D. Kent Sharples - Coastal Carolina University
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D. Kent Sharples

D. Kent Sharples, president of Horry Georgetown Technical College from 1980 to 1999, has guided one of the fastest growing technical colleges in the nation and has been a leading force in the economic development of Horry County. He has been instrumental in facilitating HGTC students who wish to pursue their baccalaureate degrees at Coastal Carolina University.

Sharples has served on several national boards and received recognition for community service, and for promoting easy, open-access to education for all. He was named Citizen of the Year in Myrtle Beach and was awarded the Order of the Palmetto, the state's highest civilian honor for public service.

In 1973, he moved to Columbia, S.C. to lead a National Science Foundation grant to develop a civil engineering curriculum in 10 of South Carolina’s technical/community colleges. In 1976 he was appointed dean of instruction and later vice president of instruction at Tri-County Technical College in Pendleton, South Carolina.

He earned a bachelor's degree in 1965 and a master's degree in 1967, both from Bowling Green State University, and a Ph.D. in educational administration with an emphasis on community colleges from Ohio University in 1973.

Sharples was awarded the honorary degree Doctor of Public Service from Coastal Carolina University during the May 1999 commencement ceremony.

Sharples served as fifth president of Daytona State College from 1999 until 2010 and currently is president and CEO of the Business Alliance, a group of executives who lead economic development efforts in Volusia County, Florida. He was instrumental in the development and construction of the first community college in the Dominican Republic, the College de la Republica Dominicana.