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CCU receives anonymous donations in support of marine science and education

November 29, 2022

Coastal Carolina University students majoring in marine science or education will soon benefit from two anonymous donations secured by the Office for Advancement and Alumni Engagement. A $250,000 gift has been designated for the Department of Marine Science in the Gupta College of Science, while the second gift establishes the Scholarship for Educators Advancement, which will support students pursuing graduate degrees in education in the Spadoni College of Education and Social Sciences.

“Private donations provide that margin of excellence to further differentiate Coastal Carolina from other institutions,” said CCU President Michael T. Benson. “We are very grateful for these anonymous gifts as we continue to move the University forward.”

The marine science donation will fund student and faculty research initiatives and go toward the purchase of a boat that students will use for field experiences.

“The recent gift for the Department of Marine Science by a generous donor will further the excellent education and research activities of the department by supporting our needs for critical research equipment, boat vessels, and boat repairs,” said Chad Leverette, Gupta College dean. “In the Gupta College of Science, we pride ourselves on engaged, hands-on, experiential learning opportunities for our students, but those take incredible resources. Our marine science program is one of the largest in the country. Generous support like this helps us reach our full potential and deliver on the promise of a premier STEM education where our students learn in the classroom and conduct research on the water. We are very thankful for this generous gift and know it will help our students and faculty.”

The Spadoni College donation will consist of annual cash contributions as well as a bequest from the donors’ estate. Scholarship recipients must meet the following criteria: be accepted into a Spadoni College Master of Arts in Teaching, Master of Education, or Ph.D. program; be in good academic standing; and demonstrate financial need as determined by the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships. Preference will be given to Horry County, S.C., residents; second preference will be given to students from Darlington, Florence, Georgetown, and Marion counties.

“We are grateful for the donors’ generosity and look forward to establishing their legacy for years to come,” said Holley Tankersley, Spadoni College dean. “Traditionally, institutions have enjoyed more support for undergraduate scholarships, with graduate students lacking the wide variety of scholarship options available to their undergraduate counterparts. This gift will provide much-needed funding for students seeking to further their careers in education via our graduate degree programs. This gift is particularly targeted for residents of CCU’s five-county service region, as our donors recognize the value that teachers bring to our local communities.”

Diane Sanders, vice president for advancement and alumni engagement at CCU, said: “These significant gifts will have a tremendous impact on both the Gupta College of Science and the Spadoni College of Education and Social Sciences and enhance the learning experience of our exceptional students for years to come. The donors’ generosity will provide our students with distinctive real-world, hands-on learning opportunities, both inside and outside the classroom.”