Coastal Carolina University's College of Humanities and Fine
has been named the Thomas W. and Robin W. Edwards College of Humanities
and Fine Arts. The new humanities building, scheduled to be completed
in July 2001, will also bear the Edwards' names. The university Board
of Trustees approved the naming of the college and building during its
Oct. 6 quarterly meeting. The building will be formally dedicated in
The $16.4 million, 110,000-square-foot Edwards Building will be
the largest structure on campus. The facility will include classrooms
and faculty offices, an art gallery, recital hall and an experimental
or "black box" theater which will be called the Edwards Theater.
Thomas Williams Edwards was associated with Williams Furniture
Corporation of Sumter for 32 years until he retired in 1982. He
graduated from Conway High School in 1941 and attended Riverside
Military Academy in Gainesville, Ga. He had a distinguished military
career during World War II as a U.S. Army infantryman with the 30th
Division. He is a charter member of the Conway Rotary Club, a member of
the Huntington Society of Brookgreen Gardens and an honorary life
member of the University of South Carolina Alumni Association. He is
the recipient of a Presidential Merit Award from the Medical University
of South Carolina. He served on the board of directors of Williams
Furniture Corporation, the Southern Coatings and Chemical Company of
Sumter, and was a member of the Lions Club of Sumter.
In March 2000, Coastal named Edwards an honorary founder of the
university, joining 58 others who have had instrumental roles in the
development of Coastal and the promotion of higher education in the
Thomas Williams Edwards and his brother Philip L. Edwards were
instrumental in establishing, on behalf of their aunt Martha Williams
Brice, the Williams-Brice Physical Education Center on the Coastal
campus as well as the University of South Carolina's football stadium
and nursing school.
Robin Williamson Edwards was born and raised in Conway and
graduated from Conway High School in 1955. She studied English at
Limestone College and the College of William and Mary. She has a strong
interest in the arts and theater, and has earned 38 titles in national
and regional pageants. She has been active with the Grand Strand
Auxiliary, Friends of Brookgreen Gardens and the Huntington Society of
The Edwards have three children and six grandchildren.
"I have been impressed with Coastal since the early days of the
college. The possibilities for Coastal are unlimited; we are proud to
be a part of this journey," said Thomas Edwards.
Robin Edwards added, "We are especially proud to associate our
name with a university that began rather humbly in Conway and is poised
today to lead the region and state in providing outstanding arts and
theater opportunities for students and for our community."