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CCU announces the death of President Emeritus Ingle

January 20, 2023
CCU President Emeritus Ronald R. Ingle

It is with deep sadness that Coastal Carolina University announces the death of President Emeritus Ronald R. Ingle, who passed away on Jan. 18, 2023. He became Coastal Carolina University’s first president on July 1, 1993, after the institution gained its status as an independent, public university. Ingle served as president until May 7, 2007. He originally joined the institution in 1988 when it was known as USC Coastal Carolina College, serving as vice chancellor for academic affairs and then as chancellor (1992-93).

His 14-year presidency was a period of remarkable institutional growth: enrollment doubled to more than 8,000 students, campus residence halls expanded to accommodate 2,200 students, international programs were expanded, and academic accolades and major grants became realities. Community outreach was highlighted by a visit from Nobel Laureate Desmond Tutu in 1999. The average SAT scores and high school GPAs of entering freshmen improved and topped the national averages; the academic program expanded to 40 baccalaureate degree programs and new graduate programs included the MBA, introduced in 2006. The marine science, professional golf management, and resort tourism management programs gained national prominence. To meet the challenges of the University’s burgeoning growth, Ingle led a $75 million capital expansion that increased campus space by more than 30 percent. By the end of his tenure as president, the economic impact of the University reached $225 million per year.

Oran P. Smith, a CCU trustee since 1993, shared the following remarks about Ingle: “When the Coastal Carolina University board of trustees met for the first time in July 1993, Dr. Ron Ingle was acting chancellor of USC-Coastal Carolina. But very quickly, we on the founding board learned that the presidency was no great stretch for Ron. He was destined to be a college president and was incredibly effective at it. The keys to Ron’s success as president, I think, were his coolness under pressure, and his ability to bring people of starkly differing opinions together for the good of Coastal.”

In 2004-2005, he led CCU’s 50th Anniversary Initiatives, an ambitious capital campaign to raise $10 million to support the academic, physical, and athletic needs of the University. In May 2005, the campaign surpassed its goal and raised more than $14 million in gifts and pledges. 

Ingle guided the establishment of CCU’s traditions – the University seal, mace, and alma mater. He orchestrated the 2003 launch of Chanticleer football, which has generated increased loyalty from the campus community, alumni, and area supporters. CCU won the Big South Conference George F. “Buddy” Sasser Cup trophy for best overall athletic program for four straight years. 

Ingle and his wife, Judy, who was a curriculum coordinator and assistant principal in the Georgetown County School District, have always been steadfast advocates of education. In 2005, they established the Ron and Judy Ingle Endowed Scholarship for Dependent Children or Grandchildren of Coastal Carolina University Faculty and Staff, to encourage the pursuit of higher education within the University community. 

Ingle was recognized as an Honorary Founder of the University in 2006. The board of trustees voted to rename the Waccamaw residence hall – Ronald R. Ingle Hall – in his honor; the dedication was held in April 2011.