Coastal Carolina University graduate Chad Casselman, a former lecturer and current teaching associate at CCU, was recently profiled by Coastal Magazine. The article is excerpted here.
For love and money: faculty alumnus creates scholarship
Chad Casselman ’98 doesn’t exactly look the part of a successful business entrepreneur. He occupies one of a row of faculty offices in the Coastal Science Center, where he works as a lecturer in the Department of Computer Science. He wears jeans and T-shirts (the one he wears today quips “We never really grow up we only learn how to act in public”), and his desk is adorned with assorted brain teasing puzzles and nerdy toys, including a plastic Brain from Pinky and the Brain fame.
“I went two days without food to buy this Pinky when I was in grad school,” says Casselman, who is doing well enough now that he recently gave $30,000 to CCU to establish a scholarship for students majoring in computer science and information systems.
Creating a scholarship at CCU is something he decided to do back when he first started earning money in his career.
“When I was at Coastal I was on a ton of small scholarships,” says Casselman, who was born in Andrews, grew up in Myrtle Beach and graduated from Socastee High School. “My mother and I were making it on $11,000 a year and living at Lakewood Campground. I wouldn’t have anything today without those scholarships.”
After graduating from CCU in 1998 with a degree in computer science and a minor in math, Casselman earned his master’s degree at N.C. State in 2000 and worked as a software consultant before returning to teach at CCU six years ago. His “side” businesses are the source of his financial success, however. When he was still an undergraduate, he started Casselware, a software development company. In November 2011, he and two partners founded JVZoo, an online marketplace for sellers of information products, and the company has become highly profitable.
Teaching, however, is clearly where Casselman’s heart is. “Nothing can compare with the opportunity to positively change a person’s life forever,” he says. “I keep explaining to my partners: This is what I want to do when I retire, and I’m already doing it!”