Clark and Marcia Parker Atheneum Hall Alumni Center named at CCU
"It is indeed a pleasure to honor two individuals who have made a profound impact on the advancement of the Coastal Carolina University we know today," CCU President David A. DeCenzo said during the ceremony. "We are fortunate to have the opportunity to recognize Clark and Marcia Parker for their early commitment and pioneering work in the quest for Coastal's independence."
Clark and Marcia Wells Parker graduated from Coastal in 1977 and 1978, respectively. Clark earned a bachelor's degree in accounting, and Marcia earned a bachelor's degree in business. The couple met while working as official scorekeepers at the basketball games and married in 1976. After graduating, they continued their involvement with the University by maintaining the alumni records when the institution was known as the University of South Carolina - Coastal Carolina College. They also spearheaded the formation of the alumni association, of which Clark served as president from 1979-1981, and organized the first alumni class reunion and homecoming.
"We are very humbled with what has transpired on this campus through the years," Clark Parker said at the ceremony. "There are many people here today who have meant a lot to Marcia and me. And there is a lot I could say about what we have seen and accomplished on campus. We do it out of love and respect for those who seek a higher education. Marcia and I both received scholarships to attend Coastal. We left here debt-free. Not many students can say that. If you are not involved in supporting the University through the Office for Philanthropy, the Chanticleer Athletic Foundation or other areas that provide scholarships to students in need, I encourage you to do so."
For nearly 40 years, Clark Parker has dedicated countless hours to the University and the community in a number of volunteer leadership positions. He served on the University's first board of trustees for 15 years from 1993 to 2008, when he was named trustee emeritus. He also led the athletic booster organization in the early 1980s. He now serves on CCU's E. Craig Wall Sr. College of Business Administration board of visitors.
He is a former member of the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education and a former chairman of the Horry County Higher Education Commission.
Parker has been a CPA for more than 35 years and is a partner in the firm Parker Hunter Skipper CPAs in Myrtle Beach. The Parkers have three adult sons and two grandchildren.
The building now designated as CCU's Atheneum Hall opened its doors in 1966. The second oldest building on campus, it was the home of Coastal's original student union and cafeteria. It also has served as a theater, the fine arts building and the location of several administrative offices. The 21-foot high atheneum structure that stands adjacent to the facility is the recognized symbol of the University.
Atheneum Hall was the location of a significant moment in Coastal's history. On July 23, 1991, the Horry County Higher Education Commission, chaired by Clark Parker, and the Coastal Educational Foundation met in the building and jointly voted to seek legislative approval to grant independence to Coastal Carolina University. The formal legislative approval came on July 1, 1993.
Following an extensive renovation, the Atheneum Hall Alumni Center grand opening was held April 30, 2015. The building now houses the University's Office for Philanthropy and the Office of Alumni Relations as well as the Coastal Educational Foundation.