• pic7

    BOUNDLESS Totals

    Surpassing its $125 million goal, the BOUNDLESS Campaign was the largest and most successful philanthropic engagement campaign in the College's 246-year history.

    Learn More
    Total BOUNDLESS Donors
    Total amount raised
  • pic3

    BOUNDLESS Scholarships

    Scholarships were a primary campaign priority. Students are directly impacted by scholarship giving. Let’s keep up that BOUNDLESS spirit!

    Give Back Today
    Scholarship donors
    Total raised for scholarships
    Of BOUNDLESS Total
  • packages2

    BOUNDLESS Alumni

    In a show of BOUNDLESS (and record-breaking) alumni engagement, more than 10,000 alumni gave back to their alma mater.

    Alumni Roll Call
    Alumni Donors
    Alumni Gifts
  • packages2

    BOUNDLESS Academics

    With the BOUNDLESS generosity of its donors, the College will enter into its next era of distinction with the new program funds and new faculty funds needed for BOUNDLESS academic and student enhancements.

    Learn More
    Of BOUNDLESS Total
    Total raised for academic/student enhancement
  • pic7

    BOUNDLESS Annual Giving

    Annual giving provides scholarship support to students every day and is a vital source for unique opportunities.

    Ways to Give
    Annual Giving Funds
    Total raised for Annual Giving
  • packages2

    BOUNDLESS Facilities

    BOUNDLESS creativity, collaboration and innovation in learning and research begin here: in the state-of-the-art facilities and classrooms made possible through the campaign.

    Donate Today
    Total raised for Facilities

BOUNDLESS, the College of Charleston’s largest-ever comprehensive fundraising campaign, culminated on June 30, 2016. It marks a new era of distinction at the College, with record-breaking achievements that include the amount of funds raised, the number of donors who participated and the level of alumni engagement. Now is our time! It's all built up to this - the conclusion of the College’s comprehensive BOUNDLESS initiative launching us into our next era of distinction. But – while the BOUNDLESS Campaign might be over - when it comes to impact, there’s no end in sight. BOUNDLESS is just the beginning. Where it goes from here is up to the continued support from donors like you. Because, when you’re BOUNDLESS, you can’t be stopped. BOUNDLESS is a comprehensive fundraising initiative to shape the next era of distinction for the College. Help us reach our goal of having at least 10,000 alumni donors by making a donation today. With only three months to go, please join 9,760 of our fellow alumni who have already donated to help us reach this historic goal. Now is our time!


Scholarship Shows Appreciation for Service in S.C. Education

Former state representative Floyd Breeland has always had a role in education – as a

Former state representative Floyd Breeland has always had a role in education – as a teacher, principal and administrator in the public school system for 33 years and as an advocate for education in Charleston for more than five decades. Breeland has also been active in many civic organizations and in his church, Mother Emanuel A.M.E.
To recognize Breeland’s significant contribution to education, the School of Education, Health, and Human Performance launched an initiative to raise at least $50,000 to endow the Representative Floyd Breeland Scholarship, to be awarded annually to a minority male student in the College of Charleston’s teacher education program.

“I am thrilled we have funded the Representative Floyd Breeland Endowed Scholarship with over 250 donors contributing,” says Fran Welch, dean of the School of Education, Health, and Human Performance. “Representative Breeland currently directs the College’s Call Me MISTER Program and is very beloved on our campus and in the community. We are committed to increasing diversity in the state’s teaching force, and this newly endowed scholarship will assist us in reaching our goal.”

Breeland is a native of Badham, S.C., and graduated from Williams Memorial High School in St. George before going on to earn a B.A. in English from Allen University in Columbia, S.C., and a M.S. in secondary school administration from Indiana University. For 16 years, Breeland served in the S.C. House of Representatives, District 111, in Charleston, sponsoring several pieces of major legislation and serving on multiple committees before he retired in 2008.

Shortly after retiring, Breeland was asked by Dean Welch to be the director of the College of Charleston Call Me MISTER (Mentors Instructing Students Toward Effective Role Models) Program, a highly acclaimed initiative that addresses the critical shortage of African American male teachers, particularly among South Carolina’s lowest performing elementary and middle schools.

Trends show the number of minority students rising while the number of minority teachers stays the same or declines in our state. We’re committed to building the ranks of minority teachers by financially supporting promising future professionals. As part of the “Changing the Face of Teaching” initiative, this scholarship addresses the critical need for more qualified teachers from diverse backgrounds in South Carolina and helps close the achievement gap in the state’s schools.

Scholarship recipients will receive the teaching skills necessary to lead a classroom of diverse learners and become positive role models for their students. And that is something that Breeland is honored to represent.


A Living Legacy

Emotions were running high when Celeste West and Brandon Phillips embraced that September evening. They

Emotions were running high when Celeste West and Brandon Phillips embraced that September evening. They didn’t know each other: this student embarking on his first year of college and this mother who’d lost her only son just a year before. But it was clear that a bond was already there, forged by the impact that Franklin Barker West and his legacy had had on their lives.

A native of Alexandria, Va., Barker West was headed to a University of Virginia football game with his Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity brothers when he was killed in a car accident in September 2013. He was a sophomore at the College with plans to major in international business and minor in Asian studies.

“Coming to the College of Charleston certainly made an impact on Barker,” says his mother. “His heart was definitely in Charleston. He absolutely loved the College and the city.”

And if the outpouring of support from his fraternity brothers and other members of the campus community is any indication, the College absolutely loved him, too. Upon Barker’s death, his fraternity brothers raised money for buses to take students to Virginia for the funeral. When they raised more than $30,000 (the goal had been $4,000), they gave $12,000 to the Wounded Warriors Project in Barker’s name and used $16,000 to start the Franklin Barker West Memorial Scholarship Fund, which has continued to grow.

“We cannot think of a more meaningful way to honor our sweet Barker and to keep his memory alive than to have a scholarship in his name that will assist future students at the College in achieving their educational goals,” says Celeste West. “And I couldn’t have asked for a better choice for the inaugural recipient. Brandon reminds me so much of Barker, and he is so deserving of the scholarship.”

“I am proud to be fulfilling Barker’s legacy,” says Phillips, who met the West family when they came to campus for the Alumni Scholars Reception. “It was overwhelming for all of us – we were all just overcome with emotion. They told me that Barker would be proud and that they saw Barker in me. That meant so much, especially when I learned what an outgoing, involved guy he was. It was really good to connect with his family, and it encouraged me to get more involved.”

An Eagle Scout, Phillips arrived at the College with more than 300 hours of community service already under his belt – mostly from volunteering with kids at day camps and at a special needs school. Now a rising senior in the Honors College, the business administration major has continued to be involved with the greater community – volunteering with an after-school program in North Charleston and even running and managing his own house-painting business through the Student Painters program. Frankly, he says, he wouldn’t have the time for such meaningful experiences if it weren’t for the Barker West Scholarship.

“This scholarship relieves the financial burden of school so that I can concentrate on my studies and my community service work. It allows me to join clubs and really branch out and grow while I’m here,” he says. “It gives me a chance to bolster my résumé and work on my inner self and do things that will really make a difference in my future – like studying abroad. I want to go expand my horizons and really open up the world for myself.”

And, for that, he thanks not just the support of the Barker West Scholarship, but of the West family itself.
“They greeted me with such open arms, and it showed that I had a whole other support system backing me up,” says Phillips. “It means a lot to know people believe in me. It empowers me and makes me want to work harder to carry on Barker’s legacy.”

More than anything, Phillips says, “Now that I’m connected to his family, I just want to make them proud.”


Inspiring Leaders

Education: It’s the gift that keeps on giving. And – with the establishment of the

Education: It’s the gift that keeps on giving. And – with the establishment of the Martin Scholars Program – Thomas R. Martin and his wife Wanda are guaranteeing that the inaugural class of Martin Scholars will have an impact on generations and generations to come.

Created to inspire future generations of leaders and mentors among outstanding communication majors and minors at the College of Charleston, the Martin Scholars Program provides invaluable networking opportunities for students to meet with leaders in the communication profession. In turn, the Martin Scholars and the outreach they do will build positive awareness of the Department of Communication and the College of Charleston.

Tom Martin, who first became involved with the College when he joined the Department of Communication’s advisory council in 2004, has served as the communication department’s executive-in-residence since 2007, when he retired from his post as senior vice president of corporate relations at ITT Corporation, a global engineering company. Now that he’s in the classroom, his top priorities are improving students’ writing skills and decision-making skills so that they are ready to navigate the real world strategically, ethically and credibly. He also encourages students to focus on giving back.

And he and Wanda, who serves as a literacy tutor with the Reading Partners at James Simons Elementary, are leading by example. The Martins believe that one of the most important forces shaping a progressive society is the mentoring of future generations by parents, teachers, coaches, employers and others who encourage and inspire great things. By creating the Martin Scholars Program, they hope to inspire the future generation of mentors among today’s outstanding communication students at the College.

In other words, their gift is one that will keep on giving. And that is how you make a real, boundless, impact.


Scholarship Is One More Reason to Choose CofC

There are a million reasons to choose the College of Charleston – just ask Salvador

There are a million reasons to choose the College of Charleston – just ask Salvador Lopez Rivera.

“Besides its ideal location in a me¬dium-sized city in a coastal area and its liberal arts focus with the perfect amount of students and academic options,” the senior Honors student says, “the College is a very respectable institution in the state and the country.”
Still, he says, “The financial aid I was offered made me choose this institution to pursue my bachelor’s degree.”

A recipient of the John Newell Annual Honors Scholarship, Rivera is grateful for the financial support he’s received to pursue his studies.

“It makes a great difference in my life, because otherwise I wouldn’t be able to continue to study and enrich my life in many other ways here at the College of Charleston,” says the William Aiken Fellow, who is also a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, SPECTRA, the history and French clubs, the Secular Stu¬dent Alliance and the Honors Student Association. “My parents unfortunately do not have the means to support my education, so my scholarships enabled me to continue my education and acquire experience that will help me have a professional career one day.”

It is Rivera’s goal to teach at the university level one day. For now, however, the Camden, S.C., native is happy to be the student, double majoring in history and French and Francophone studies.

“I chose French because I am a Francophile and because French is one of the most important languages for the study of the humanities and is present everywhere in the world. In addition, history encompasses the study of humanity itself: its beliefs, social organization, economic systems and cultural traits. Both de¬grees will help me to become a scholar some day,” he says. “I enjoy learning about how the past influences our present and how we can learn from the actions of others.”

One lesson he’s already learned is the impact of philanthropy. Needless to say, the gift Rivera received to support his education will continue to influence his present for many years to come.


The Universal Language of Philanthropy

Yuhong Tu ’16 often struggled to be understood during his years at the College. As

Yuhong Tu ’16 often struggled to be understood during his years at the College. As a native of Nanchang, Jiangxi, in China, the music major’s English was good, but like any non-native speaker, some things got lost in translation.

This is one reason that Tu has always loved music.

“Music is a pure form of communication. I love to express myself, so I love to play music,” says Tu, whose instrument of choice is a 100-plus-year-old German violin, a gift from music appreciator Nelson Hicks, whose late wife used to play it. Tu plays it in her memory. “I love the violin because of the unique sound quality and the beautiful shape.”

Tu’s love, talent and tireless dedication to the violin have already taken him around the world to study in Charleston – thanks in large part scholarships from the CofC School of the Arts Dean’s Excellence Fund, Lee Harwood Memorial, Kite Foundation in Strings, Koger Wichmann, Isabella Mebane, Virginia Zeigler Potter, John A. Ziegler Jr. Travel Fund for Music, Zeigler and Williams and International Piano.

“The scholarships I received at the College of Charleston made studying in the United States possible for me,” says Tu, who will be pursuing his masters of music and pedagogy at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University this fall.

“While in Charleston, I have become the concertmaster with the CofC Orchestra, played in the Young Artist Series in Piccolo Spoleto for four years and performed several concerts around the community. …The College has served as my support system from day one, and I am forever grateful for the generosity of its donors.”


Cougar Pride From Fan to Philanthropy

What inspires a man from New Jersey who did not attend the College of Charleston

What inspires a man from New Jersey who did not attend the College of Charleston to become a leadership donor to Cougar Athletics?

“Everything I have done with the College of Charleston and athletics has been such a pleasant experience,” says Bob Newhouse, who committed a generous gift through his estate to support the Cougar Club and men’s basketball. “The atmosphere is so conducive to being involved, that, for a sports lover like me, investing financially is the natural progression to my activities as an all-around fan of the Cougars and season ticketholder for men’s basketball.”

Newhouse came to Charleston a decade ago from New Jersey by way of Tampa, Fla., and Washington, D.C., before that. He spent his career providing educational media to schools and continues to work on a contract basis. Over the years, some of Newhouse’s friends and family members relocated the Lowcountry – so, when it was time for him to think about retiring, Newhouse put Charleston at the top of his list.

Once he relocated to Charleston, Newhouse, a dyed-in-the-wool sports fan, reconnected with his friend from his New Jersey days, who took him to his first men’s basketball game. He was hooked.

He and his buddy bought season tickets and enjoyed attending the games together until his friend’s death last year. Newhouse is carrying on the tradition by continuing to be a season ticketholder.

When updating his will last summer, Newhouse and his attorney, a CofC alumnus who knew of his affinity for the Cougars, discussed including Cougar Athletics as a beneficiary. He met with associate athletic director for development T.J. Isaacs and athletic director Joe Hull to discuss his options in supporting the College.

“My meetings with T.J. and Joe were very informative,” he says. “I gained a better understanding of how the athletics budget works and how careful they have to be with how they spend their budget and how they give
scholarships. I wanted to support the College’s athletics enterprise in general as well as the men’s basketball team, and they helped me learn how I can make a difference by giving.”

Newhouse believes that the athletics programs give the community a way to get involved with the College, especially for those who aren’t former students or otherwise engaged with the school. In fact, he plays on a senior basketball team and plans to get more of them enthused about Cougar Athletics.

“I’m happy to spread the word about such a great place,” he says.

It just goes to show, there are boundless reasons to give to the College of Charleston.


Inspiring a Lifelong Educational Journey Through Scholarship

Hoping to expand her horizons, Sondrica Goines chose the College of Charleston because she felt

Hoping to expand her horizons, Sondrica Goines chose the College of Charleston because she felt the CofC faculty would have faith in her and push her out of her comfort zone. Never one to shy away from a challenge, Goines chose to major in chemistry because she knew that the field would challenge her to learn more.

“Chemists are constantly learning and making new discoveries that are relevant to our society, and I felt that a degree in chemistry would allow me to use my skill set to contribute to the world I live in while allowing me to remain a student within my trade,” says the junior, who – as a recipient of the Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation Scholarship – has been working hard for the past two years not just to be a good student, but to be able to pay it forward.

“Coming from a single-parent household, I knew that scholarships were the only way I could obtain the education I’d need to give back to society,” says the Columbia, S.C., native, adding that she sees her educational journey as a holistic one – and that she hopes that journey is inspiring to others. “I hope to show children with a similar background to mine that they can conquer anything as long as they work to achieve their goals. And, with the generosity of my donor, I am able to set an example for them and take the first step in achieving my own goals.”


A Moving Tribute

Michael Bennett isn’t really one to sit idly by. He’s a man of movement, of

Michael Bennett isn’t really one to sit idly by. He’s a man of movement, of enterprise. He doesn’t have the patience for hesitation. He can’t wait to take action. The way he sees it, you don’t get very far just sitting still.

Which is precisely why Bennett dropped out of school during his junior year at the College.

“I couldn’t stand sitting in those classrooms,” says Bennett, who came to the College as a part-time student after a couple years at the University of South Carolina. “There was just too much to do outside of those four walls.”

To be fair, Bennett had a lot going on: He was the owner of a bicycle and moped rental business on Market Street, a bellman at the Mills House, an intermittent deck hand on a cruise ship and a boxing champion (East Coast, 1972) in Olympic training.

It was working on some Glebe Street renovations with the College’s maintenance crew, however, that really motivated him.

“That’s when I started my life education,” says Bennett, who – after six months learning from the crewmembers – sold his moped business and started buying and fixing up properties around Charleston. “I used what I learned at the College from those older African American gentlemen on that crew, and that’s how I started my career.”

That was 37 years ago, when he founded Bennett Hospitality, a development company that now owns eight restaurants and 16 hotels, with many other properties in development.

“The College taught me what I needed to know to be successful. The irony is, I got my education from working there, not going there,” observes Bennett. “I got so much from my experience with that crew on Glebe Street. I owe a lot to them.”

That’s why, upon hearing about the Mother Emanuel tragedy last June, Bennett jumped into action. He picked up the phone and called the College. Within minutes, he was setting up the “Mother” Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church Endowed Scholarship to honor the victims.

“It was pretty spontaneous. It was purely emotional. I was so overwhelmed by the grace, the forgiveness, with which the community handled it; it blew my mind. This was my reaction to those beautiful, forgiving people,” he says, adding, “I didn’t want just to write a check. That just felt impersonal for a tragedy that was so close to home.”

Not to mention close to his heart: Some of the men he worked with at the College lived close to the Calhoun Street church – and likely attended it as well.

“The idea of helping the people of Emanuel AME is moving to me. And I think it’d be especially moving if it helps a relative of the people who I used to work with at the College all those years ago. I think that would be a beautiful thing,” says Bennett, noting that the scholarship will be awarded for the first time this fall and is open to any minority student from the Charleston peninsula.

“For me, it’s come completely full circle, because I’m giving back to the people
who educated me so well and launched my career,” continues Bennett. “I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for them. They are the ones who prompted me down my life’s path – they got me going.”

And, of course, once he was going, he never sat idle again.


Community Leader Extends the Gift of Inspiration to Generations of Change Agents

A unique scholarship program at the College of Charleston is helping a group of high-achieving

A unique scholarship program at the College of Charleston is helping a group of high-achieving young women develop leadership skills and to advocate for important community causes and social issues.

Established by businesswoman, community leader and philanthropist Linda Ketner, the Ketner Emerging Leaders Scholarships provide financial assistance to students interested in women’s and gender studies as well as social justice, public service and civil leadership.

Ketner hopes to inspire students to become agents of change through public service and community engagement, just as she has done throughout her career. Ketner, president of KSI Corporation and a Democratic candidate for Congress in 2008, has served as board president of the Coastal Community Foundation and One-Eighty Place (formerly Crisis Ministries). In addition to serving as founder and chair of the Mayor’s Council on Homelessness and Affordable Housing and the S.C. Housing Trust Fund, she is a co-founder of S.C. Citizens for Housing and founder and past president of the Alliance for Full Acceptance and the S.C. Equality Coalition. Ketner is a former member of the College’s women’s and gender studies program advisory board and currently serves on the President’s Community Advisory Board.

“I hope the Ketner Scholars will not simply volunteer, but be change agents,” Ketner says. “Good ideas really are a dime a dozen. Much more rare and of value are individuals who take action to implement good ideas. My hope is that the scholarships reward and encourage students who think deeply, think long-term, think inclusively and then take action on behalf of a better community, state and world.”


Scholarships Offer Student a World of Discovery

Growing up in Spartanburg, S.C., Quinten Meadors could best be described as inquisitive. Always asking

Growing up in Spartanburg, S.C., Quinten Meadors could best be described as inquisitive. Always asking his mother how and why things worked eventually led Meadors to pursue a degree in biology at the College of Charleston.

“Biology gives me the background knowledge and skills needed to further explore my childhood joy of theorizing and uncovering the operations of the world around me,” says the Honors College senior.

In the future, Meadors hopes to pursue a degree in emergency medicine and open his own clinic to make healthcare available in underserved and disadvantaged communities.

With scholarships from unrestricted funds like the College of Charleston Fund and the Honors College Dean’s Excellence Fund, Meadors is on his way to reaching that dream.

“Receiving these scholarships has alleviated much of the financial burden for my family and me,” he says. “I know it will go a long way in aiding me in future pursuits.”

Actually, the scholarships have taken him a long way already: They allowed him to leave the United States for the first time and to conduct biomedical research in Singapore.

“I began participating in scientific lab research the first month I came to the College, but I never dreamed that my love for science would take me abroad,” says Meadors.

Of course, traveling just tickled Meadors’ curiosity even more. And, with a whole world to investigate out there, there is no telling where his inquisitive spirit will lead him next.


Scholarship Inspires Confidence and Career

Ka’Dedra Andrea Creech didn’t know when she was going to get her next meal. She

Ka’Dedra Andrea Creech didn’t know when she was going to get her next meal. She didn’t know how she was going to wash her clothes. She was starting to wonder if she could stay in college.

And then she received the J. Gorman ’43 and Gladys Thomas Alumni Scholarship.

“That scholarship changed everything for me. It let me focus on my studies and not be so hungry,” says the senior double majoring in biology and Hispanic Studies. “It was a really hard time in my college career. I still get emotional about it.”

Established by Gary W. Thomas ’83, an oncologist in Hilton Head Island, S.C., in memory of his parents, the scholarship is reserved for students who are planning a career in medicine – something that Creech has been determined to do for as long as she can remember.

“The one thing that impresses me most about Andrea is her total dedication to achieving her goal for a career in medicine. She will let nothing stand in her way,” says Thomas. “We could not have chosen a more deserving student.”
Creech appreciates Thomas’ confidence in her just as much as the scholarship money.

“Knowing Gary believes in me goes a long way. Every time we talk, he just uplifts me three notches,” she says. “Anytime I need Gary, he’s there. Even if it’s last minute, Gary always comes through. He’s not someone who just threw some money at me and walked away – he wants to be part of my success.”

Creech’s most recent success has landed her at Yale University for the summer: As part of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Exceptional Research Opportunities Program, she is spending 12 weeks with a Yale research team studying type 2 diabetes, a lifelong passion of hers.

When Creech returns to Charleston this fall, she’ll continue pursuing her medical career dreams: volunteering for CofC EMS, continuing her MUSC lab research and applying to physician assistant schools.

And, thanks to Thomas, she won’t be worried about her next meal. She’s got plenty on her plate.


Scholarship Shows Alumnus’ Faith in the CofC Experience

During his four years as a student, Jerry Polis ’62 was a recipient of the

During his four years as a student, Jerry Polis ’62 was a recipient of the S.S. Solomons Scholarship, which affords financial assistance to students of Jewish faith. Because of his deep affinity for his College of Charleston experience and his gratitude to the donor who supported him as a student, Polis and his wife Beth created and endowed the Gerald and Beth Polis Scholarship. Their investment will help attract talented students of Jewish faith to matriculate to the College and thrive as students, just as Polis did. The first recipient of the Gerald and Beth Polis Scholarship will enter the College in fall 2016.

“I am deeply grateful to the College for the quality education I received, as well as the meaningful social life I enjoyed during my four years as a student, both of which significantly prepared for the challenges of life,” says Jerry Polis. “To now be able to provide financial assistance to others so that they too may enjoy a College of Charleston experience is extremely rewarding.”


How a Scholarship Made a Dream Come True

When her family moved to the Charleston area during her junior year of high school,

When her family moved to the Charleston area during her junior year of high school, Carissa Jenkins ’16 felt she was destined to go to the College of Charleston. It was love at first sight.

“The moment I stepped onto the College of Charleston campus for my first tour was the moment I knew the College was perfect for me,” says Jenkins, noting that, ultimately, it came down to finances. “Luckily, the College of Charleston was able to offer me a scholarship, so my dream could come true!”

A four-year recipient of the R. Keith and Melissa G. Sauls Scholarship, Carissa earned her degree in business administration and accounting and is pursuing a master’s in accountancy in the University of Charleston, South Carolina. She hopes to earn her Certified Public Accounting license and would one day like to pay it forward.

“I will always thank my donor for allowing me to make my dreams a reality,” she says. “I can’t even fathom where I would be today without the many opportunities I have had at the College, from the great professors, networking connections, to being a resident assistant. The College of Charleston has shaped me into the adult I am today.”


A CofC Education Goes a Long Way

Beaufort, S.C., native Malcolm Kates may not have gone far to get to the College

Beaufort, S.C., native Malcolm Kates may not have gone far to get to the College of Charleston – but he’s made sure the educational opportunities he’s had here will go a long, long way.

A senior double majoring in biology and international studies, the Swanson Scholar and McLeod-Frampton Scholar knows that his education is a luxury and feels fortunate to be able to focus on academics.

“I feel as though I can truly speak to what your generosity has done for me,” he says, addressing Steve ’89 and Emily Molony Swanson ’89, who established the Swanson Scholars Program to help bring the brightest students to CofC’s Honors College. “Your gift has allowed me to put finances aside and focus on my academics and campus involvement.”

And he has certainly made the most of both: Not only is the William Aiken Fellow a member of the Charleston 40, the CofC tennis club and the International Scholars Program, he’s also an Honors Ambassador and a peer facilitator for Cougar Excursion.

What’s more: He recently received the National Institutes of Health Postbac Intramural Research Training Award to study genetically inherited muscular disorders in a National Institute of Neurological Disorders neurogenetics lab. In that environment of devoted exclusively to biomedical research, Kates will be working alongside some of the world’s leading scientists in the field.

So, he may not be far from home, but Kates is determined to take his education as far as it can go.


Boundless Opportunities Help First-Generation Student Break New Ground

It was cold, dark and rainy, but Meagan Dunham’s heart was as warm as it

It was cold, dark and rainy, but Meagan Dunham’s heart was as warm as it could be at the public launch of the College’s BOUNDLESS comprehensive campaign in November 2014. Speaking to the 400+ members of the College community gathered in the Cistern Yard that night, she felt a sense of hope and possibility – a sense of confidence she’d never had before.

“That was a groundbreaking moment for me. The impact I was making finally hit me,” says the junior, who spoke to the crowd that night about what scholarships have meant to her. “Looking out at all those people listening to what I had to say, I realized that what I said and did mattered. It was amazing. It really made me realize my potential – that I can go as far as I want to go and accomplish whatever I put my mind to.”

In high school back home in Marion, S.C., Dunham put her mind to going to college to study public health.

“I always liked school, and I always wanted to go to college – I just wanted to do something that was right for me,” she says. “I am the first person in my family to go to college, though, and I didn’t want to put the financial burden on my mom. I was so focused on the financial part of it – I just didn’t know if I could make it happen.”

But Dunham worked hard on her grades and her extracurricular activities (mostly community service), and – with the help of the Upward Bound Program – she applied for and was granted both a Pell Grant and a Legislative Incentive for Future Excellence (LIFE) Scholarship to go to the College of Charleston. As a first generation college student, she was also eligible to apply to the ROAR Scholars Program, which provides workshops and academic support to keep first-generation students on track for graduation.

Even with all the support, though, Dunham wasn’t sure she could hack it: She hadn’t factored in the cost of books and daily life, and she was going to have to take on multiple jobs in order to make it work.

“For the first two weeks on campus, I couldn’t focus on classes. I was so stressed out about finances, I couldn’t even focus enough to read my syllabi,” says the public health major. “When you’re stressed out about your financial means, you can’t focus on anything else. You can’t target your focus. All I could think about was how I could juggle two work-study jobs, a job somewhere on King Street and classes; how I was going to miss out on the whole college experience; how I wasn’t going to be able to go home for breaks because I’d have to be working. It was a lot to think about.”

She didn’t have to think long, though. Two weeks into her college career, Dunham was accepted into the Coca-Cola First Generation Scholars Program, granting her an additional $20,000 scholarship over four years, and received the James E. Clyburn/Rudolph Canzater Foundation Scholarship ($1,000, with the College granting a 2-to-1 matching scholarship).

“Those two scholarships changed everything,” says Dunham. “One minute I was worrying about paying for books and trying to figure out how to fit in jobs, and the next all I had to worry about was my education. It was amazing. It took so much stress off of me. I was able to focus on what is important – my education and my classes.”

And that’s exactly what she did – and continues to do.

“I don’t slack off,” she says. “I know how lucky I am to have these scholarships. And everyone in my family is so excited for me. They really want this for me. They’re all rooting for me, so that makes me push so much harder.”

“Meagan is a hard worker, shows a great deal of interest in the subject matter and is well regarded by her peers,” agrees Paul Gangarosa, Dunham’s mentor and an adjunct professor in the Department of Health and Human Performance. “She is a pleasure to have in class and consistently exceeds my expectations. I feel better knowing that she is the next generation of public health professionals.”

Indeed, Dunham’s future in public health is wide open, which, she says, is something that Gangarosa helped her realize.

“Dr. G. taught me basically that you can do whatever you want in this field – you just have to make it happen. And, with the resources and connections and tools he gives you to succeed, you can make it happen,” says Dunham, who hopes to go to Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health upon graduating from the College. “He showed me that public health is a boundless field – you just need the education toback it up.”

And, thanks to a few scholarships and the support of the College, Dunham is certainly getting the education to back up her goals.

“Since I’ve been here, making connections from class to class, I’ve realized that those connections really do make a whole education. That’s what is meant by a liberal arts education,” she says. “That’s what makes you a global student. And I think that’s important in life – you have to think roundly.”


On the Rise: How Philanthropy Lifted One Student to the Top

Growing up as a first-generation American in Columbia, S.C., and spending three years in her

Growing up as a first-generation American in Columbia, S.C., and spending three years in her parents’ native Nigeria, Sophia Emetu knows how important it is to have the support of others. She has seen how hard life can be, how much we rely on others’ generosity and help and, ultimately, how far we can go when we put in the effort.

And, with the help of the RISE Scholarship, she knows there are no limits to what she can do.
“Getting the RISE Scholarship means that I have the chance to prove that I’m worth believing in,” says Emetu, the inaugural recipient of the four-year needs-based Honors College scholarship. “It means that someone else believes that a small girl like me has a lot of potential.”

Emetu’s potential is clear to alumni Ben ’02 and Sara DeWolf ’02, who established the RISE Endowed Scholarship Fund last year. That gift has since prompted four other substantial gifts for the scholarship, which is (R)ecognizing (I)ntelligence, (S)trength and (E)ngagement, as its name specifies.

“The idea is to give access to education for really outstanding, motivated students who otherwise wouldn’t have the means to go to the Honors College,” says Ben DeWolf, a portfolio manager at Tower Research Capital, who regularly hires CofC graduates at his hedge fund. “A more educated population is good for everyone.”

“Part of education is learning about people who are different from you,” says Sara DeWolf, an Honors College graduate who is now a member of the Honors Advisory Board. “We’re helping provide a more diverse experience for students by giving them a wider range of perspectives to interact with.”
Emetu can appreciate the value in expanding your perspective.

“I learned so much from Nigeria. My time there changed my life, it gave me a whole other perspective, and it was there that I finally began to fully appreciate life,” she says, adding that, while “being part of two very different cultures is not an easy task, I feel fortunate to take what’s best from both cultures. I am glad I have the mix because I really get to think about what I want to do. I am not constrained to one side, if that makes sense.”

Not that Emetu really needs to think about it: She knows she wants to help people.

“For a long time I’ve wished that I could make a positive impact on someone, but I was always too shy. Now that I have others believing in me, though, I know I can help others and give back as much as possible,” says Emetu, who plans to study biochemistry and then go to medical school to become a pediatrician. But first she wants to experience “the many opportunities here at the College. I don’t just want to learn: I want my knowledge to expand on a myriad of levels. I want to do things that will leave all the support people in my life with a legacy for others to follow.”

She hopes, too, to be a role model for her four younger siblings.

“I hope that I showed them that education is important and hard work is the only thing that pays off,” says Emetu, noting that one of her favorite quotes is a Paul Brandt lyric: Don’t tell me the sky’s the limit when there are footprints on the moon. “Coming to the College hopefully showed them that nothing is a limit. I want to set the bar as high as I can to encourage them that they can do even better. Most of all, I hope that I showed them that you have to go by hope, not by sight. After all, that’s what got me into Charleston in the first place!”

That, and the DeWolf’s generosity, of course.

“To be honest, I probably wouldn’t have been able to come to the College if it weren’t for this scholarship,” says Emetu. “The College was my first choice, but we needed to make sure it was the best, and the DeWolfs affirmed that for us, not only economically, but overall. So, thanks to them, I am now attending my top choice.”

But, Emetu stresses, “the scholarship is more than just money to me. The moral support I receive from the DeWolfs is overwhelming. The first night my family and I met them, there was an instant connection, and I feel like I have become a part of another family.”

“We really want to be supportive in whatever way we can – not just financially,” says Sara DeWolf, who also serves as a mentor with the School of Education, Health, and Human Performance. “It’s just as much an investment in our alma mater as it is in the individual recipient – although, of course, we’re so lucky and honored to be a part of Sophia’s individual education.”

“The empowerment that the DeWolfs give me is what will last in my heart,” says Emetu. “Because no matter what trials I face during the school year, I can still count on the enormous amount of support from my family, the College and the DeWolfs.”

With that kind of support, she knows she is going to go far and that she’ll continue to climb higher and higher. After all, now that she’s at the College, the sky is hardly the limit!


Scholarship Recipient Finds Boundless Opportunities at the College of Charleston

A recipient of the Samuel Freeman Trust Scholarship, Samantha Brophy feels fortunate to have so

A recipient of the Samuel Freeman Trust Scholarship, Samantha Brophy feels fortunate to have so many doors open to her.

“My scholarship has given me many opportunities,” says the Bluffton, S.C., native. “I chose College of Charleston because it is so beautiful and the weather is great. The atmosphere here is relaxed, yet not too relaxed. If makes you feel like … you are a part of something important.”

Brophy is certainly part of something important – in fact, she’s part of a few important things: She is a member of the Student Government Association and vice president of the Unitarian Universalist Club, and she volunteers with Project Playground at Memminger Elementary School.

“I enjoy working with kids who have special needs,” says Brophy, who majors in psychology and minors in Spanish. “I chose psychology as my major because I have always found it to be interesting,” she says. “I thought the psychology major would open a lot of doors for me.”

Brophy is leaving her doors open for the future, but she would like to join the Peace Corps or to attend graduate school for either occupational therapy or human rights when she finishes her undergraduate work at the College.

In the meantime, Brophy is grateful just to be at the College of Charleston.

“Thank you so much,” she says to her donor. “We need more people like you in this world that are so giving and encouraging of education!”


Banking On Opportunity

Chenele Jackson ’87 was struggling to make ends meet. At 31, the newly single mother

Chenele Jackson ’87 was struggling to make ends meet. At 31, the newly single mother to three daughters was determined to set an example to her girls as the first college graduate in her family, but she couldn’t do it alone.

When the N.E. Miles Early Childhood Development Center (ECDC) waived her daughter’s tuition, it helped – a lot – but not enough to keep her afloat.

“I have to take care of my family first,” she told a professor who’d found her crying outside of a Maybank Hall classroom.

Her voice breaks when she recalls what happened next: “I got a note saying I’d been selected for a scholarship that paid for tuition and books. It was life changing.”

Jackson would be OK. She’d graduate, and – thanks to her commercial real estate professor, Perry Woodside, now a professor emeritus in the School of Business and a member of its Board of Governors – start working at the Charlotte-based N.C. National Bank Corporation.

“The College directly shaped my career, my development and my opportunities,” says Jackson, a consultant with Wells Fargo’s Corporate Finance, Shared Service Accounting organization.

That’s why she’s given to the School of Education, Health, and Human Performance, the College of Charleston Fund and ECDC annually for some 17 years. Jackson has been a BOUNDLESS supporter, most recently making a planned gift toward the ECDC tuition for the child of a single mother who is a first-generation college student.

As she says, “Much is given, much is expected. I’m just doing my part.”


BOUNDLESS Campaign reaches $125 Million Goal

The College of Charleston’s BOUNDLESS campaign has reached and surpassed its $125 million goal. The

The College of Charleston’s BOUNDLESS campaign has reached and surpassed its $125 million goal. The campaign, which is the largest fundraising and engagement initiative in the College’s 246-year history, has raised more than $127 million since the beginning of its effort in October 2009.

“It’s an amazing achievement and an important milestone,” President Glenn F. McConnell ’69 said at the campaign announcement on Feb. 12, 2016, held at Alumni Hall. “Of the nearly 23,000 investors that have helped us reach this goal, their impact is realized in areas such as our academic and athletics programs, scholarships, faculty positions, capital projects and student opportunities. Our donors understand the value of a College of Charleston education and have expressed their vote of confidence through their giving. Campaigns like ours are about strengthening both our present needs while also laying a strong foundation for the future.”

The campaign, which will support the next era of distinction and educational excellence at the College, culminates on June 30, 2016.


Keep the BOUNDLESS Spirit Going: Your Continued Support

When you’re BOUNDLESS, you can’t be stopped. And, at the College of Charleston, there’s no end in sight. Where it goes from here is up to the continued support from donors like you. After all, BOUNDLESS is just the beginning.