William J. Baxley Jr.
A native of Dillon, South Carolina, William J. Baxley Jr. graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1950 and earned an M.B.A. from the University of Alabama in 1962. During his 22-year career in the U.S. Army, he served as an infantry battalion commander in Vietnam and as a colonel in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. He received the Silver Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Bronze Medal and the Freedom Foundation's George Washington Honor Medal at Valley Forge.
Baxley joined the Coastal Carolina University faculty in 1972, was named associate chancellor of advancement in 1977, and dean of the E. Craig Wall Sr. College of Business Administration in 1990. Baxley established the Atlanta Field Study, a unique program that allowed students to travel to meet business leaders in corporate settings.
Following his retirement in 1992 as dean emeritus, he continued to serve as an executive-in-residence for the Wall College of Business, as well as a member of the Coastal Educational Foundation and the Wall College Board of Visitors. In 2004, he and his wife Beverly accompanied the first group of Coastal Carolina University students for a three-week travel program to Cuba to study history, politcs and culture.
In December 2006 Baxley was awarded the honorary degree Doctorate of Public Service from Coastal Carolina University.
Baxley Hall was dedicated in his honor in September 2008. Memorabilia from Baxley's 22-year military career, including his West Point class ring, is on display in Baxley Hall.
Baxley died November 4, 2008.