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April 24, 2014   
Posted: April 3, 2000
Coastal Carolina University 2000 Founders' Day Recipients

Coastal Carolina University held its 14th annual Founders' Day Convocation Monday, March 6 in Wheelwright Auditorium.

Philip L. Edwards, Thomas William Edwards, Paul Malone and May Howard Wall were named honorary founders of the university. The 2000 recipients of the Founders' Medallion join 55 other founders and honorary founders who played instrumental roles in the development of Coastal and the promotion of higher education in the region.

James Johnson, Trustee Emeritus at Coastal, delivered the convocation address.

Philip L. Edwards and his brother Thomas Williams Edwards are retired executives of the Williams Furniture Corporation of Sumter. They were instrumental in establishing the Williams-Brice Physical Education Center on the Coastal campus as well as the University of South Carolina's football stadium and nursing school.

Philip L. Edwards was vice president of Williams Furniture Corporation of Sumter and general manager of Williams Furniture Division-Georgia Pacific. He graduated from Conway High School in 1944 and earned his bachelor's degree from Davidson College in 1949. He was a trustee at Davidson from 1981 to 1992 and earned the Davidson College Alumni Service Award. He served as a director of the National Bank of South Carolina from 1958 to 1997. Edwards served on the executive committee of the Pee Dee Area Boy Scouts of America, earned the prestigious Silver Beaver Award, and was one of the first two recipients from Horry County to earn the distinction of Eagle Scout from the Boy Scouts of America. He has been a director of the Sumter County Museum and Covenant Place, president of the Sumter Rotary Club, commissioner for the Mid-Carolina Higher Education Committee and is a trustee on the Williams Brice-Edwards Foundation.

Thomas Williams Edwards worked in the sales department of Williams Furniture Corporation for 32 years until he retired in 1982. He graduated from Conway High School in 1941 and attended Riverside Military Academy in Gainesville, Georgia. 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.

Paul Malone is chairman of the board of Chicora Development, a company he cofounded in 1972. He also is the cofounder of Chicora Beach Holiday, Inc., and Eagle Services. Malone has been a member of the Coastal Educational Foundation, Inc., for 20 years, serving as president during the years leading to Coastal's independence from the USC system and as chairman of the Land Use Committee which charted the physical development of the campus. He earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from St. Johns University in 1961 and continued graduate study at Hofstra University and University of Miami. Prior to moving to South Carolina in 1972, he was vice president of Arvida Corporation and group manager of Southern Bell Telephone, both in Boca Raton, Fla. He has served in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. Among numerous civic activities, he has been active in the United Way, Waccamaw Community Foundation and the Myrtle Beach Rotary Club.

May Howard Wall graduated from St. John's High School in 1927 and attended Converse College. She married E. Craig Wall Sr. in 1936 - the year before he founded Canal Industries, a Conway-based lumber and land management firm. The Wall family had a founding and sustaining role in Coastal's development from a two-year community college to four-year university. Her husband was an original founder of Coastal and her son, E. Craig Wall, Jr., was an active leader in many facets of the university, including election to the Board of Trustees. The E. Craig Wall Sr. School of Business Administration serves as a permanent legacy to the contributions of the Wall family to the university and South Carolina. She has been active in the Tuberculosis Association and the Horry County and South Carolina Mental Health associations.

James Johnson is president and treasurer of Dargan Construction Company, Inc., of Myrtle Beach. A longtime member of the Coastal Educational Foundation, Inc., and the Horry County Higher Education Commission, Johnson was also the first chair of Coastal's Board of Trustees, serving two terms between 1993 to 1995. In 1996 he was awarded a Coastal Founders' Medallion and in 1998 he was named Trustee Emeritus. He attended Horry County public schools and served in the U.S. Navy from 1953 to 1956. He was graduated from Coastal Carolina College in 1959. Johnson, who was a member of the Chanticleer basketball team, was the first Coastal student-athlete to receive an athletic scholarship. He was the first Coastal alumnus honored by the University of South Carolina with an honorary degree.

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