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Holliday family establishes marine science endowed program fund in sustainability at CCU

August 14, 2018
Joseph W. Holliday III, Betty Holliday McLeod, J. William F. Holliday, CCU President David A. DeCenzo, and Cheryl and Judson J. Holliday.Joseph William and Frances Fields Holliday.

The family of Joseph W. and Frances F. Holliday of Galivants Ferry has made a generous financial contribution to the College of Science at Coastal Carolina University. In recognition of the establishment of the Department of Marine Science Endowed Program Fund in Sustainability, the dean's suite in the Science II building will be named the Joseph William and Frances Fields Holliday Dean's Suite in memory of the parents of William and Judson Holliday and Betty Holliday McLeod. The gift supports the University's I'M IN endowment campaign, which to date has secured more than $22 million for CCU's endowment. Learn more about the campaign at

The newly established endowed fund will support research by marine science students working on sustainability issues related to oceans. Preference will be given to projects by students who are formally enrolled in the sustainability certification program.

Joseph W. Holliday, along with 16 other citizens interested in establishing an institution of higher education in the Waccamaw region of South Carolina, formed the Coastal Educational Foundation in 1954. That group of men is recognized as the founding fathers of the institution that is now known as Coastal Carolina University.

"My mother was very keen on education with a strong interest in the sciences," William Holliday said. "Her teachings and experience really gave me an interest in the field. Through this gift, I hope students get a strong educational foundation on which to build. Learning the sciences makes you develop an awe of life. And awe is the beginning of wisdom.

"It has been great to see my father's dream of establishing a school of higher education become a reality. Whenever he had some goal in mind, he would get it done. It is very satisfying to see how everything has turned out. To see how the University has grown through the years is amazing. I hope our support of Coastal will help carry on the legacy that my father played a role in starting."

In May 1959, Joseph W. Holliday was named chairman of the Horry County Higher Education Commission. His first official duty was to preside at Coastal Carolina Junior College's inaugural commencement ceremony. On the evening of May 27, 1959, in the auditorium of Conway High School, he awarded associate degrees to five students.

A few months after that historic occasion, Holliday and fellow members of the foundation's executive committee met with representatives from the University of South Carolina at the Chat 'n' Chew Restaurant in Turbeville, the geographical halfway point between Conway and Columbia. During that meeting, the two sides forged a partnership that established the Coastal Carolina regional campus of the University of South Carolina.

Holliday continued to serve on the foundation until he died in 1981. In 1987, he was posthumously awarded Coastal's Founders Medallion in recognition of his numerous contributions and steadfast service to the University.

The longstanding partnership between Coastal and USC ended July 1, 1993, when legislation was signed to establish an independent Coastal Carolina University.