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New CCU education center created by gift from Biddle family

April 8, 2005

With a generous gift pledge from Larry and Virginia �Ginny� Biddle of Conway, Coastal Carolina University will establish the Biddle Center for Teaching and Learning, a new outreach center within Coastal�s Spadoni College of Education. The gift is part of Coastal�s 50th Anniversary Initiatives, a capital campaign initiated in 2004 to raise funds to support the university.

The Biddle Center for Teaching and Learning will promote the study and practice of advanced methods in educational delivery, with emphasis on improving the performance of at-risk K-12 students and providing professional development and resources for area teachers.

�The Center will serve as focal point for research and professional development aimed at educating students most like to drop out before finishing high school,� says Gilbert Hunt, dean of the Spadoni College of Education. The involvement of local school districts will be an integral force in shaping the goals of the center, according to Hunt.

Larry and Ginny Biddle have close connections to Coastal and to the local school district. A lifelong educator, Larry Biddle was assistant director of Coastal Carolina College from 1966 to 1974, and his leadership was instrumental in the growth of the institution during those years. In addition to teaching Spanish, Biddle coached basketball and baseball, and helped organize the School of Education. For eight years he was assistant principal of Conway High School, which he led to national prominence as a model school for his Renaissance program, a system of rewards and incentives for students, teachers and administrators. The program was adopted by Jostens, Inc., and became a trademark for its scholastic division. He is chair of the Board of Visitors of the Spadoni College of Education.

Ginny Biddle has served as a teacher of Spanish and English at Coastal Carolina, Waccamaw Day School and Socastee High School. She served as a �mother-away-from-home� for 10 high school and college exchange students over a 14-year period.

Larry Biddle earned a bachelor�s degree from St. Mary�s College of California and a master�s degree from Middlebury College in Spain. He is director of the Burroughs Company/ Jerry Cox Company in Conway and is president and founder of Jostens Renaissance. He was named the Conway Chamber of Commerce�s �Man of the Year� in 1990. Ginny Biddle earned a bachelor�s degree from Converse College in 1964 and studied at the University of Madrid. She is a former member of the Board of Visitors of the E. Craig Wall Sr. College of Business Administration at Coastal. The Biddles have three children and six grandchildren.