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CCU Atheneum: Pat Singleton-Young at her retirement ceremony in 2018. She retired after 38 years of service to CCU.
Pat Singleton-Young at her retirement ceremony in 2018. She retired after 38 years of service to CCU.

The legacy of Mrs. Pat Singleton-Young, in the words of her colleagues

by Melanie Smith
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On a beautiful last Friday of March, the Coastal Carolina University community joined President David A. DeCenzo, and the Board of Trustees in honoring Mrs. Pat Singleton-Young by dedicating the Pat Singleton-Young Residence Hall. Formerly CINO Hall, the residence hall was named in honor of Singleton-Young’s 38 years of services to the University and its community.

Singleton-Young began at Coastal as a first-generation college student in the fall of 1971. She earned a psychology degree in 1975 and continued to pursue the master’s program in counselor education. From taking a leadership role in the Office of Student Activities to joining Student Government Association and the newspaper and yearbook staffs, Singleton-Young has always been immersed in the culture of Coastal.

Singleton-Young accepted one of the first graduate assistantships offered at Coastal in the Office of Student Affairs, leading her to becoming the director of student activities due to her tenacity and hard work. Her roles since then ranged from academic adviser to assistant dean of student services.

Some of her impactful achievements include creating the University’s first two-day Orientation program, planning the first Welcome Week in 2007 and broadening the scope of diversity objectives on campus. She made her mark through planned programming for Black History Month, to creating an African American Celebration series, to organizing the annual Cultural Celebration.

The most significant impact Singleton-Young made was on the students. Her student-focus approach to everything she did within her career allowed her to advise and guide students while becoming like family. Coastal’s Student Government Association created the Patricia Singleton-Young Student Advocate Award and named her the first recipient in 2007.

“It’s always about the students,” Singleton-Young is known for sharing when asked about her time at Coastal. This feature is about Singleton-Young as a handful of close friends and coworkers reflect on their time spent and impacted by her.

“Working with Mrs. Pat at CCU over the past 33 plus years are filled with nothing but good memories. We were instrumental in the chartering of Rho Pi chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, and served together as advisers for over 14 years, nurturing young female students to become leaders and involved in campus activities while maintaining high scholastically achievements as a chapter and individually.

“Mrs. Pat motivated, showed genuine love and concern for all students she came in contact with regardless of race, ethnicity or social status/background ... they all were important to her. As she stated so many times, “The students are the reason we're here.”

I truly must say, Mrs. Pat went beyond the call of duty, going the extra mile(s) to help all students at CCU to reach their full potential and become successful in their future endeavors. I recall many nights Mrs. Pat staying late on-campus and me telling her it's time to go home to your family, but looking back now, the CCU family was a big part of her life, as well. Congratulations to my co-worker, sorority sister and friend on a JOB WELL DONE!”

Carolyn Hickman-Williams, CCU retiree 2018

“I have known Mrs. Pat for more than 15 years. She hired me in January of 2004 as the administrative specialist for the Office of Multicultural Student Services (MSS), now known as Intercultural and Inclusion Student Services (IISS). I learned so much from Mrs. Pat, as she is affectionately known. I came to Coastal from the private sector and I did not know anything about how higher education functioned. Mrs. Pat taught me much of what I know, and I am forever grateful. She has been a mother and a mentor to many students. Her service and dedication to Coastal has been given from a pure heart. She truly loves the students!

If I had to use a scripture from the Bible to describe Mrs. Pat, it would be Proverbs 31:28 (the first clause): ‘Her children rise up and call her blessed.’”

Bertha Fladger, program assistant, IISS

“Mrs. Pat gave me the opportunity to become a part of the Coastal community when she hired me in March 1996. Learning from her was a wealth of knowledge. I could ask her anything and she would be able to tell me where to go and who to contact. If you were looking for a specific document on her desk, where she kept “stacks” of organized papers, she could actually tell you which stack and how far down within to locate the item—amazing! Watching her interactions with faculty, staff and especially students helped me to recognize the importance of making positive and lasting connections.

“Her passion and love for students was contagious, and I quickly realize that a job is not just a job if you truly love what you’re doing! She would always say – “it’s all about the students and if there were no students, there would be no us.” When meeting Mrs. Pat, students fell in love with her and gravitated towards her, eager to learn and get involved. I believe connecting with students, empowering and watching them grow brought her the most satisfaction knowing that she helped to mold and shape them into active student leaders, role models and responsible adults. I could go on and on, but…

“Mrs. Pat’s impact on campus will always be known and felt. Students whose lives she touched and influenced will ALWAYS have a story to share about their encounter with her and how she helped changed their lives. Events like Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s Visit, Cultural Celebration, CINO Day, Homecoming will always serve as a platform for students (then and now) to reminisce what she offered throughout her many years at Coastal.”

Diane Wilson, fiscal technician, Office of Student Life

“Pat was always one of the most welcoming and caring colleagues on campus. She asked after my children. She remembered their comings and goings almost better than I did. She consistently provided the model for how to get to know and listen to our students, but her most profound impact on me was modeling how to care for and pay attention to my colleagues.

“There are almost innumerable examples of Pat stopping to check in on a colleague as she moved around campus, using the moments before and after meetings to advance her relationships and not an agenda, and – since her agenda was always students – reminding all of us that they should be our focus at all times. A huge smile grows on my face each time I think of Pat because her laugh and a warm embrace are always the first things I remember.”

Stephen Harrison, vice president, auxiliary enterprises

“For decades, Mrs. Pat Singleton-Young has made a significant impact on the lives of many at Coastal Carolina University and beyond; she offered students, faculty, staff and others a historical institutional perspective through the lens of an African-American woman. Her storytelling was heartfelt because it was her truth to share with others.

“As an alumnus of CCU and former student affairs’ professional (administrator, student adviser, activities coordinator, band booster, problem solver, tailgater, acting director of most student affairs’ offices, and etc.), her legacy will live on in the hearts and minds of those who remember her contributions. Future Chanticleers will be reminded of her legacy when they ask, “why was this residence hall named after an African-American woman?” I am thankful for being in the right place at the right time to have developed a meaningful relationship with a living legend of Coastal Carolina University.”

Caesar C. Ross III., director, student health services


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