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CCU and HTC announce the naming of the HTC Honors College and Center for Interdisciplinary Studies

October 12, 2018
CCU President David A. DeCenzo; HTC's Von Todd; HTC CEO Mike Hagg; HTC CFO Carlton Lewis; HTC's Brent Groome; HTC's Glenda Page; Dean Sara Hottinger; and Provost Ralph Byington.The HTC Honors College and Center for Interdisciplinary Studies was established at CCU on Oct. 12.Carley Metcalf, a senior marine science major and honors student, speaks during the ceremony.

Coastal Carolina University (CCU) and Horry Telephone Cooperative (HTC) Inc. announced today an endowed gift from HTC that will support and fund student research, internships, conference travel, study abroad and other educational expenses. As part of this endowed gift, CCU's University College will be renamed the HTC Honors College and Center for Interdisciplinary Studies for a period of 20 years.

HTC's gift supports the University's I'M IN endowment campaign which, through various commitments and donations, has secured more than $22 million for CCU's endowment. Learn more about the campaign at

"Coastal Carolina University is grateful for HTC's ongoing support of our University and our students," said CCU President David A. DeCenzo. "The HTC Honors College exemplifies CCU's commitment to high-quality teaching and engaged learning. The college will play a significant role in supporting our recruitment of high-achieving students from Horry and Georgetown counties and beyond. We thank HTC for its confidence in Coastal Carolina University."

"This investment in Coastal Carolina University continues HTC's longstanding goal of improving the quality of life and business environment throughout Horry and Georgetown counties," said HTC Chief Executive Officer Mike Hagg. "We recognize that the success of this area depends on more than just our continued investments in fiber optics, wireless and data networks. It requires an investment in some of the best resources that our community and state have to offer … those young men and women looking to further their education."

Located in Kearns Hall and scheduled to welcome its inaugural incoming class in Fall 2019, the HTC Honors College and Center for Interdisciplinary Studies will feature many new initiatives and a revised curriculum. It will support students who have ties to majors and departments across campus: from honors students to interdisciplinary studies students, who build their own, innovative academic majors. In addition, the college will continue to support and advise undeclared first-year students as they select and transition into their major.

"This is a major milestone for Coastal Carolina University," said Ralph Byington, CCU's provost and executive vice president. "The HTC Honors College and Center for Interdisciplinary Studies will offer an academically challenging, interdisciplinary education that requires students to become experts in a discipline of their choice - their academic major - while also asking them to think beyond their major in their interdisciplinary honors seminars."

According to Sara Hottinger, dean of the HTC Honors College, the college will also become a place for faculty from across campus to develop unique interdisciplinary courses and experiment with innovative teaching strategies that both challenge and inspire CCU's honors students.

"The HTC Honors College will be an incubator for our faculty and students to experiment with new teaching methodologies, new research strategies, and the creation of new and boundary-breaking knowledge," Hottinger said. "CCU faculty members who are affiliated with the Honors College will enhance the work they do in their departments and home disciplines, ensuring that the opportunities available for honors students expand to include all Coastal Carolina students. The HTC Honors College will place an emphasis on collaborative, experiential research and creative opportunities."

The board of trustees approved the establishment of an honors college at CCU in February, a year after the provost charged the CCU Honors Council with developing a proposal for a well-defined and innovative program consistent with the University's commitment to excellence and vision for student achievement and success.

For more information about the HTC Honors College, visit