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Leonard establishes scholarship program at CCU to recognize students for exemplary community service

August 19, 2021
Myrtle Beach resident and real estate developer Donald D. Leonard is establishing the Leonard Service Scholars program.

Coastal Carolina University students have long been known to contribute their time and talents to community service initiatives, and a new scholarship program will now reward those efforts. Myrtle Beach resident and real estate developer Donald D. Leonard is donating $15,000 each year to establish and support the Leonard Service Scholars program, which will formally recognize students who are dedicated to serving their communities.

“Don Leonard’s commitment to Coastal Carolina University, our students, and community service is to be highly commended,” said CCU President Michael T. Benson. “Serving others must remain at the forefront of what we do as a society. The Leonard Service Scholars program is a wonderful way to recognize our students for their exemplary community service efforts. The University is grateful for Don’s generosity, thoughtfulness, and support of our students.”

The Leonard Service Scholars program will be administered by CCU’s Spadoni College of Education and Social Sciences. At the beginning of each academic semester, full-time students will have the opportunity to self-enroll in the Service Honor Roll, an online repository in which they will log their unpaid service hours. Students who complete both a minimum of 50 hours of unpaid service in a semester and submit a reflection about their service experience(s) will earn a place on the Service Honor Roll and be recognized on the Leonard Service Scholars program website. Students who earn a spot on the Service Honor Roll will be eligible for nomination as a Leonard Service Scholar.

There will be four scholarships for each of the freshman, sophomore, and junior classes. Each class of scholars will be comprised of 12 students, with each student receiving a $1,000 scholarship.

“As we honor our athletes and give special recognition to our scholars, we also need to recognize our students who devote so much time and energy to community service,” Leonard said. “When I realized that Coastal Carolina did not have a way to reward the many students volunteering in our surrounding communities, I wanted to develop a program to let them know how much we appreciate their service.”

Students are eligible to apply each year for the scholarship and can be named a Leonard Service Scholar multiple times. All graduating Service Honor Roll students will be recognized with honor cords/stoles to be worn at their commencement ceremony and listed in the commencement program.

Leonard is president of Leonard, Call & Associates Inc. During his 14 years as chairman of the South Carolina Transportation Infrastructure Bank (SCTIB), federal highway publications called the SCTIB the nation’s leading state infrastructure bank and a model for the country. Leonard is a Life Trustee at Wake Forest University (WFU), where he received the 2011 Distinguished Alumni Award. He also served on WFU’s Deacon Club board of directors, and, in 2008, was named National Deacon of the Year. He earned an MBA from the University of South Carolina.

Leonard serves on the board of directors of Synovus Bank, Brookgreen Gardens, and the state and local boards of the Red Cross. He previously served on CCU’s E. Craig Wall Sr. College of Business Administration board of visitors, as board chairman of the Grand Strand Regional Medical Center, chairman of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, chairman of the Myrtle Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce board of directors. In 1997, Leonard received the Order of the Palmetto for public service, South Carolina’s highest civilian honor.