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Holmes endows chair of wetland studies at Coastal

June 9, 2004

Dr. Hal B. Holmes Jr. has made a gift to Coastal Carolina University that will establish an endowed chair in the universitys College of Natural and Applied Sciences. According to the conditions of the gift, professors who hold the chair must be specialists in the study of wetlands.

I have a personal interest in wetlands, says Holmes. The marine and coastal environment is critical to our community and our way of life. There is a great need for good science to help us understand and preserve it for the enjoyment of future generations.

The holder of the chair will be chosen at a later date. Holmes gift is part of Coastals 50th Anniversary Initiatives, a capital campaign initiated this year to raise $10 million to support the university.

Endowed chairs are powerful means of increasing the overall teaching effectiveness within the College of Natural and Applied Sciences, says Doug Nelson, dean of the college. They allow us to expand the number of our faculty, increase the diversity of expertise available to the students and, as in the case of Dr. Holmes, honor one of Coastals ardent long-term supporters. Endowed chairs are also a significant recognition of Coastals success in fulfilling its mission within our community and in providing an investment to ensure that it will continue to do so far into the future. We at Coastal Carolina University value his service as a member of the Colleges Board of Visitors and as co-chair of the 50th Anniversary Campaign.

Holmes has been active in the governance of Coastal since 1982 when he was named to the Horry County Higher Education Commission. He served as chair of the commission from 1985 to 1987. He has served on the Coastal Educational Foundation since 1987 and was president from 1993 to 1996. He also served on Coastals Board of Trustees from 1999 to 2003. Along with Col. William J. Baxley Jr. and Mildred Holmes Allen Prince, Holmes was named an honorary founder of the university at Coastals 17th annual Founders Day Convocation last fall.

A native of Conway, Holmes graduated from The Citadel in 1966 and from the Medical University of South Carolina in 1971. After service on the U.S.S. Forrestal and at the U.S. Navy Hospital in Beaufort, he entered private practice in general surgery in Conway. He has been a member of the Conway Hospital Board of Trustees since 1997 and was president from 2001 to 2003. Holmes is president of Belle Terre Golf Course and is a member of the Board of Directors of Burroughs & Chapin Company, Inc., and Brookgreen Gardens. ###