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Thompson, Stevens named honorary founders of Coastal Carolina University

September 13, 2002

John C. Thompson and the late James P. Stevens Sr. will be honored at Coastal Carolina University's 16th annual Founders' Day Convocation on Monday, Sept. 23 at 3 p.m. in Wheelwright Auditorium. The ceremony is free and open to the public.

Thompson and Stevens will join 60 other founders and honorary founders who played instrumental roles in the development of Coastal and the promotion of higher education in the region.

Ronald R. Ingle, president of Coastal, will deliver the convocation address.

John C. Thompson is a retired Conway attorney. From 1973 to 1981, he served on the Coastal Educational Foundation, the eleemosynary corporation that raises funds for the support and development of the university. Thompson also served as the foundation's legal counsel for approximately 20 years, from the 1960s through the 1980s.

Thompson earned a bachelor's degree from Davidson College in 1951 and a juris doctor degree from the University of South Carolina Law School in 1956. He served in the S.C. House of Representatives for one term in 1961-62. Thompson served as chairman of the South Carolina Public Service Authority from 1974 to 1976.

James P. Stevens Sr. served as senator from Horry County in the South Carolina General Assembly from 1955 to 1976. A native of Loris, S.C., Stevens played an influential role in the growth and development of the county during those years. In the early 1970s he initiated the bill that would change Coastal from a two-year junior college to a four-year institution. He was also instrumental in the founding of Horry-Georgetown Technical College.

After service in World War II, Stevens earned a juris doctor degree from the University of South Carolina in 1952. He died on April 14, 2002.