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George D. Grice

George Daniel Grice was born Nov. 1, 1890, in Charleston, S.C. He earned a bachelor's degree from Clemson College in 1923 and a master's degree in elementary education from Columbia University in 1929. He was a high school teacher and principal in the Charleston area from 1923 to 1932. He joined the faculty of the College of Charleston and was president form 1945 to 1966. After retiring from the College of Charleston, Grice served in the S.C. House of Representatives and S.C. Senate. Grice died May 9, 1977.

In the summer of 1954, the people of Horry County, led by the county school district, were working hard to start a junior college that would bring higher education to the region for the first time. Everything seemed to be falling into place except for the fact that they were having trouble obtaining one absolutely essential component – the support of an established institution of higher learning willing to sponsor and extend its course credits to the new school. The Horry junior college boosters were so eager and so confident that they began enrolling students for fall classes even after college and after college – including Clemson, Winthrop and Coker – declined to sponsor the new school.

J. Kenyon East, director of instruction for the county school district, was just about to give up when he contacted the College of Charleston. George Grice, the charismatic president of the college, heard him out and announced that he would be in Conway the next day to discuss the idea.

President Grice’s leap of faith brought Coastal finally to life. He persuaded the College of Charleston board of trustees to agree to sponsor Coastal Carolina Junior College for four years. The Charleston administration, and Grice in particular, assumed a heavy load of administrative work in behalf of Coastal. Grice chose and hired Coastal’s first faculty and director.

Although the College of Charleston’s commitment to Coastal ended in the spring of 1958, the relationship between the two schools remained very cordial afterward. At Coastal’s first official commencement ceremony in 1959, George Grice was the speaker.

Grice was posthumously named an honorary founder of Coastal Carolina University in 1998.