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Ruth S. Kearns

Ruth S. Kearns graduated from Myrtle Beach High School and attended Coastal Carolina College, then a two-year junior college affiliated with the University of South Carolina. She earned a bachelor's degree and an MBA from USC and went on to complete post-graduate work at Ohio State University and the University of Texas.

Kearns was in the banking industry for 38 years, originally with Coastal Federal Bank, where she was senior vice president and community relations officer. During her banking career, she worked on community projects including the Financial Literacy Program in Horry County Schools, which provided educational materials to public schools for all students kindergarten age through the fifth grade level. She retired from BB&T Bank in 2008 and is now pursuing a career in the technology industry as sales and marketing director with Eastern Data Inc.

She was appointed to the Horry County Higher Education Commission in 1985 and continues to serve. Kearns has long been involved with Coastal Carolina University's Alumni Association, and she was named the first Alumna of the Year in 1989.

She was named an honorary founder of Coastal Carolina University in 2008.