About U Message from the administration.
President shares snapshot of campus community
By CCU President David A. DeCenzo
Surrounded by the bustle and possibilities of a fresh academic year – my fifth year as president of Coastal Carolina University – I continue to be moved by the energy of this campus community. This energy fuels the commitment of so many to provide opportunities and possibilities for each of our students. Whether you are a new or a seasoned member of the staff or faculty, you are an important part of this unique community. The recent accomplishments and forward progress of the University are attributable to your commitment to our students.
Here is a snapshot of our student community:
• This fall we welcomed the largest freshman class on record (2,153 students). We expect that the total fall enrollment will set another record with 9,000 students.
• Of the freshman class, nearly 20 percent were ranked in the top 20 percent of their high school class and approximately one in three students represent minority populations. The most popular majors for freshmen are marine science, biology, management, and exercise and sport science.
• Overall, our students come from 48 states (only Idaho and Hawaii are not represented) and 48 foreign countries (including Argentina, Burma and Lebanon). Other than South Carolina, the states with the highest student origins are New Jersey, New York and Maryland.
The increasing appeal of Coastal Carolina University to prospective students in South Carolina and across the nation affirms that this is the fastest growing public university in South Carolina. The following changes and accomplishments reflect both the growth in size and rising stature of this University:
There are now 55 baccalaureate areas of study, including nursing (BSN completion program) and health administration, which is the University’s first completely online degree program. Since 2007-2008, the University has added 19 new baccalaureate degree programs. The University also offers seven master’s degree programs in the areas of business administration (MBA), accountancy (MAcc), coastal marine and wetland studies, education, and writing. Four of the graduate programs have been added since 2007.
The number of degrees conferred continues to grow. In the past academic year 1,499 degrees were awarded (1,379 undergraduate, 120 graduate), representing an increase of 118 degrees from the previous year. Since the 2007-2008 academic year, the number of degrees awarded has risen 29 percent, while the enrollment through the same period has increased 10.6 percent.
For the third consecutive year, the University has been ranked in the top 15 percent of the nation's four-year undergraduate institutions in Forbes’ "America's Best Colleges survey." A quality education at a reasonable price is by any definition “value-added.”
Two faculty members were selected as Fulbright Scholars in 2010-2011. With the addition of these two recent scholars, more than 20 faculty members have earned Fulbright Scholar awards.
Student Volunteer Services
During the past year, 3,682 students volunteered for a total of 13,200 hours of service with more than 40 community nonprofit organizations.
Student-led Relay for Life
The student-organized Relay for Life crossed the finish line with some big numbers for a great cause. A total of 69 teams comprising 1,021 participants raised nearly $125,000 for the American Cancer Society.
Adkins Field House LEED Certification
The University's Adkins Field House, which opened in Summer 2010, earned Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The building is the University’s first LEED project.
Campus Master Plan
A new comprehensive Campus Master Plan, completed by the noted Watertown, Mass., firm Sasaki Associates, provides a blueprint for the University to reach an enrollment of 12,500 students by 2020. The plan emphasizes the use of open, natural spaces and calls for pedestrian pathways, as well as critically needed student housing and student life spaces. The campus encompasses 69 main buildings on 632 acres.
More than $150 million in major construction projects in various phases are under way on campus, marking the University’s most ambitious building schedule in its 57-year history. The building campaign includes a student recreation and convocation center, expected to open in early 2012, and three major academic buildings: Bryan Information Commons will expand Kimbel Library, which opened in 1977 to serve 1,700 students; the Swain Science Center will be an annex to the current science building, which was constructed in 1982 to serve 2,000 students; and an academic/classroom building. Lackey Chapel, constructed entirely from private gifts, was officially dedicated in 2011. The interdenominational chapel is available to student organizations and groups with spiritual focus.
Horry County Tax Support
In 2008, Horry County voters approved a penny sales tax to support capital projects for Horry County School District, Horry Georgetown Technical College (HGTC) and Coastal Carolina University. Through June 2011, the tax has generated $14.6 million for University construction projects.
Partnership with Horry County Schools
The University is in discussion with the Horry County school district to provide land on campus for the school district to fund and build a facility to house approximately 200 high school students enrolled in the Scholars Academy. Since 2003, the University has hosted the Scholars Academy on campus. Graduates of the Scholars Academy may earn as much as two years of college course credits.
In an effort to open and continue our conversations into the fall semester, I invite you to attend two Town Hall Meetings: Wednesday, Sept. 28, at 3 p.m., and Thursday, Nov. 17, at 2 p.m., both in Wheelwright Auditorium. In the meantime, I welcome your thoughts and ideas to help us improve the many ways we serve our students and community.
Thank you for your energetic engagement with Coastal Carolina University during my first five years as president.