Coastal Carolina University's 15th annual Founders' Day Convocation will be held Thursday, Sept. 20 at 3 p.m. in Wheelwright Auditorium. The ceremony is free and open to the public.
Covel C. Moore Sr., Clyde W. Port and the late Rebecca Randall Bryan will be named honorary founders of the university. The 2001 recipients of the Founders' Medallion will join 59 other founders and honorary founders who played instrumental roles in the development of Coastal and the promotion of higher education in the region.
Constantine Curris, president of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), will deliver the convocation address. He is the fourth chief executive for AASCU, a national association of more than 400 public colleges and universities. Curris has been associated with AASCU since 1973 and was named president in 1999. A native of Kentucky, Curris has served as president at Murray State University, the University of Northern Iowa and Clemson University. The Murray State Student Center and the Northern Iowa Business Building bear Curris' name.
Moore, pastor of the Good Hope AME Church in Centenary, retired in 1981 from the Horry County School District where he worked for 28 years as a science teacher at Whittemore High School and Socastee High School. He also served for 12 years as chair of the science department at Socastee High School. Moore is a longtime member of Coastal's ABLE (A Better Lifestyle Experience) class, which helps promotes health, wellness and a positive social atmosphere for adults 50 and older. He has also been involved with Coastal's Lifelong Learning Society. Moore has served as past president of the Horry County Education Association and as a delegate to the South Carolina Education Association and the National Education Association. He earned a bachelor's degree from Morris College, a master of science degree from South Carolina State University and a master of religious studies from the University of South Carolina.
Port, a former vice president for Mobil East, Inc., became active in area civic affairs after retiring to Myrtle Beach in 1975. He helped organize and was the first chairman of Coastal's E. Craig Wall Sr. College of Business Administration Board of Visitors. Port served on the executive committee of the Board of Visitors until 1999. He is a former executive director of United Way of Horry County and has served as a consultant and adviser for the organization. Earlier this year, the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce named Port a Lifetime Member in honor of his many contributions to the organization. In 1987 he was named Citizen of the Year of the chamber. He also helped organize the chamber's Leadership Grand Strand program. Port has been involved in the redevelopment of the Dunes Beach and Golf Club.
Bryan, who died Sept. 25, 1999, was a longtime friend and supporter of Coastal. An avid painter, she was devoted to the arts and attended many classes offered through Coastal's School of Continuing Studies. Bryan traveled to Oxford University in England as part of a travel-study program offered through Coastal's Office of International Programs. She also donated more than 200 books from her personal library to Coastal's Kimbel Library. Her $1.8 million bequest to Coastal represents the largest single cash gift ever made to the university. The art gallery in the Thomas W. and Robin W. Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts Building will be named in Bryan's honor. A future extension of Coastal's library also will be named in honor of the Bryan family.
Dedication of the Rebecca Randall Bryan Art Gallery will be held at 4 p.m. on Sept. 20, immediately following the Founders' Day ceremony.