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CCU mourns loss of first chancellor

May 13, 2011

Edward M. Dick Singleton, chancellor emeritus of Coastal Carolina University, died Thursday, May 12. He served as Coastal Carolinas chief administrative officer for 20 years (1963-1983), longer than any other leader of the institution. Under his leadership, the institution began a period of remarkable growth, with enrollment rising from 100 to more than 3,200 students. During his administration, Coastal Carolina advanced from a two-year to a four-year institution.

A familiar figure on campus, Dr. Singleton was a symbol of dedication, serving the institution continuously even after his retirement as a devoted adviser, booster and fan.

Born in Bucksport, Singleton was educated in Horry County schools and at the University of South Carolina, where he earned a bachelors degree in 1949, a masters degree in education in 1956 and a doctoral degree in education administration in 1971. He served three years in the U.S. Army during World War II as a physical reconditioning instructor.

Singleton was employed by the Conway public school system from 1949 to 1962, serving as a teacher, principal and superintendent. He served as a member of the board of trustees of the University of South Carolina from 1952 to 1963.

A lifelong sports enthusiast and coach, Singleton spearheaded the development of Chanticleer athletics from junior college to NAIA status and eventually to NCAA Division I membership. As a coach he led the Conway American Legion team to the state championship in 1956, and he coached Coastal Carolinas basketball and baseball teams in the early 1960s. He served as the first commissioner of the Big South Conference (1983 to 1989), and he was one of the first inductees into CCUs Buddy Sasser Hall of Fame.

In 1992, Singleton was named senior consultant during the institutions transition from USC to independent status. He was also a director emeritus of the Coastal Educational Foundation, the Universitys private support component.

Singleton was active in civic affairs, serving as chairman or president of many organizations including the Conway Chamber of Commerce, the American Legion and United Way. He was a member of Kingston Presbyterian Church, where he taught Sunday School.

Visual tribute to Singleton