Thomas W. Edwards - Coastal Carolina University
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Thomas W. Edwards

Thomas Williams Edwards was born April 12, 1924, in Rocky Mount, N.C., graduated from Conway High School in 1941, and attended Riverside Military Academy in Gainesville, Ga. He had a distinguished and decorated military career during World War II as a U.S. Army infantryman with the 30th Division, and is a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10420 in Murrells Inlet. Edwards was an executive of Williams Furniture Corporation, where he worked in the sales department for 32 years; he retired in 1982.

The Williams-Brice Building Physical Education Center opened in 1972 and was named to honor the bequest of Martha Williams Brice for $250,000 for a gymnasium at Coastal (as well as funds for the University of South Carolina’s football stadium and nursing school). Brice's nephews Thomas W. Edwards and Philip Edwards were instrumental in securing the gift for the university. Because of his family’s long dedication and continuing support of higher education and Coastal Carolina, CCU's humanities building and college were named the Thomas W. and Robin W. Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts. The new building was dedicated Sept. 11, 2001.

He was a charter member of the Conway Rotary Club, a member of the Huntington Society of Brookgreen Gardens, Society of 1824 at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), and an honorary life member of the University of South Carolina Alumni Association. He was the recipient of a Presidential Merit Award from MUSC. He served on the board of directors of Williams Furniture Corporation, and Southern Coatings and Chemical Company of Sumter, and was a member of the Lions Club of Sumter. He was a member of the Boy Scouts of America and was a devoted Chicago Cubs fan.

He died April 14, 2001.

Edwards and his brother Philip were named honorary founders of Coastal Carolina University in 2000. His wife, Robin W. Edwards, was named an honorary founder in 2008.