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Brittain Family Scholars Program established at CCU

August 15, 2016
Ann Brittain LeMayClay D. Brittain Jr.Brittain Hall

The Brittain family of Myrtle Beach has established the Brittain Family Scholars Program with a $500,000 gift to Coastal Carolina University. The endowed program, created to benefit high-achieving Horry County high school graduates, will offer one of the most academically and financially competitive scholarships available at CCU. The gift supports Coastal’s I’M IN endowment campaign, which has a goal of increasing the University’s endowment $20 million by 2020.

“Coastal Carolina University has meant a lot to the Brittain Family, especially to my late father-in-law and my mother-in-law, Clay and Patricia Brittain,” said Ann Brittain LeMay, who manages the Brittain Resorts & Hotels with Matthew Brittain, the brother of her late husband, David Brittain. “Clay was a visionary who realized the importance of higher education for everybody.”

In his acknowledgment of the gift, CCU President David A. DeCenzo said, “The Brittain family are longtime friends of Coastal Carolina University, and we are thankful for their generous support of the University through the years. Clay Brittain understood the value of higher education and led by example as the University grew into the diverse and dynamic institution it is today. He was a guiding force in its development, and the establishment of the Brittain Family Scholars Program continues his legacy of giving back to his community.”

The Brittain Family Scholars Program will award up to two $10,000 scholarships each academic year. To be eligible for the scholarship, Horry County students must have earned a high school GPA of at least 3.75 and have an SAT score of at least 1,400 or an ACT score of least 32. Recipients must also have extensive community involvement.

“The Brittain family has always been very pro-education,” said Brittain LeMay, “believing that it is very important for people of all walks of life to have a good education. We have been blessed with our businesses, and we always look for opportunities to give back what we have been given. Supporting Coastal Carolina University through the Brittain Scholars Program is a perfect fit.”

According to Brittain LeMay, the Brittain family recognizes Coastal’s longstanding record of careful fiscal management and its emphasis on student success. “Coastal is concerned about the community and its place in the community. CCU provides a great education for its students. The Grand Strand area is fortunate to have a first-class university. There are lots of things to support locally, and we feel Coastal Carolina University is a great choice.”

Clay D. Brittain Jr. was a pioneer in the Myrtle Beach area’s tourism industry. He was chairman of the board emeritus of the Myrtle Beach National Company and was involved in many leading business enterprises in the Grand Strand area, including the Sea Captain’s House and the Chesterfield Inn. Brittain was active in the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce and Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday. He died in February 2016.

A longtime supporter of Coastal Carolina University, Brittain was named an honorary founder of the University in 1995. He was a member of the Coastal Educational Foundation from 1976 to 2016, and served a term as president. Brittain was instrumental in the establishment of the University’s PGA golf management program. In 2001, the Clay Brittain Jr. Center for Resort Tourism was established in CCU’s E. Craig Wall Sr. College of Business Administration. A campus academic and office building was named in his honor in 2013.

Brittain was awarded the honorary degree Doctor of Public Service at CCU’s May 2009 commencement ceremony.