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On Move-In Day back in August, it was my privilege to be one of many volunteers who helped new freshmen move their belongings into the residence halls for the fall semester. This is something I try to take part in every year.

Meeting and interacting with these excited freshmen and their parents one-on-one, especially on this momentous day in their lives, is a good way for me to stay in touch with the real purpose of Coastal Carolina University—educating students.

   When I say “educating students,” I am of course speaking of more than simply imparting knowledge. The ideal that guides my decision-making process as president is set forth in our mission statement: to develop “productive, responsible, healthy citizens with a global perspective.”

   This is the goal of everyone at CCU—faculty members as well as administrators and staff all across campus—who work every day to provide the best possible student experience on many different levels.

   The cover story of this issue of the Coastal Carolina University Magazine (page 8) is about two important new facilities on campus that will shape the student experience for years to come—the HTC Center and the Bryan Information Commons. Appropriately, our students took a leading part in many phases of the planning of these buildings, most crucially by taking the bold step of levying a fee on themselves to help fund them.

   As president, I have long advocated the need for quality facilities as a key component in creating the  right environment for student success. Buildings are a lot more than just bricks and mortar. Consider the purpose and potentialities of the buildings we have dedicated in the past couple of years: The Lackey Chapel is a space that serves the soul of our student community. The HTC Center is a space that serves the body of our students. And the Bryan Information Commons is a space that serves the mind of our students.

   The result is a true community where students grow and thrive—not only academically, but as whole, well-rounded individuals who are prepared for life. Such a community does not come cheaply. It is a great responsibility that requires a lot of careful planning and hard work. But when you see and feel the sense of excitement and anticipation in students’ eyes as they leave home for the first time and move into their new residence halls—into their new lives, no less—you know it’s worth it.