CSU celebrates Hunter Center dedication
Charleston Southern University will dedicate a new wing of the Hunter Center to Carolyn K. “Sissy” Hunter on Wednesday, June 11 at 10:30 a.m. The entire building will also be renamed the Jairy C. & Carolyn K. Hunter Center. The Hunter Center located strategically on the front of the campus serves as the university’s reception center for prospective students, alumni and guests.
The naming of the new wing recognizes Sissy Hunter, the university’s first lady, for 30 years of servant leadership at Charleston Southern during Jairy Hunter’s tenure as president. The expanded facility allows the university to provide better service to our current and prospective students. The new center provides a central location for many student services including undergraduate and graduate admissions, enrollment operations, cashier’s office, financial aid, the registrar’s office, student accounts, student employment and veteran’s services.
In her role as First Lady, Mrs. Hunter has been active in day-to-day special events of the university. She has served on the BUC club board of Directors and CSU Women’s Council. To date, the Women’s Council since its inception has raised more than $300,000 dollars for the university. Mrs. Hunter is also a member of the Legacy Society and the President’s Club. The university awarded Mrs. Hunter an honorary doctorate of Education in 1999 for her leadership and dedicated service.
During the Hunter’s tenure, the university has added graduate degree programs in education, business, criminal justice, nursing, organizational leadership and organizational management. Undergraduate programs have also been established in nursing, student ministry, athletic training, management arts, health promotion and graphic design. Numerous online undergraduate and graduate programs have been added as well. Student enrollment has grown from 1,600 to 3,300 and several new buildings have been constructed.
The concept of a reception center was the vision of the late Richard Blackmon, from Lancaster, South Carolina. Mr. Blackmon was a well-known building contractor, land developer and bank board member. He believed that every organization should have a front line facility that makes a good “first impression” to its guests. Mr. Blackmon was a founding member of the Board of Visitors who strongly supported Christian higher education. In 1991, Mr. Blackmon and other Lancaster natives completed a successful campaign in the Lancaster area for the funding to construct this building. This was a community effort to honor Dr. Jairy C. Hunter, Jr., one of the city’s favorite sons.
Jerry Williams, current chairman of the Board of Trustees, and a member of the fundraising committee for the original building, said, “The expanded center is truly a testament to Jairy and Sissy and their dedication to Charleston Southern. With the idea of the center birthed in Lancaster, we share in the excitement with all Charleston Southern friends.”