Boundless: the Campaign for the College of Charleston
About Boundless

Boundless is the promise of our students, the distinction of our faculty and the enduring spirit of our friends, supporters and alumni. Boundless represents the next era of national distinction at the College of Charleston.


President Glenn McConnell

As an alumnus of the Class of 1969, I can attest to the power of the nurturing environment that our faculty and staff provide to our students. I know that any success I have enjoyed throughout my legal, business, and legislative careers began with the excellent liberal arts education that I received at the College. It was my privilege to experience the transformative power of a College of Charleston education, and it is my honor to help ensure the same quality of education for future generations of students in my role as co-chair of Boundless: The Campaign for the College of Charleston.

I am excited to be leading our comprehensive campaign with my co-chair, Class of 1989 alumnus Steve Swanson. Our campaign is an important opportunity to reflect on our past, declare our intentions for the future, and position the College for an even greater role locally, nationally, and internationally. Boundless: The Campaign for the College of Charleston will help shape the next era of the College by helping grow our culture of philanthropy, which will directly support the unique assets of the College for the benefit of our students, our faculty, our staff, and the Charleston community.

I invite you to partner with us so that working together; we can support the students, faculty, staff, and academic innovations that will lead our great institution forward.

In Cougar Pride,
Glenn F. McConnell ’69


Many thanks to members of the Campaign Steering Committee who are leading this historic and important effort, and to the thousands of volunteers who are devoting their time and energy to this campaign.

President Glenn F. McConnell ’69

Campaign Co-Chair

Steve Swanson ’89

Former CEO/Co-Founder Automated Trading Desk, Campaign Co-Chair

Renee Dobbins Anderson, Ph.D.

Vice Chairman, Gaillard Performance Hall Foundation

Steve Osborne ’73

Executive Vice President, Business Affairs

Keith Sauls ’90

President, Apple Gold Partners

Catherine Smith

Trustee, Samuel Freeman Charitable Trust

Hilton Smith

President and CEO, East Bay Company, Ltd.

George P. Watt, Jr.

Executive Vice President, Institutional Advancement

Anita Zucker

CEO, InterTech Group

Get Involved


Boundless: The Campaign for the College of Charleston is a comprehensive fundraising initiative and our opportunity to shape the next era of national distinction for the College. This historic campaign is an investment in our future while staying true to our 240-year liberal arts and sciences mission. Read the College’s case statement for more details.

What makes it different from other campaigns in higher education is our focus on engaging our 57,000 alums and thousands of parents, faculty, staff, students, and friends of the College.  And, yes, we also plan to far exceed $125 million in total commitments by the time we finish in June of 2016. You have an opportunity to invest in one or more of our five strategic priorities:

Priority 1: Scholarships

Competitive scholarships that attract and retain exceptional students and enhance the College’s affordability, accessibility and inclusivity.

Priority 2: World-class Faculty

World-class faculty who create new knowledge, collaborate across disciplines and inspire national student research.

Priority 3: Student Experience

Academic and campus-life programs that embrace our history, culture and location and provide unrivaled opportunities for research and personal growth.

Priority 4: Modern Learning Spaces

State-of-the-art facilities that support creativity, collaboration and innovation in learning and research, as well as enhanced sports facilities for our student-athletes and fans.

Priority 5: Annual Giving Funds

Annual giving funds support the College’s most immediate needs and priorities and build a culture of philanthropy.

Learn More About the Boundless Priorities

Boundless: the Campaign for the College of Charleston

“The opportunity to study at the Sotheby’s Institute of Art in New York transformed my professional identity and provided international arts experience.” – Emily Farris ’15, 2014 Summer Study Award recipient (left) with former CofC faculty member Lori Kornegay of Sotheby’s Institute of Art.

The College

With our stellar location, vibrant student life and devoted faculty, the College of Charleston is truly one of the nation’s great public liberal arts and sciences universities.

More about the College


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.”


BOUNDLESS Campaign reaches $125 Million Goal

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.


Love Social Media? Become a Cougar Online Ambassador!

The Cougar Online Ambassadors work with the CofC Annual Giving Office team by sharing news and fundraising

The Cougar Online Ambassadors work with the CofC Annual Giving Office team by sharing news and fundraising initiatives about the College using their personal social media accounts.

Cougar Online Ambassadors will:

  • Receive emails periodically from the Annual Giving Office with ways to encourage alumni to do something that pertains to the 4 Chapter Challenge elements. As an added bonus, you gain points for your chapter by becoming an ambassador!
  • Share posts and content provided by CofC for specific 24-hour giving events
  • Follow CofC on social media:
  • Repost/retweet/share that content (above) on your personal social media accounts/pages, chapter groups, etc.
  • Post at least one positive CofC-related news update per week to your personal social media account(s) and/or chapter group.
  • Make an annual contribution to CofC of an amount that reflects your ability.

Sign-Up Now!


School of Humanities and Social Sciences Campaign Priorities

The College of Charleston’s School of Humanities and Social Sciences is striking out in bold

The College of Charleston’s School of Humanities and Social Sciences is striking out in bold new directions and creating new learning models to educate students with transferable skills that prepare them for today’s job market. At the same time, our students graduate with a strong sense of social and civic responsibility. They go on to be agents of change in their workplaces and communities.

A hallmark of all our academic programs is experiential learning, inside and outside of the classroom, through internships, faculty–student research collaborations, international experiences, and mentorship programs. This distinction has put the College on a path to national prominence.

Learn more about our campaign priorities in the case statement.


The Honors College Priorities

The Honors College is essential to the College of Charleston as it strives to recruit

The Honors College is essential to the College of Charleston as it strives to recruit highly engaged, intelligent, innovative and diverse students from across South Carolina, the nation and the world.

Given this momentum, now is our time to push beyond conventional pathways to knowledge, beyond the limits of our campus footprint and beyond our very own expectations.

To learn more about the Honors College priorities, read the Case Statement.


School of the Arts Campaign Priorties

The School of the Arts is reaching forward with a spirit of new enterprise. It

The School of the Arts is reaching forward with a spirit of new enterprise. It is critical we continue to play a leading role in educating and inspiring young artists, and partnering with the community to maintain the city of Charleston as a leading cultural center. BOUNDLESS will support the next era of the School of the Arts.

Learn more about our campaign priorities in the case statement.


School of Education, Health, and Human Performance Campaign Priorities

The School of Education, Health and Human Performance is focused on two issues fundamental to

The School of Education, Health and Human Performance is focused on two issues fundamental to all societies: Health and human performance and teacher education. In laboratories, classrooms and outreach centers across the community, our students, faculty and alumni are united in their commitment to serve and improve the quality of life for all.

BOUNDLESS: The Campaign for the College of Charleston  represents the next era of the School of Education, Health, and Human Performance. To explore all our campaign priorities, read the case statement.


School of Sciences and Mathematics Campaign Priorities

Whether in the fields of biochemistry, data science or environmental quality, the School of Sciences

Whether in the fields of biochemistry, data science or environmental quality, the School of Sciences and Mathematics is at the forefront of discovery. Boundless: The Campaign for the College of Charleston will support the next era of the School of Sciences and Mathematics, learn more by exploring the SSM case statement.

“STEM students are faced with extensive lab classes and research experience that put heavy demands on their time. As a consequence, they generally have time for outside employment, scholarships and research fellowships are critical to recruitment and retention in these fields.” Dean Michael J. Auerbach.


CofC Athletics Campaign Priorities

BOUNDLESS will create a bold new future for CofC Athletics – one that enhances our

BOUNDLESS will create a bold new future for CofC Athletics – one that enhances our ability to succeed at a higher level, both on the competitive courts and fields and in the classroom. This campaign is the vehicle to achieve our vision with investment in four strategic athletics priorities: 1) Annual and endowed scholarships to attract and retain exceptional student-athletes of talent, performance and promise; 2) Sport-specific funds to support our coaches and their vision for the next level of excellence; 3) State-of-the-art training and conditioning facilities that support all of our student-athletes and enhance the fan experience; and 4) Annual excellence funds that ensure student success on and off the court or playing field.

To learn more about Athletics campaign priorities, download the Athletics case statement. Or contact T.J. Isaacs at or 843. 953.5498 office or 843.408.1336 cell.




The Race Is On

Think a fundraising goal of $125 million was the only goal in the Boundless campaign? 

Think a fundraising goal of $125 million was the only goal in the Boundless campaign?  Think again! In the final month of Boundless: The Campaign for the College of Charleston, alumni from all decades are coming together to pass the baton to their fellow alumni. They are calling for alumni to champion the College and are working to reach a goal of 10,000 alumni donors by the Campaign’s end on June 30, 2016.

With five weeks remaining in this historic campaign, 9,787 alumni have made the College a philanthropic priority. A little over 200 alumni are needed to reach the final measure of success for this campaign; some could argue that it is the most important measure of success.  Alumni from across the years have been coming together in an unprecedented show of support to lend their voices to the cause.

Alumni from the 1960s and up have been instrumental in reaching out to their peers to secure donations.  They’ve been signing letters, sending emails, and making phone calls to ensure not a single alum is missing out on being a part of the Campaign.  Chris ’05 and Kristen Beckham ’07, Michael Mirmanesh ’09 and Jeremy Olsen ’13 have joined together to donate over $25,000 to the College if the goal of 10,000 alumni donors is secured in time.

The 90s have adopted a similar approach.  Michael Renault ’95, Carmen Scott ’96, Brett Bluestein ’97, and Derrick Williams ’99 have all reached out to their peers. They are reminding their fellow alumni that while many things have changed in Charleston; each has a strong connection to the College because of the friends made, the professors who opened their eyes, and the city that made them feel at home.  “As alumni, we have a responsibility to care for this institution, to ensure that it not only goes on, but that it goes forth stronger. Now is our time to show what the College means to us. Now is our time to be leaders. Let’s come together now to ensure that it is passed on to future generations of students.”

To get involved with the Boundless Campaign’s Race To The Finish, please contact the Annual Giving Office at



Scratching The Surface

With the help of a newly awarded $100,000 grant from Google to the Lowcounty Hall

With the help of a newly awarded $100,000 grant from Google to the Lowcounty Hall of Science and Math (LHSM), a new program called Scratching the Surface has been created to better implement computer science into the middle school curriculum throughout South Carolina. This program gives teachers a chance to learn a visual programming language in a new, creative way that they can then apply in their own classrooms.

Scratch is designed to leverage the success of Google’s Computer Science (CS) First program, and the teacher education expertise of the Lowcountry Hall of Science and Math to increase student access and exposure to computer science. LHSM provides a bridge for communication, collaboration, and coordination between the College of Charleston and the K-12 science, technology, mathematics, and education communities in the Lowcountry.

Program Structure

The Scratching the Surface program was designed with learning and education in mind and has the overarching goal of reinforcing positive perceptions of computer science as a career among both females and underrepresented groups. To achieve this goal, program efforts concentrate on:

  1. Capacity Building in Educators: Professional Development Opportunities for Teachers-Under the guidance of a College of Charleston Computer Science Department Faculty Member, middle school teachers will be:
  • Introduced to computer science fundamentals for classroom integration in a controlled learning environment that is designed to promote positive perceptions and instill confidence,
  • Taught Google’s free programming software (Scratch),
  • Taught Carnegie Mellon’s free 3-D programming software (Alice), and
  • Engaged to integrate computer science in current curricular standards.
  1. Afterschool Programs: Women in Computing Club – Working in collaboration with the Women in Computing Club at CofC, female computer science majors will serve as mentors for the middle school students. The program will:
    • Allow female mentors to serve as positive role models for the middle school students so that they have an increased potential for adopting a positive perception about programming at intermediate and advanced levels.
    • Incorporate female and minority student speakers/volunteers from the College of Charleston Women in Computing Club and the greater Charleston Technology Industry
    • Coincide with the academic calendar and allow for 4 on-site visits to the College of Charleston to be exposed to the campus and the computer science environment.

Program Implementation

So how is Scratching the Surface implemented? South Carolina teachers will first participate in an interactive workshop that guides them through the basic steps and tools needed to create, share, and remix various projects. They can then utilize this new knowledge and free platform to incorporate topics from their own subject areas to create creative assignments for their middle school students. Teachers can then share the student assignments they have created with other teachers through a Google Drive. Scratch allows the synchronization of both the necessary curriculum students’ need and the world of computer science, allowing young people to “think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively.”

20 teachers from 3 Berkeley County Middle Schools including Westview Middle, Macedonia Middle and St. Stephens Middle have been working with CofC faculty throughout the school year as they implement this important STEM focused curriculum. Nearly 250 students participated through teachers classrooms. On June 1st teachers and students who have been implementing and practicing their coding techniques will gather to share their progress and highlight their achievements.

The goal is to bring computer science education to over 8,400 middle school children in South Carolina by the year 2018, with a sustainable annual reach of 2,250 middle school students per year. With the success of the first year of the program, The College anticipates expansion of the program through renewable funding from Google.

Visit the program website for Scratching the Surface for more information.


Alumni In Action

After graduating from the College of Charleston in 2010 with a degree in Art History,

After graduating from the College of Charleston in 2010 with a degree in Art History, Sarah Bella Slagsvol spent the early years of her career working in New York City as the Special Events Manager for Elle Magazine. Through coordinating events of all shapes and sizes across the country- from celebrating Hollywood starlets in Los Angeles, to honoring Congresswomen in Washington, DC- Bella recognized a void within the Event Industry for accessible resources to minimize event waste and maximize reuse locally.

In January, Bella returned home to Charleston to launch rEvent- a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with the mission of extending the beauty of events by providing the Event Industry with a free pickup and delivery service to repurpose reusable event goods.

Bella recently partnered with the College of Charleston Alumni Association to repurpose the hundreds of flowers that were used for A Charleston Affair and Alumni Weekend. rEvent collected 1,000 lilies, 400 foxtail lilies, and 600 fuji mums from the Cistern following the weekend events and repurposed these flowers into 60 bedside bouquets that were delivered to patients at the Medical University of South Carolina. Many of the bouquets were delivered to the Women’s Services floor at MUSC, which includes Labor & Delivery and Oncology patients. A nurse on the floor was able to deliver arrangements to her patients and said “I cannot explain the smiles and the sincere appreciation that was given upon receiving the flowers.”

During her time at CofC, Bella was involved with her sorority, Alpha Delta Pi as well as the Student Government Association. One of her fondest memories stems from her first time at A Charleston Affair, which she credits for sparking her interest in the world of event planning. While Bella was inspired to create rEvent after viewing first-hand the waste that comes with large scale events, the CofC connections run deep. A fellow CofC alum and sorority sister, Christina Middleton ‘09, serves on the board of rEvent; another CofC alum recently signed up to donate her wedding flowers, and in the Fall Bella hopes to offer a current CofC student an internship opportunity.

Visit rEvent’s website to learn more about their mission and impact. To make a donation of event flowers, funds, or to volunteer your time, click here.


Young Alumni Giving Back

Kristen ’07 and Chris Beckham ’05 owe a lot to their time at the College

Kristen ’07 and Chris Beckham ’05 owe a lot to their time at the College of Charleston. Educational opportunities, career successes, and even their relationship have roots under the oaks at CofC. Chris and Kristen met during the 2000’s as undergraduates. Both were involved across campus, Kristen on the Panhellenic Council, her sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta, and Cougar TV, Chris was a leader in the Student Government Association, his fraternity, Pi Kappa Alpha, and the CofC Sailing Team. They shared a common bond in the both were fortunate to receive scholarships to attend the College.

It is this mutual experience that inspires Kristen and Chris to make the College of Charleston a philanthropic priority. “The College of Charleston was transformational for us- we met while in Charleston. We are proud of the education that we both received and appreciate all that the College faculty and staff do to provide a superior experience and education for students.” By giving back, they hope to help current and future students receive the same experience.

Kristen and Chris recently stepped forward with a challenge gift in the Boundless Campaign’s Race To The Finish. Along with two other young alumni, Michael Mirmanesh ’09 and Jeremy Olsen ’13, the Beckhams have challenged graduates from 2000-2015 to make the College a priority with a gift to the Boundless Campaign.

With their commitment, Kristen and Chris have chosen to support multiple areas where they are passionate. “Since there are so many great initiatives at the College, our biggest challenge was deciding which funds to support. We chose to support two funds- we are supporting the College of Charleston Fund since it will help provide support for the greatest needs at the College; and we are supporting the Initiative for Public Choice and Market Process in honor of Dr. Frank Hefner.”

The Beckham’s commitment to the College of Charleston does not stop with philanthropy. They are deepening their roots and continuing their impact through volunteerism. Kristen recently joined the Alumni Association Board and Chris is sharing his expertise with the Management 401 class.  On any given day, the Beckhams’ impact can be felt across campus.

To get involved with the Boundless Campaign’s Race To The Finish, please contact the Annual Giving Office at


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.


Join the #RacetotheFinish

Four alumni have come together to challenge their fellow classmates from the classes of ’00-’15

Four alumni have come together to challenge their fellow classmates from the classes of ’00-’15  to proudly step forward and become champions for the College. If we can hit 10,000 alumni donors before the campaign concludes, Chris Beckham ’05, Kristen Munsey Beckham ’07, Michael Mirmanesh ’09, and Jeremy Olsen ’13, will contribute a combined total of $25,000 to the College of Charleston.

Make a gift to the College of Charleston Fund today and remember, EVERY gift counts and EVERY dollar matters. No matter the size of your gift, you WILL be counted among the 10,000.


Join the #RacetotheFinish!

Oozeball may have ended in 2008, but the scholarship that it funded is still being

Oozeball may have ended in 2008, but the scholarship that it funded is still being awarded today! Help us reach our 10,000 alumni donor goal as we #RacetotheFinish of the BOUNDLESS campaign! Make your gift today and be counted among the 10,000!


Join the #Racetothefinish!

Who remembers the rain storm and chaos of Graduation 2007? This was also the last

Who remembers the rain storm and chaos of Graduation 2007? This was also the last year the College hosted only one spring graduation ceremony (I guess I see why!).

Many things have changed since 2007 but the core of the College will always remain the same. Giving back helps to preserve our traditions. Make your gift today to the College of Charleston Fund to help ensure future graduates have the same opportunities for amazing graduation memories. Be counted among the 10,000 and join the #RacetotheFinish!


Looking back on a GOLD Society donor’s finish at the Boston Marathon

With the 120th running of the Boston Marathon this month, we are taking a moment

With the 120th running of the Boston Marathon this month, we are taking a moment to look back on last year’s race when alum Chris Bailey ’12 and ’15 was making his final preparations for the 2015 Boston Marathon. Bailey’s personal goal for the marathon, to finish the 26.2 mile race in less than 2 hours and 30 minutes.

For some this may sound tremendously challenging, but for Bailey who had just won the Charleston Half Marathon three months earlier and set a new course and personal record at the 2014 Wrightsville Beach Marathon finishing with a time of 2 hours and 28 minutes, this goal was feasible.

Bailey grew up in Charlotte, N.C., and began running cross country during his sophomore year of high school. Cross country appealed to him as it provided the camaraderie of a team, the opportunity to get outside more, and it was a sport that if you worked hard you could see improvement. It wasn’t until he broke his foot his junior year that Bailey realized how important running was in his life, and he came back from his injury stronger than ever before. Not long after his injury, Bailey took a trip to Isle of Palms, S.C., for spring break where he ran the Cooper River Bridge Run 10K for the first time, finishing in less than 35 minutes and capturing the attention of coaches at CofC.

At the College of Charleston, Bailey joined the Honors College majoring in International Business and Spanish. He was a member of the cross country team and helped to make the CofC men’s cross country team a contender in the Southern Conference. He graduated with the school record for 8k cross country (now held by Mackenzie Johnston ’15) and was named an Academic All-American.

Bailey continued his education at the College, graduating with a dual master’s degree in Environmental Studies and Public Administration. During his time as a graduate student, he served as a volunteer assistant for the Academic Magnet High School cross country and track teams, working under head coach Brian Johnson who was his coach while he was running for CofC. His passion for CofC and running hasn’t stopped; he currently works as the Associate Director of Recruitment and Marketing in the Honors College, is a GOLD Society donor, and owns a franchise in Charleston, S.C. called Without Limits that coaches runners from middle-school age to adults in their 60’s.

According to Bailey, running The Boston Marathon in 2015 lived up to every expectation he had. Although the weather was gloomy, spectators lined the streets along the entire 26.2 mile course and he was able to see professional women and men start the race since he was in the first corral of runners. Bailey finished the race just shy of his goal, with a time of 2 hours and 31 minutes, impressively finishing 91st in the overall race and the first finisher from South Carolina. Although this year an injury prevented him from running in the marathon, he watched closely as some of the runners he coaches were taking in the experience for themselves.

republished and adapted with permission from The College Today


Spring Commencement Speakers Announced

The College of Charleston has announced the speakers for the upcoming Spring   Commencement ceremonies on

The College of Charleston has announced the speakers for the upcoming Spring   Commencement ceremonies on May 6 and 7, 2016. This year the speakers are:

  • Deborah Lee James, United States Air Force Secretary
  • The Honorable Michael Luttig, Executive Vice President of the Boeing Company
  • Mike Couick, President and CEO of the Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina

Deborah Lee James is currently the 23rd Secretary of the United States Air Force located in Washington D.C. She is responsible for the affairs of the Department of the Air Force, including the organizing, training, equipping, and providing for the welfare of its nearly 664,000 active duty, Guard, Reserve, and civilian Airmen and their families. She also oversees the Air Force’s annual budget of more than $139 billion. Deborah James will speak at the graduation ceremony on May 6, which begins at 4:00 p.m.

Michael Luttig is the current Executive Vice President and general counsel of The Boeing Company, where he is responsible for leading the Boeing Law Department across the company. Prior to joining Boeing, Luttig served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit for 15 years; being the youngest federal appeals court judge in the country when he was appointed by President George H. W. Bush in 1991. The Honorable Michael Luttig will speak at the graduation ceremony on May 6, which begins at 7:00 p.m.

Mike Couick is the current President and Chief Executive Officer of the Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina, Inc. where he oversees the operations of the largest electric distribution system in the state of South Carolina (more than 1.4 million South Carolinians in 46 counties use electricity from electric cooperatives). Since joining the electric cooperatives, Couick has initiated dialogues with state and national environmental groups, forged alliances with investor-owned utilities that lowered costs to co-op consumers by more than $1.5 billion, and helped design the Rural Energy Savings Program (RESP). Mike Couick will speak at the graduation ceremony on May 7, which begins at 4:00pm.

For more information about the May 2016 Commencement Ceremonies held in the Cistern Yard, visit the CofC Commencement Information Website.


1770 and GOLD Societies Annual Donor Appreciation Reception

On Friday, April 8 nearly 250 guests attended the 1770 and GOLD Societies annual donor

On Friday, April 8 nearly 250 guests attended the 1770 and GOLD Societies annual donor appreciation reception at the Francis Marion hotel.  This year’s event featured the International Scholars Program, which is a collaboration between the School of Languages, Cultures, and World Affairs and the Honors College made possible by the Samuel Freeman Charitable Trust.  Each year the program seeks to recruit 10 nationally competitive students to the College of Charleston who are interested in a globally-focused career.  Students in the program major in International Studies and a second major of their choice and are required to be intermediately proficient in a second language.  There are currently 39 students participating in the program and six of them have won nationally competitive awards so far.

During the evening, attendees had the opportunity to hear from two of these exceptional students. Derek Berry ’16 is a native of Aiken, South Carolina. He has studied abroad in both Cuba and Germany, and has also published a book and poetry chapbook. Derek spoke passionately about his experiences in and out of the classroom in Germany. Polina Aleshina ’16 is a Russian immigrant raised in Columbia, South Carolina. Polina is also a Huge Scholar and has studied abroad in France, The Netherlands, and Germany. Polina shared her touching story about her family immigrating to America. Both Derek and Polina expressed their gratitude to all of the loyal supporters of the College of Charleston for making their experiences of studying in Charleston and abroad possible.

To view pictures from the evening please click here! (Note: This link will take you to an external, ad-supported site.)


Meet Shekinah!

Shekinah Patterson understands the importance of philanthropy at the College of Charleston and the value

Shekinah Patterson understands the importance of philanthropy at the College of Charleston and the value of education.  A senior Sociology major at the College and a Johns Island native, she plans to stay in the classroom by becoming a certified Elementary School Teacher.  This experience is inline of her goals to pursuing a graduate degree in Educational Leadership to become a principal.  Graduating and transitioning from student to proud CofC alumna in just a few short weeks, she has benefited from her liberal arts education, made possible by her hard work and the scholarship which she receives.

As a scholarship recipient, Shekinah knows firsthand how donations to the College play in her own success and in the success of others.  “Thanks to the generosity of donors, students here at the College of Charleston, including myself, are given the opportunity to attend the College, without a financial burden, and access to a world-class education,” Shekinah says. And she communicates this message almost nightly.  Shekinah is a Cougar Caller at the College of Charleston’s Cougar Call Center and calls alumni, parents and friends to ask for donations, and she has been quite successful.  Over the past three months, she has raised over $3,500 to support scholarships, like the one she receives, and to ensure the College can continue to thrive.  Beyond receiving philanthropic support, she understands the importance of giving back, too.

In addition to her work in the Cougar Call Center, she is a Executive Board member of Committed to Charleston, a student organization which promotes philanthropy and encourages students to give to the College. Shekinah helps educate her fellow students on giving and how even moderate gifts, like the ones most students can afford, go a long way.  “These opportunities have allowed me to be a vital factor in fundraising for the College’s Boundless Campaign,” Shekinah says. “I’m proud of the work that I’ve done to help demonstrate the importance of philanthropy to countless alumni, students, and friends.” From educating others about philanthropy to educating students in a classroom, Shekinah’s College of Charleston experience will stick with her for a lifetime.


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!



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CofC Honors College

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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!”


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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.”


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