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CCU Alumni of the Year honored

November 5, 2007

Five alumni of Coastal Carolina University have been named 2007 Outstanding Alumni of the Year. Mike Pruitt, class of 1984, was named the Distinguished Alumnus of the Year. This award is given to a graduate of Coastal who has made significant contributions to his/her profession or community over a period of time.

Pruitt, of Charlotte, N.C., is managing director of Cain Capital Advisors and president and CEO of Chanticleer Holdings Inc. A baseball player during his collegiate years, Pruitt has made significant gifts to Coastal's baseball program, including contributions toward a new baseball clubhouse and new dugouts at Coastal's Charles L. Watson Baseball Stadium, as well as new dugouts at the softball complex. Pruitt serves on the Board of Visitors of the Wall College of Business. He majored in interdisciplinary studies while at Coastal. Pruitt has founded several investment and business development companies during his career.

Woody Ford, of Myrtle Beach- E. Craig Wall Sr. College of Business Administration

Ford, class of 2005, graduated with a degree in management. Currently he is operations director at BlueCross and BlueShield of S.C. Ford is involved with many community service projects including serving as vice president of finance on the board of directors for the United Way of Horry County and chairman of the Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club of Horry County's Advisory Council. He serves on the board for the Waccamaw Division of the American Heart Association, and the Sacred Heart High School. Ford is actively involved in CCU's annual Growth Summit, 1954 Society, the Alumni Association and the Coastal African American Professionals (CAP) Affinity Group.

Sherry Johnson, of Gallivants Ferry- Spadoni College of Education

Johnson, class of 1996, graduated with a bachelor's degree in physical education. A native of Aynor, she is the general manager of Burroughs & Chapin Entertainment Golf Division. She manages administrative operations for eight Burroughs and Chapin units including five miniature golf courses, two par 3 courses and a driving range. She volunteers with the First Tee Program of Myrtle Beach, the United Way of Horry County and the American Cancer Society. During her years at Coastal Johnson was a four-year starter on the CCU Women's Softball Team, receiving All-Region status from the NCAA. She earned numerous university and Big South awards including Big South Female Athlete of the Year in 1996. She was inducted in CCU's Athletic Hall of Fame in 2001 and the Big South Conference Hall of Fame in 2007. Johnson is a recent graduate of Webster University's M.B.A. program.

Dawn Richardson Hutcheson, of Conway - Thomas W. and Robin W. Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts

Hutcheson graduated cum laude from Coastal in 1998. She is the owner of Grady's Jewelers in Conway. She is a board member of Conway Main Street USA and a strong supporter of CCU.

Geoffrey Parsons, Murrells Inlet- College of Natural and Applied Sciences

Geoffrey Parsons, director of international programs at Coastal, graduated in 1988. Parsons is the primary contact for international students at Coastal as well as and students traveling abroad. Parsons has supported and participated in university events for the past 20 years. He has served on numerous committees, advised student clubs and organizations and has been involved with Celebration of Inquiry and First Year Experience at CCU. Parsons was awarded the CCU staff excellence award for 1999-2000 in honor of his outstanding service to the university.