfreesboro, Tenn. He previously worked for Regions Bank, and he is a member of The Commonwealth Society.



Cassandra Bolden was inducted into Hampton County School District 1’s Athletics Hall of Fame. She was a physical education teacher and coach at Wade Hampton High School for 33 years and coached volleyball, softball and basketball. She was named a member of the CSU Hall of Fame in 2004.


Susie Kirkland Kalinoski is associate director of the Alford Community Leadership & Involvement Center at Denison University in Granville, Ohio. She works with student volunteers who contribute to the community through the Denison Community Association.


Michael E. Gunter recently published the book The Untamed: An Introduction to the Difficult and Dangerous Way of Christ. His first book, A Life Not Wasted, was published in 2005. Gunter has

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on track to enroll 3,500 adults in AccessHealth this year, and her team works across badges and barriers to help adults without insurance access the best quality, most appropriate care. Mary O’Brien Torretta was recently promoted to principal at Grant Thornton LLP. She earned a juris doctorate at George Mason University School of Law. She and her husband, Jon Torretta ’04 live in Metro D.C., with their two daughters.


Josh Fagan recently received the honor of 2019 High School Strength Coach of the Year in the state of Oregon. He teaches at Eagle Point High School. He and his wife, Aimee Smith Fagan ’03 have two kids: Braley, 9, and Kingston, 7, and live in Eagle Point, Oregon.

2005 Lee Taylor received his 30 year service award in coaching at the South Carolina Athletic Coaches Association Clinic in Charleston in July. He currently teaches driver education and is the Assistant Head Coach for football and Assistant Athletic Director at Laurens High School.

Renee Linyard-Gary ’09 MBA was named Nonprofit Leader of the Year for her work in coordinating a sustainable provider network of care for low-income uninsured residents in Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties. LinyardGary is the AccessHealth Tri-County Network Program Christopher Greenleaf received his Director and is an active member of Healthy Tri-County, a regional Doctor of Philosophy in athletic health initiative formed by Roper training from Rocky Mountain St. Francis Healthcare, MUSC University of Health Professions Health and Trident United Way in August. He is an assistant in 2017 and now boasting 67 professor and clinic education organizational members from coordinator for the Athletic nonprofit, government and Training Education Program at business sectors. She serves as Hardin Simmons University in the co-chair of the Access to Abilene, Texas. Care subcommittee and is also a member of the Tri-County Diabetes Coalition and the TriCounty Health Data workgroup. She leads a staff of seven who are


Nancy Leigh MEd, has been named administrator of Daniel Island School. She has worked at the elementary and middle school levels and was previously at Nexton Elementary.


Britt Edward Ellis and his wife, Rachel Ortiz Ellis, announce the birth of a son, Brice Edward, born March 8. Dr. Michael Teuton is a physician in Chattanooga, Tenn. Prior to going back to school as an adult, Teuton owned several businesses but felt the pull of a different career. Mandi Ware, engineering project coordinator for Berkeley County, has received the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, the most industryrecognized certification for project managers.

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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.)

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


Andrew Chambers has been named the 2019-2020 District Teacher of the Year for Richland School District Two in Columbia. He is the convergence media magnet director at Richland Northeast High School. His broadcast students have won national awards, and Chambers was recently named adviser of the year by the S.C. Scholastic Press Association. Beverly Cowart MBA has been named senior vice president for human resources at the S.C. State Ports Authority. She was formerly the human resources director at the Ports Authority.

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Brooke Spivey Hiers and Homer Thomas Hiers announce the birth of a son, Hunley Wade, born July 5.



Kari Ray Seay and Jared Tyler Seay ’05 announce the birth of a son, Owen Everett, born Jan. 27. He was welcomed home by older sisters, Kendal, 8, and Carson, 6. Eryl Smalls MEd has been named principal of Macedonia Elementary-Middle School. He has served as a principal in Macedonia and Blackville-Hilda schools previously.


Clayton Coffman ’10 and his wife, Charlotte, announce the birth of a daughter, Allie Jane, born July 24.


Kara Johnson is a mortgage loan originator for United Community Mortgage Services on the Coastal South Carolina team. She previously worked at Fidelity Bank. Kelsey Riggs is the host of All ACC, the ACC Network’s signature nightly news and information show. She hosted the network’s first show when it launched Aug. 22. She is also a sideline reporter for football games. She was formerly a sports anchor in Charlotte, N.C. ACCN is a 24/7 network dedicated to Atlantic Coast Conference sports.

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



J. Harrison Briggs is a financial services professional with MassMutual South Carolina and works with risk management, college funding, estate planning and retirement income planning.

Anna Maria D’Annunzio and William Heyward McCants were married July 5. The McCants’ photo is courtesy of Jordan Brannock Photography. Tommy Winterstein is an assistant baseball coach at the University of Toledo in Toledo, Ohio. He formerly was a volunteer assistant coach at Western Kentucky.


Josh Byrd is the varsity girls and boys tennis coach at Pinewood Preparatory School in Summerville. He is a United States Professional Tennis Association Certified Tennis Professional.

Laura Temples MBA and Chris Temples announce the birth of a Danielle Hensley is a broadcast son, Aiden Christopher, born Dec. production apprentice in social 26, 2018. media and reporting for Joe Gibbs Racing in Charlotte, N.C.


Stephanie Addison and her husband, Ken Addison, announce the birth of their third child, Eleanora Grace, born April 29.


Maddie Grace Smith is the Riley Park Club manager for the Charleston RiverDogs. She previously was an intern for the RiverDogs.


Joshua Michael Litchfield has George Atkins Jr. is the head joined the Summerville office of coach of the boys and girls tennis Carolina One Real Estate. He is teams at Darlington High School. married and has one child. He most recently was associate pastor of family ministries at Hoffmeyer Road Baptist Church in Florence.

CSU magazine 33


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

Baby Bucs 1



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.







10 11

1. Aiden Temples, son of Laura Temples ’12 MBA and Chris Temples

7. Hunley Wade Hiers, son of Brooke Spivey Hiers ’11 and Homer Thomas Hiers;

2. Owen Everett Seay, son of Kari Ray Seay ’08 and Jared Tyler Seay ’05

3. KJ Crosby, son of Baxley Crosby ’17

8. Brice Edward Ellis, son of Rachel Ortiz Ellis and Britt Edward Ellis ’06

4. Eleanora Grace Addison, daughter of Stephanie Addison ’13 and Ken Addison

9. Noah Randall Ayer, son of Susan (Miranda) Ayer ’17 and Stephen (Bryan) Ayer ’11

5. Callum Cunningham, son of Crystal Cunningham ’05, ’08

10. AJ Witkowicz, son of Allie Witkowicz and Anthony Witkowicz ’05

6. Karson Jane Moore, daughter of Alison Skinner Moore ’18 and Kyle Moore

11. Allie Jane Coffman, daughter of Charlotte Coffman and Clayton Coffman ’09 ’10.

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great-grandson of Jennie Goodman ’69

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#BucTreasure UNCOVERED

in memory Dr. Wendell Thomas Guerry, 80, died Oct. 17 in Mt. Pleasant. He retired from CSU after 27 years as a professor of religion and was named professor emeritus of religion. He was serving as the chaplain for the Huguenot Society of S.C. Ada Virginia Barnhart Hartmann, 91, died Sept. 25 in Summerville. She was the humanities division secretary at CSU for 17 years. Rev. David N. Haskell ’92, 52, died Sept. 3 in Columbia. He was a bivocational pastor and had previously been a youth minister and church planter. Most recently he worked at Craft Auto Mart. Rev. George Terry Hiers Jr. ’85, 56, died July 28 in Harleyville. He was pastor of First Baptist Church of Harleyville. He was chaplain for the Harleyville Police Department and was an emergency medical technician.

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We asked what was hiding in your closet or attic from your Charleston Southern/Baptist College days. John Inabinet ’71 posted a picture of a Baptist College mug, and Carolyn Rooney Roberts ’00 posted a picture of earrings she purchased for graduation. Kevin Belt ’91 shared a picture of his New Vision jacket. Thanks for sharing your memories!

David Glenn Ledbetter, 53, died Sept. 4 in Charleston. He was Aramark’s food services director at Charleston Southern and had worked with Aramark at Furman and Clemson universities and had been a chef. Rev. Henry George “Mike” McMichael Jr. ’73, 69, died July 6 in Sandersville, Ga. He was a retired minister and had worked for Pet Parmalot Milk Company and been a volunteer fireman. Gwendolyn “Gwen” Dee Parker ’05, 39, died May 13 in Summerville. She had worked at Boeing. Linda Parker, 71, died Sept. 8 in Charleston. She was retired from Charleston Southern University where she was the purchasing agent for many years. Dr. Paul Gerhardt Reitzer, 87, died Oct. 5 in Marion, Ala. He was a history professor at CSU, and prior to retirement was vice president of academics at Judson College.

Carol Ann Savory ’84, 67, died Aug. 13 in Wassamassaw. She retired from Charleston Southern University as the assistant director of financial services. Karen Kelly Simmons ’93, 63, died Sept. 17 in Summerville. Rev. Fred William Smith ’70, 80, died Aug. 4 in Greenwood. He was a retired pastor and served many churches during his career. He was named pastor emeritus of First Mt. Moriah Baptist Church in Greenwood. Gene Sawyer Smith, 91, died July 22 in Sumter. She was the wife of a Baptist minister and had served as a member of the Board of Trustees at Charleston Southern. Dr. Tonia Aiken Taylor ’86, 55, died Aug. 29 in Moncks Corner. She was the co-pastor of Heart to Heart International Ministries and previously had served on Moncks Corner’s Town Council, the first African American female elected to the council.

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obert “Bobby” Bruneau ’95 set out to write a memoir. Along the way, the memoir turned into historical fiction with the names changed in the story to protect those he was writing about. Interested in writing since he was a child, Bruneau wrote a lot of poems and eulogies for friends. People kept telling him he should write a book, that his story should be told. He didn’t think he was capable of writing that much, but he says with a laugh that his wife said he most certainly could since he never stops talking. Bruneau said the basic story of The Craftsman’s Crucible is that of a man who grew up in a home with a World War II veteran for a father and a mother who was strong in her Christian faith but had been sexually abused as a child. He said, “The lack of a father’s affection and psychological turmoil resulting from his mother’s abuse left many emotional scars on the child. The book describes the many paths taken in his life, in order to rectify an image of black and white, held in low esteem for so long, into a portrait of living color.” Growing up in New England, he describes his grandmother as his savior. “My grandparents had a lot to do with raising me,” he said. The oldest child in the family, Bruneau suffered the effects of a cold father and a mother who was absent for weeks at a time in mental institutions. When Bruneau was 12, his father told about holding him over a vaporizer soon after he was born because he had bronchitis. His father told him, “I should have let you drown in your own snot.” Bruneau spent many years trying to find faith in himself. He has flown upside

down in WWI airplanes, bungee jumped the longest cord in the world, jumped out of planes, climbed mountains, and more – all designed to challenge his fears and strengthen his resolve. He moved to the Charleston area in the 1990s to monitor a ship building contract for nuclear subs in Bushy Park. He had some college credits and looked for a college in the area to finish an English degree. He chose CSU and attended classes at night full time while working during the day. After graduating, he said he began putting ideas on paper. “Any time I needed to sort out feelings I knew were strong, I wrote a poem about it,” said Bruneau. The poems are scattered through the book, evidence of what he was thinking. One reason he wrote the book was to help his children know him better. When he was 46 years old, he received a call from his father asking for help. His father was terminally ill and needed someone to take care of him. Bruneau said the influence of his mother’s Christian upbringing helped him make the decision to help his father. During the last five years of his father’s life, Bruneau and his wife cared for him, bringing him to live in a cottage on their property, and during that time they mended a lot of fences. “The last thing he said to me was, ‘thank God you’re still here,’” said Bruneau. Bruneau credits his CSU education and his English professors for his good book reviews. “What I want out of this book is to maybe give someone who has no one to talk to someone to talk to,” he said. To purchase a copy of the book, email Bruneau at bolensboneyard@comcast.net.

photos provided

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he Class of 1969 celebrated their 50th Reunion at Homecoming 2019. The Class of ’69 was the first to complete all four years at BCC. President Dondi Costin, said, “You took a risk on an idea.” An evening of fellowship and memorabilia brought memories of the pioneer class flooding back.

Photos by Richard Esposito

LIFE IN 1969 By Grace Marshall ’21

Countless aspects of our daily lives have continued to change around us in 50 years: 1. Music - Music seems to change on a daily basis, so it is no surprise that pop music from the ’60s is wildly different from today’s music. You may remember some popular billboard artists like The Rolling Stones or the Beatles. 2. Wage and the cost of food - In ’69 you could buy a loaf of bread for less than a dollar. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, minimum wage in 1969 was $1.30. Today, the federal minimum is set at $7.25 per hour. 3. Phones and technology - The internet was unheard of in the late ’60s, and open access to information through technology was not common. Nobody owned a smartphone. If there wasn’t anyone home to answer the telephone, you would just call back later. Pay phones were common at the time, too. 4. Television - Color TV first started to become popular in the early ’70s, so many may remember watching their favorite programs in black and white. 5. Clothes - Bright, colorful fashion was popular in 1969. Articles of clothing often sported eye-catching patterns, like stripes or checkers. 6. The moon landing - One of the most remarkable events in American history was the Apollo 11 moon landing of July 20, 1969. Neil Armstrong’s famous quote sums up the event perfectly: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” The national broadcast undoubtedly had a lasting impact on anyone old enough to remember seeing it. Sources United States. Dept. of Labor. History of Federal Minimum Wage Rates Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, 1938 - 2009. United States. Dept. of Labor. State Minimum Wage Laws.

Summer 2019, vol.29 no.2

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wo scholarships honoring the memory of Major W. David Gray ’01, who was killed Aug. 8, 2012, in Afghanistan, have been established. AFROTC Cadet Gabrielle D’Amico, a sophomore majoring in criminal justice with an aerospace studies minor, is the recipient of The Major W. David Gray Air Force Leadership Funded Scholarship for 2019-2020. The Major W. David Gray Air Force Leadership Endowed Scholarship was endowed in July 2019 and will be awarded for the first time in fall 2020. Chaplain Major Kenneth E. Fisher, USAF (Ret.) established the endowed scholarship

and will determine the recipient with the cooperation of the AFROTC Detachment 772 Commander. To be considered for the endowed scholarship, a student must be enrolled full time, be an active member of the CSU AFROTC detachment, be a proclaimed Christian showing the character values of humility, integrity, service before self and excellence in all he/she does, and demonstrate financial need. First priority will be given to a student expressing interest in a career in the military, and second priority to a student pursuing a call to missions.



ach member of The Legacy Society has remembered the university through a bequest intention, charitable trust, life income plan, life insurance or other estate planning technique. By joining The Legacy Society, your values will pass to future generations, and providing a planned gift may financially benefit you and your family by offering immediate or deferred tax advantages. Contact Bill Ward for additional information about the Legacy Society at 843-863-7514 or wward@csuniv.edu. For a complete list of Legacy Society members, visit charlestonsouthern.edu/giving/planned-giving/.





s you are shopping for the holidays, remember the AmazonSmile Foundation donates 0.5% of your purchase to CSU student scholarships. Just select Charleston Southern University as your charitable organization and get started at http://bit.ly/CSUsmile.

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GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season. Please consider making a gift toward student scholarships online at charlestonsouthern.edu/giving.

AFROTC Det 772 Commander, Roosevelt Loveless, presented The Major W. David Gray Air Force Leadership Funded Scholarship to Cadet Gabrielle D’Amico. Photo by Richard Esposito

ALUMNI ASSOCIATION EXECUTIVE COUNCIL President Ron Jaicks ’93 Vice President Andre Dukes ’01 ’06 Secretary Denise Deveaux ’96 Treasurer Brian Hyder ’98 ’17 Past President David Weiss ’03 Board Members Scott Crothers ’09 Amanda Davis ’97 Jonelle Hair ’12 James Krontz ’13 Jordan Pace ’11 Shannon Phillips ’95 Stephen Sammons ’08 ’10 Esther Wilkins ’91

Pictured are: David Weiss, Stephen Sammons, Brian Hyder, Jordan Pace, Ron Jaicks, James Krontz, Denise Deveaux, Esther Wilkins, Shannon Phillips and Jonelle Hair. Photo by Richard Esposito

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HOMECOMING 2019 Photos by Richard Esposito, Sol Photography and Dan Steffy

more >>

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A Charleston Southern Education Is a Passport to Purpose. Read more about the future of CSU on page 20. Photo by Richard Esposito