Groundbreaking ceremonies were held Feb. 20 at Coastal Carolina University for the long-awaited science addition, which will be named Kenneth E. Swain Hall. The building will be constructed adjacent to the R. Cathcart Smith Science Center.
Swain, of Myrtle Beach, who recently donated one of the largest gifts in the history of the institution, remarked that he had been "blessed" with the gift of education and wanted to help others obtain a college degree.
"I want to see Coastal Carolina University prosper," said Swain. "I have watched this little college grow and become a vital part of my community, the state and the region. I grew up here, and I am proud of the role this university has played in the growth of Horry County."
University President David DeCenzo praised Swain for his "vision and humble generosity" as well as his "willingness to support the local university."
S.C. Rep. Alan Clemmons, a cousin of Swain's, lauded him for his "compassionate heart."
Swain, who worked as a pharmacist, a realtor and an environmentalist for the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control for 19 years, said he especially wanted to help students in the field of health sciences who might return to this community to live and work.
Construction on the 40,000-square-foot addition, which will house the University's health science programs, is expected to begin in early 2010. Swain's gift will support new and expanded teaching, research and service initiatives including student scholarships and faculty endowments, equipment to support the health sciences, and research in areas such as biochemistry and molecular biology, including DNA technology. The building will house approximately 20 science laboratories, supply spaces and much-needed faculty office space.