CSU honors Hunters at dedication
June 11 was a day set aside to recognize President Jairy C. Hunter, Jr. and First Lady Carolyn K. “Sissy” Hunter for their 30 years of service to Charleston Southern University. The day also included the dedication of the Jairy C. & Carolyn K. Hunter Center.
To commemorate the occasion, U.S. Senator Tim Scott’s office presented a certificate stating that the flag flying over the United States Capitol on June 11 was in honor of the Hunters. Charleston Mayor, Joseph P. Riley, Jr. declared June 11 Jairy C. and Carolyn K. Hunter Day in the City of Charleston.
North Charleston Mayor, R. Keith Summey, presented the Hunters with a key to the City of North Charleston. Charleston Southern University dedicated the expansion to its Hunter Center to Carolyn K. “Sissy” Hunter and renamed the entire building the Jairy C. & Carolyn K. Hunter Center.
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The naming of the 5,400-square-foot expansion recognizes Sissy Hunter’s 30 years of servant leadership. The expanded facility allows the university to provide better service to current and prospective students.
The center provides a central location for many student services including undergraduate and graduate admissions, enrollment operations, financial aid, the registrar’s office, student accounts, student employment and veterans services.
The Hunter Center was originally dedicated on Nov. 15, 1991, and was the vision of the late Richard Blackmon, a member of the CSU Board of Visitors, family friend and resident of the Hunters’ hometown of Lancaster, S.C. The building serves as a welcome center for university guests, and the original funding was raised by residents of Lancaster as a way to honor Dr. Hunter, one of the city’s favorite sons.
Multiple speakers shared their memories of the Hunters’ 30 years at Charleston Southern. Mayor Riley called the Hunters a “wonderful duo.” Mayor Summey said he was proud to be a 1969 graduate of CSU. “Your legacy will be left long after you have lived.” said Summey. “You have created something I don’t think you can truly appreciate.”
Mayor Collins said the Hunters have made a major difference in the community.
Dr. Jerry Williams, chairman of the Board of Trustees, said the new name of the building “will forever be a name to enhance the university.” The Hunters’ son, Dr. Jairy C. Hunter III, said there is “no greater praise than that people see Jesus in both of them,” and their daughter, Jill Hunter McElheny, said the building will “serve as a reminder of my parents’ commitment to CSU for many years.”
Dr. Rick Brewer ’77, ’96, vice president for student affairs and athletics, said the Hunters love God with their heart, soul, mind and strength. Dr. Gloria Thiem, a trustee, said the Hunters have always wanted the best for CSU, and fellow trustee, Dr. Franklin Mason, said Dr. Hunter was sent by God to lead the university.
“Let’s not forget God’s purpose all along was to have a Christian university here,” said Mason, who first served as a trustee in 1968.
Anne Russell, a member of the Class of 1971 and a Board of Visitors member, said she was glad Sissy was being honored. “Sissy has been beside him [Jairy] every step of the way. There have been a lot of bumps in the road, and through their commitment they have tackled every bump.”
Mary Graham, senior vice president for business advocacy with the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, said the Chamber is proud to be a partner with Charleston Southern, a wonderful school and contributor to the local economy. “CSU responds to the needs in the community quickly and meets the needs of the employers. We are proud to continue our partnership as we go forward,” said Graham.
Liollio Architecture and M.B. Kahn Construction were recognized in the program for their work in the expansion of the building.