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Terri DeCenzo receives Order of the Silver Crescent

February 12, 2016

Terri DeCenzo, executive director of Women in Philanthropy and Leadership (WIPL) for Coastal Carolina University, has been awarded the Order of the Silver Crescent by South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley. The award, one of the state’s highest honors, is given to individuals for significant contributions, leadership. volunteerism and lifelong influence within a region or community of the state.

The award was presented to DeCenzo in Myrtle Beach during WIPL’s annual Women’s Leadership Conference and Celebration of Inspiring Women, an event she has spearheaded since becoming the organization’s executive director in 2007.

In a message accompanying the award, Haley commended DeCenzo for her leadership in establishing the conference and for her significant legacy of community service. “[You] have been a wonderful inspiration to others, and your contributions will have a lasting impact for our state for years to come.”

Under DeCenzo’s leadership, WIPL has awarded more than $172,500 in scholarships to 122 deserving CCU students. The annual Women’s Leadership Conference and Celebration of Inspiring Women has become the organization’s signature event and has featured more than 250 world-class speakers and has honored 30 exceptional women whose lives have made a significant impact in South Carolina, the nation and beyond.

DeCenzo, the wife of CCU President David A. DeCenzo, actively participates on the board of directors for South Carolina Catholic Charities. She served on the American Red Cross board and on the Foundation Board for Georgetown Hospital System, as well as on the Health Advisory Committee for the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AACSU), the Horry County March of Dimes March for Babies (2010 and 2011 as co-chair), and was an adviser to the Safe Families Initiative that has established a Family Justice Center in Georgetown County. Additionally, she has worked with a youth ministry, Habitat for Humanity and the Cancer Coalition.

In April 2015, the Zonta Club of Myrtle Beach recognized her with its Gold Star Award for leadership and dedication to initiatives that “improve the legal, political, economic, educational, health and professional status of women and girls.”