CCU names auditorium to honor Jimmy Johnson
A native of Conway, Johnson attended Horry County public schools before serving in the U.S. Navy from 1953 to 1956. He studied at Coastal Carolina College, graduating in 1959. As a student and alumnus, he amassed a number of CCU firsts. As a member of the basketball team, he was the first student-athlete to receive an athletic scholarship. He was the first president of Coastal's alumni association. In 1985, he was the first CCU alumnus to be awarded an honorary degree by the University of South Carolina (Coastal's parent institution at the time).
When Coastal was awarded independent status by the South Carolina legislature in 1993, Johnson was elected first chairman of the board of trustees, serving from 1993 to 1995.
For most of his professional career, Johnson was president and treasurer of Dargan Construction Company of Myrtle Beach where he retired in 2000 after 44 years. He was a longtime member of the Coastal Educational Foundation Inc. and the Horry County Higher Education Commission. In 1996, he was awarded a Coastal Founders' Medallion, and in 1998 he was named Trustee Emeritus.
Johnson was inducted into CCU's Athletic Hall of Fame in 1991. He was named an honorary founder of Coastal in 1996, and in 2002 he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award.
Johnson was one of the founders of Horry County United Way and chaired many boards of nonprofits, including the Horry County Shelter Home, the Salvation Army and the Waccamaw Community Foundation.
The University's board of trustees voted to name the auditorium in Johnson's honor at the May 4 meeting.