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CSU Receives Largest Single Gift in School History

University Relations

Floyd and Shirley WhitfieldPresident Jairy C. Hunter, Jr. has announced that Charleston Southern University has received a generous contribution from Shirley and Floyd Whitfield, longtime benefactors of the university.

The Whitfield family will be honored for their generous gift of approximately $3 million to the university during the Center for Christian Leadership building dedication ceremony on Wednesday, September 11. In recognition of this contribution, the university is naming the building the Whitfield Center for Christian Leadership. The 26,500-square-foot facility serves as a catalyst for integrating faith in learning, leading and serving. The Center is the cornerstone project of the university’s $40 million Transform campaign. The ceremony will take place on the south side of the building beginning at 9:30 a.m., and the public is invited.

Hunter said, “Shirley and Floyd were the first people Sissy and I met when we moved to Charleston. The Whitfields are our trusted friends who continue to be loyal ambassadors for the university and faithful supporters of Christian higher education. Floyd is an astute businessman with a big heart whose counsel I continue to value. One of the comments he enjoys saying to me is, ‘I’m always ready and willing to do anything you can get me to do.’” For more than 50 years, Shirley and Floyd Whitfield have been involved in property development in the Lowcountry.

Michael Bryant, dean of the School of Christian Studies, said, “The Center for Christian Leadership will be a primary resource for faith integration, community outreach and leadership development. It will enable the university to become a leading voice of Christian thought that is biblical in content, transformational in nature and universal in scope.”

“The incredibly significant investment Floyd and Shirley Whitfield have made in the Center for Christian Leadership is a wonderful affirmation of the vision God has been developing at Charleston Southern,” said Doug Hunter, executive director of the Center for Christian Leadership. “It's also a powerful testimony to the commitment they share for developing Kingdom Leaders for the next generation.”

"On behalf of the board of directors and leadership teams of both Lifeworks Charleston and God in the Workplace, I wish to extend a heartfelt thank you for this generous gift toward the Center for Christian Leadership. This gift will allow Kingdom Building to continue and be expanded upon by many local small business owners by attending many events that will be held in this new center,” said Mark Smith, vice president of McAlister-Smith Funeral Home.

The Whitfields are members of the Legacy Society, which recognizes those individuals who have named the university in their final bequests. They are life members of the President’s Club and have established the Whitfield Endowed Scholarship Fund, which provides scholarships for 50 students per year. “We are grateful to the Whitfields because their generosity provides opportunities for deserving students to attend Charleston Southern,” said Debbie Williamson, vice president for enrollment management.

The Whitfield Stadium Center is also among the Whitfields’ significant gifts to the university. The four-story stadium center opened in 2000 and is home of the CSU Buccaneer football, track and field programs.

Floyd Whitfield has served four terms on the Board of Trustees and was a member of the presidential search committee that brought Dr. Hunter to Charleston Southern. While serving on the Board, he was chairman of the finance and facilities committee and was vice chairman of the Board. The university awarded Mr. Whitfield an honorary doctor of humanities in 1991.

Shirley Whitfield has served as president and as a member of the Women’s Council at Charleston Southern for the past 20 years. The university presented Mrs. Whitfield with the Distinguished Service Award in 2009 for outstanding Christian leadership and service to the community and to the university.

The Whitfields are members of Grace on the Ashley Baptist Church.



Founded in 1964, Charleston Southern is located near historic Charleston and the  beautiful beaches of the South Carolina coastline. Charleston Southern is one of South Carolina’s largest accredited, independent universities, enrolling 3,200 students. Affiliated with the South Carolina Baptist Convention, the University’s vision is to be a Christian university nationally recognized for integrating faith in learning, leading and serving.


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