About U Message from the administration.
Looking back on a year of challenges and achievements
By President David A. DeCenzo
We have had a year filled with forward movement and celebrations large and small that reflect the commitment of each of you to our students and their success. While we have faced and tackled many challenges, I am certain they have all made Coastal Carolina University stronger and leaner. I thank each of you for your many contributions and service to this University and to the students and the community we serve.
To mark the close of the year and celebrate our shared successes, I invite all faculty and staff to join me for a lunchtime picnic to be held on Tuesday, June 28 at the pavilion/sand volleyball court located in front of the Woods residence halls; an invitation is forthcoming.
Following are some highlights of the last year and a glimpse of what is ahead as we prepare for the 2011-2012 academic year:
• The May 2011 Commencement reflected the greatest level of participation in our history – of the 1,154 students eligible to graduate, 934 students crossed the stage during the ceremony. A graduate from the Edwards College said that her favorite part of the event was exiting Brooks Stadium through the faculty "gauntlet" and hearing the applause of her professors.
• The University's academic offerings continue to increase to better serve the changing needs of our students. For example, 16 new undergraduate degree programs have been added since 2007, and four new master's degree programs have been added in recent years, including the new Master of Accountancy (MAcc) that will begin in Fall 2011. The University now offers graduate programs originating from each of the main academic areas: business, education, humanities and fine arts, and science.
• Early indications project that enrollment for Fall 2011 could reach 9,000 undergraduate and graduate students, including approximately 2,200 new freshmen, establishing yet another enrollment record. In comparison, there were 8,706 students enrolled in Fall 2010. As a temporary measure, admission of additional out-of-state freshmen has been delayed until the spring semester, while qualified South Carolina residents continue to be accepted.
• Residence halls will fill to capacity in August, with the conversion of approximately 120 rooms to triple occupancy and 300 rooms to double occupancy. To accommodate our continuing growth, we are seeking ways to secure additional housing options for the Fall 2012 semester.
• To assist with implementation of the new Campus Master Plan, the University will receive $831,612 from the state through the recently passed Capital Reserve Fund bill targeted for deferred maintenance projects. These funds will be directed to the refurbishment of Atheneum Hall, which was built in 1966 and served as the first student center. Additionally, the Penny Sales Tax passed by Horry County voters in November 2009 has generated more than $13.7 million for capital improvements as of May; these funds are used for academic-related construction projects. Last week, we received initial approval from the S.C. Budget and Control Board for 1,600 additional parking places and a pedway between University Place and the main campus.
• A recent report from the S.C. Commission on Higher Education showed that Coastal Carolina University is the most highly utilized public college in the state, based on such factors as average square footage per student, average weekly hours of classroom instruction and classroom seat utilization. While we stand in the greatest need of additional space, we can take pride in being recognized for making the most efficient use of the space we have.
This year we have mourned the loss of original founder J. Kenyon East and of our first chancellor Edward M. Dick Singleton, who were both instrumental in forming the foundation for Coastal Carolina University and, most of all, for changing the lives of many, many students. They will be missed, but their touch has forever shaped this University.
As the heat of summer builds, I hope each of you will take some time to refresh yourselves – with family and friends, a good book or two, or perhaps a new adventure – as we look forward to a bustling and exciting year ahead.