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From the President

The Impact of Coastal

President DeCenzo

You may have heard or seen messages recently about the positive impacts of Coastal Carolina University on the surrounding communities and on the State of South Carolina. The latest economic research reveals that CCU impacts South Carolina to the tune of $565.8 million dollars annually—that equates to $1.5 million dollars every single day!

The graph on Page 38 illustrates the tremendous impact CCU exerts on the economy of our region. Of course, economics is only one part of the picture.

CCU has been so integral to the fortunes of our region for so long that we are in danger of taking it for granted. For that reason, it might prove instructive to try to imagine—as in the movie It’s a Wonderful Life—what life here would be like without Coastal Carolina University.

Try to picture the Horry County-Grand Strand region if CCU had never been born. Imagine how K-12 education in the area would have been stunted for the past 60 years with no Spadoni College of Education to train our teachers in the latest innovative classroom methodology and provide them with graduate-level continuing studies.

Imagine our area without the scientific research that has contributed to the environmental quality of our waterways and marine life and to our knowledge of the intricate balance of ecosystems encompassing our ocean, our shoreline and our atmosphere.

Imagine our area without the business acumen supplied by our Wall College, which has furnished the Grand Strand region with incomparable talent in management, marketing, accounting, finance and entrepreneurship.

Imagine our area without the cultural vibrancy offered through the programs of our Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts—the plays, art exhibitions, musical concerts, public sculpture, community discussion forums, and lecture series featuring famous speakers.

Imagine our area without the sports programs that have meant so much to the development of countless student leaders. Imagine never having the thrill of watching your home university win the College World Series.

Imagine our area without the thousands of CCU alumni who are represented in every occupation and profession and who contribute immeasurably to the civic tapestry of our society—to our churches, our charitable funds and community organizations. Many who have graduated are now in positions with hiring authority, and they reach back to pull other alumni up with them, opening doors and providing networking opportunities.

When I reflect on Coastal’s visionary founding fathers and mothers, I am in awe of how the seeds they planted have grown. Today, CCU’s reach extends far beyond our immediate five-county region to serve the state, the nation and the globe with world-class educational experiences, cultural opportunities and economic strength. Coastal Carolina University is on the world map, more widely known than ever before. This is a university on the move. How truly fortunate we are to be a part of this dynamic Teal Nation!

David A. DeCenzo, President