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Institutional History

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1954

On the evening of July 23, a group of citizens meets in the Horry County Memorial Library to discuss a daring proposal – the creation of a local college. The group soon becomes a nonprofit organization, the Coastal Educational Foundation, Inc. On Sept. 20, Coastal Carolina Junior College opens as a branch of the College of Charleston. Fifty-three students are enrolled and taught by a handful of part-time faculty, with classes meeting after hours in Conway High School.

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1958

Coastal Carolina Junior College becomes independent when the College of Charleston discontinues its extension program. Horry County voters approve a referendum that raises taxes by three mills to provide funding.

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1959

The South Carolina General Assembly creates the Horry County Higher Education Commission, a government regulatory agency to oversee use of county tax monies made available to support Coastal Carolina.

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1960

The Horry County Higher Education Commission is responsible for a contract that establishes Coastal Carolina Regional Campus of the University of South Carolina, effective in Fall 1960.

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1961

Members of the Horry County Higher Education Commission and Coastal Educational Foundation, Inc. agree it is time to move to a campus suitable for institutional growth. They select the present site of the University, most of which was donated by Burroughs Timber Company and International Paper Company. A major fundraising drive raises $317,000 for construction. Coastal’s first intercollegiate athletics contest, a basketball game between Coastal and USC Florence, takes place on Dec. 9.

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1962

Ground is broken for the campus. Less than a year later, 110 students move into the first campus building, the Edward M. Singleton Building, named in honor of the first chancellor of USC Coastal Carolina College.

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1963

Coastal baseball plays its first season in 1963.

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1966

With an idea and a gift from William A. Kimbel and L. Maud Kimbel, the Atheneum, the campus symbol, is completed.

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1972

The Williams-Brice Health and Fine Arts Building is dedicated in November 1972 after Martha Williams Brice’s nephews donated $250,000 toward its construction. William A.
Kimbel also donated $100,000 toward the construction, and the gymnasium was named in his honor. Men’s tennis becomes Coastal’s fourth intercollegiate program.

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1973

USC Coastal Carolina College adds a junior year; in 1974, a fourth year is added. Kearns Hall is completed.

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1974

Coastal’s women’s basketball team records its first intercollegiate win against Coker College, 54-36.

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1975

USC Coastal Carolina College awards its first four-year degree. Gayle Baker and Violet Meade initiate and coach the women’s tennis program in the spring of 1975.

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1976

Kimbel Library is established on the campus.

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1981

Wheelwright Auditorium, the first center for the performing arts in northeast South Carolina, is dedicated. The $3.1 million facility is funded almost entirely by private donations, including a $1.2 million gift from the Kimbel family. The facility is named for L. Maud Kimbel’s maternal grandfather, John Wheelwright, who was involved with the cotton trade in South Carolina in the early 1900s.

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1986

USC Coastal Carolina College becomes a full member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Women’s cross country begins a year after the men’s team.

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1987

The first Founders Day is celebrated on the steps of the Singleton Building to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the institution. The first on-campus residence halls open.

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1989

Enrollment reaches more than 4,000 students. The number of full-time faculty grows to 175.

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1990

The Campaign for Progress surpasses its goal of $5.5 million in fewer than five years, spurring growth in capital projects, the arts and academic enrichment programs.

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1991

On July 23, the Coastal Educational Foundation and the Horry County Higher Education Commission vote to seek legislative approval to establish an independent Coastal Carolina University. USC System President John Palms recommends to the USC Board of Trustees that Coastal Carolina pursue independence from the university in name and administration. The trustees adopt President Palms’ recommendation in June 1992. The 1991 men’s basketball team becomes the first Coastal athletic program to reach an NCAA Championship; CCU’s appearance is the first by a Big South men’s basketball program. The University’s Athletic Hall of Fame is founded to recognize the outstanding contributions that former student-athletes, coaches and staff have made to Chanticleer athletics.

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1993

The South Carolina Legislature passes legislation establishing Coastal Carolina University as an independent, public institution, effective July 1. Gov. Campbell signs the bill during a ceremony at CCU on May 14. The University’s first Board of Trustees meets for the first time July 1. Ronald R. Ingle is named the University’s first president. CCU begins offering its first graduate programs in education. The E. Craig Wall Sr. School of Business Administration Building is completed and dedicated in honor of Mr. Wall, who was one of the University’s original founders. The men’s basketball team makes its second appearance in the NCAA Championship. The baseball team wins the Big South regular season title.

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1994

The Eldred E. Prince Building, funded by the Horry County Higher Education Commission, is completed and dedicated. New projects include plans for a humanities building, residence hall/dining facility, athletic administration complex, printing services facility and renovations to existing buildings. The University’s first formal inauguration is held to install President Ronald R. Ingle.

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1996

A $68 million campus masterplan is unveiled that will guide development of the University to the 50th anniversary of the institution, to be celebrated in 2004. The volleyball team wins the Big South Championship and advances to the NCAA Tournament for the first time.

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1997

The Board of Trustees adopts “A Journey of Excellence,” a plan to guide the University into the next century. The South Carolina General Assembly approves $11.7 million for the new humanities and fine arts building. The University mace makes its debut at the May commencement ceremony. The first class of Wall Fellows is named after Craig Wall Jr. establishes the Wall Fellows program designed to prepare top students for high-level careers in major U.S. and international organizations.

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1998

The R. Cathcart Smith Science Center is dedicated, and a $2 million campaign to upgrade the facility is announced. Coastal Carolina University offers baccalaureate degree programs in 36 major fields of study through its four academic schools, graduate programs in education, and seven cooperative programs with other South Carolina universities. The E. Craig Wall Sr. School of Business Administration gains accreditation by the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business.

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1999

The South Carolina General Assembly approves the final funding for the new humanities and fine arts building. Nobel Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu visits the campus as part of the Kimbel Distinguished Lecturer Series. The School of Education gains accreditation by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. The Board of Trustees approves the sale of revenue bonds to begin construction of a 350-bed residence hall, expansion of the dining facility and construction of University Hall. Football was approved to be added to Coastal in 2003, bringing 17 NCAA Division I sports to CCU.

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2000

To reflect the growth of academic programs and the maturity of the institution, the four academic schools of the University are renamed colleges. The College of Humanities and Fine Arts is named for Thomas W. and Robin W. Edwards. A statewide awareness campaign bolsters the University’s visibility. The University endowment tops $12 million, reflecting a more than 300 percent increase since 1993; the total number of donors increases by 17 percent in the past year. A new residence hall opens, expanding on-campus residence capacity by 35 percent to more than 1,000 students. Women’s soccer joins Coastal Carolina University’s intercollegiate athletic programs. Commencement in May recognizes 492 graduates, the largest graduating class in the University’s history.

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2001

University enrollment increases to almost 5,000 students. The average SAT for entering freshmen tops the national average. New degree programs are approved for middle grades education, music, philosophy, Spanish and special education. A major construction boom is highlighted by the opening and formal dedication of the Thomas W. and Robin W. Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts, the largest building on campus. A $1.8 million gift from the estate of Rebecca Randall Bryan marks the largest single cash gift in the University’s history. In collaboration with the Georgetown community, the University brings the Freedom Schooner Amistad to Georgetown. The Amistad attracts more than 16,000 visitors.

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2002

The University’s enrollment rises to a record of nearly 6,000 students. A baccalaureate degree program is offered in management-international tourism. The first class of recruits for the new football team begins practice in preparation for intercollegiate play in Fall 2003. State appropriations fall to approximately 23 percent of the total current funds, and tuition and fees represent nearly half of the University’s $63 million operating budget. CCU receives a Certificate of Achievement from the S.C. Commission on Higher Education for its Comprehensive Permanent Improvement Plan. The Department of Theatre and the Department of Music join to form the Department of Performing Arts, offering majors in dramatic arts, musical theatre and music.

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2003

Coastal Carolina University now offers master’s degree programs in education, instructional technology, and coastal marine and wetland studies. A growing array of international programs take students to places such as Australia, Costa Rica, Cuba, England, Ecuador, Galapagos Islands, Germany, India, Japan, Russia and Spain. The University anticipates its anniversary in 2004 with plans for the 50th Anniversary Initiatives, an ambitious campaign to raise private funds to support the academic, physical and athletic needs of the University. A $1.5 million gift from Burroughs & Chapin Company is announced to support the construction of an education and research facility at the University’s Waties Island/Tilghman Point property. A $2 million gift from Loris native Bob Brooks marks the largest single gift in the history of the University and places the Brooks name on the new football stadium. More than 8,000 fans pack Brooks Stadium on Sept. 6 for the inaugural game of the Chanticleer NCAA I-AA football squad. On-campus resident students total 1,862. The men’s soccer team is ranked among the nation’s Top 10 programs and advances to the Sweet Sixteen round of the NCAA Tournament.

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2004

Coastal Carolina University offers baccalaureate degree programs in 38 major fields of study and 36 undergraduate minors, including a new bachelor’s degree in economics. The University serves students and the community with a new location, the Waccamaw Higher Education Center in Litchfield, and sites in Georgetown and Myrtle Beach. The 50th Anniversary celebration officially begins on Founders Day, Sept. 20, with a formal convocation to honor the three educational institutions that had pivotal roles in the shaping of Coastal Carolina University: Horry County Schools, the University of South Carolina and the College of Charleston. The Spadoni College of Education is named for William L. “Spud” Spadoni and members of his family through a $1 million gift to the 50th Anniversary Initiatives. The public phase of the 50th Anniversary Initiatives is announced in September with more than $10 million already committed. The Jackson Family Center for Ethics and Values is established to cultivate and promote awareness in students of the importance of personal and professional integrity.

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2005

Coastal Carolina University has a record enrollment of 7,613 students; to accommodate the growth, the University continues to extend its physical presence to the East Campus located in the Atlantic Center on U.S. 501. The campus now comprises 52 main buildings on 302 acres. The long-awaited master of business administration degree gains approval, and the E. Craig Wall Sr. College of Business Administration begins accepting MBA students for Fall 2006. New baccalaureate degree programs are approved in communication and in recreation and sport management, bringing the total number of undergraduate degree programs to 40 fields of study. The 50th Anniversary Initiatives campaign raises $3 million more than the $10 million goal, reflecting the growing community support for the University. For a conference-record seventh time, Coastal Carolina University captures the Sasser Cup for athletic program success. President Ronald R. Ingle announces his retirement for June 2007, and the Board of Trustees begins planning the search for the University’s second president.

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2006

The University continues record growth with 8,049 students from 44 states and 32 foreign countries enrolled in Fall 2006. The freshman class has an entering SAT score of 1,047 and an average high school GPA of 3.32, topping national averages in both categories. The University’s operating budget tops $110 million, 12 percent of which comes from state appropriations. Ground is broken for Adkins Fieldhouse following a $1.8 million gift from Charlotte businessmen and twin brothers Mark and Will Adkins, representing the largest pledge ever received from alumni.

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2007

David A. DeCenzo takes office as the second president of Coastal Carolina University on May 7, 2007. His formal inauguration – built around the theme “Dawning of a New Tomorrow” – is held Sept. 14. The new president appoints a Strategic Planning Steering Committee comprising all University stakeholders to examine and refine the University’s mission, establish priorities, and link strategic direction to budgeting and assessment. The total number of alumni since 1993 reaches 10,129. The annual economic impact of the University tops $225 million. The University hosts the Big South Undergraduate Research Symposium, the first academic conference for Big South schools, to foster academic relationships among the institutions.

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2008

Coastal Carolina University receives its largest grant, $2.3 million, from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to establish a program that partners graduate students and Horry County K-12 teachers in coastal science research. For the first time, a Coastal Carolina University faculty member is named the Governor’s 2008 Professor of the Year. A building campaign is underway to expand Kimbel Library, build an annex to the R. Cathcart Smith Science Center, as well as to construct a student recreation and convocation center, among other projects. Horry County voters approve a penny sales tax to provide funding to be divided among the Horry County public schools, Horry Georgetown Technical College and Coastal Carolina University; the tax is expected to provide approximately $120 million during the next 15 years for facility improvements for the University. Chanticleer alumni earn accolades in the U.S. Olympics, NFL and Major League Soccer, and on the PGA Tour.

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2009

Coastal Carolina University is named one of America’s 100 Best College Buys by Institutional Research & Evaluation, Inc. The University is ranked in the top 15 percent of the nation’s four-year undergraduate institutions in America’s Best Colleges, compiled by Forbes and the Center for College Affordability and Productivity. Fall 2009 enrollment is approximately 8,300 students from 45 states and 38 foreign countries. One of the largest gifts in University history will support health science education and the new science addition – Kenneth E. Swain Hall – will be named in honor of the donor. The E. Craig Wall Sr. College of Business Administration is named one of the 300 best in the world by AACSB International. The Burroughs & Chapin Center for Marine and Wetland Studies joins the State Energy Office, Santee Cooper, Clemson and North Carolina State University to conduct research on wind power for commercial use.

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2010

The Coastal Carolina University Student Housing Foundation purchases a residential facility near campus and combines it with University Place, increasing the on-campus resident capacity to 3,379. Adkins Field-house is completed; the state-of-the-art facility houses coaches’ offices, football locker and meeting rooms, the Sasser Athletics Hall of Fame, and a strength and conditioning center. Groundbreaking is held for two major campus additions: the Student Recreation and Convocation Center and the Bryan Information Commons. A total of 891 graduates participate in May Commencement. The University is named a “Military Friendly School” by two national organizations. The baseball team is recognized by the NCAA for having the highest winning percentage of any Division I baseball program and is selected to host the NCAA Super Regionals for the first time. The Women’s Resource Center opens in the Wall Building. Fall 2010 enrollment is 8,706 students. With the purchase of Quail Creek Golf Club, the campus now comprises 69 main buildings on 633 acres.

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2011

U.S. News & World Report ranks the University 26th of Top Public Schools in the South in the Regional Universities category. Coastal Carolina University is also ranked among the top 15 regional public universities in the South in the Great Schools, Great Prices category. Also, for the third consecutive year, Coastal Carolina University is named one of America’s Best Colleges by Forbes and one of America’s 100 Best College Buys by Institutional Research & Evaluation, Inc. The new state-of-the-art baseball/softball hitting facility opens in May. Quail Creek Golf Club is renamed the General James Hackler Golf Course at Coastal Carolina University in honor of the Grand Strand golfing pioneer and Coastal Carolina University benefactor. Fall 2011 enrollment stands at 9,084, the highest in CCU’s history. Campus residence halls are dedicated to honor University leaders Ronald G. Eaglin, chancellor from 1985 to 1992, and Ronald R. Ingle, president from 1993 to 2007. The Commons is renamed Fred W. Hicks III Dining Hall; Hicks served as chancellor from 1983 to 1985.

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2012

Coastal Carolina University initiates the largest building program in its history. In accordance with the Campus Master Plan, there are 30 active building projects in some stage of planning or construction on campus. Altogether, CCU’s building program adds up to more than $244 million in capital-funded projects. Coastal Carolina University is named to the 2012 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, an annual recognition program sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service that celebrates exemplary commitment to service and volunteering from institutions of higher education.

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2013

For the fourth consecutive year, Coastal Carolina University is named one of America’s 100 Best College Buys and for the second consecutive year is ranked in the top tier in Regional Universities (South) category in U.S. News & World Report’s annual Best Colleges and 29th in Top Public Schools-Regional Universities (South). Coastal Carolina University scientists unveil a new hurricane outlook model system – the Hurricane Genesis and Outlook (HUGO) Project – to offer outlooks for both the U.S. East Coast and Gulf Coast. Women’s lacrosse competes in its inaugural season to become the Chanticleers’ 18th NCAA Division I sport.

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2014

Coastal Carolina University begins offering its first doctoral program, the Ph.D. in coastal and marine systems science. The University establishes the Institute for Leadership and Public Policy, which is named for longtime Coastal Carolina University administrator Edgar L. Dyer. The Conway Innovation Center, a technology incubator that Coastal Carolina University co-sponsors with the City of Conway and Clemson University, opens. The University’s combined athletic facilities are named the TD Sports Complex and dedicated in September.

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2015

The expanded Lib Jackson Student Union is dedicated on March 2. The Senator Clementa C. Pinckney Scholarship is created in June to honor the civic leader slain in the Charleston mass shooting incident. Fall enrollment exceeds 10,000 students for the first time. Coastal Carolina University offers 70 undergraduate degree programs, 17 master’s degree programs and one Ph.D. program. Two new residence halls, Tradition and Chanticleer, open as the first phase of a large-scale, four-building community that will accommodate a total of 1,274 first-year students. On Sept. 1, Coastal Carolina University announces its decision to join the Sun Belt Athletic Conference, effective July 1, 2016. More than 670 students are named to the President’s List for the Fall 2015 semester for high academic achievement.

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