CONWAY — CCU professor Charles Joyner and former head baseball coach John Vrooman were named the first recipients of the University Medallion at the school’s annual Founders Day ceremony Monday night at Wheelwright Auditorium.
Founders Day was initiated in 1987 as a way to recognize those who helped shape the historic, academic and physical development of Coastal Carolina University as well as to higher education in the region. The University Medallion was created to honor individuals who have contributed to CCU in service (to education and the community), entrepreneurship, philanthropy and/or scholarship.
Besides the awards presented Joyner and Vrooman, the ceremony also recognized the late H. Franklin Burroughs (1962-2002), a trustee on the first board after CCU separated from the University of South Carolina and chairman from 1999-2000 who was an early advocate of the football program and one of its first benefactors; Guy Skipper Cameron (1980-1962), a Myrtle Beach civic leader and the first woman on the Horry County Higher Education Commission, who was instrumental in determining the present location of CCU; and Charles L. Watson (1939-1998), a Conway attorney, businessman and CCU benefactor who served on the board of visitors at the E. Craig Wall Sr. College of Business Administration for whom the school’s baseball stadium is named.
Joyner is CCU’s Burroughs Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Southern History and Culture who holds doctoral degrees from the universities of South Carolina and Pennsylvania. He is the author of “Down by the Riverside,” a study of rice plantations along the Waccamaw River and has lectured at Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard and Berkeley, among other universities. He has received the S.C. Humanities Council’s Governor’s Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Humanities, the Lifetime Commitment Award from Bluegrass on the Waccamaw and holds an honorary life member of the British American Nineteenth-Century Historians.
Besides being head baseball coach, Vrooman was also an interim athletics director and academic dean at CCU. Vrooman’s teams won six consecutive Big South Conference titles and achieved the school’s first NCAA Regional appearance in 1991. He was a member of the faculty for 36 years, twice the Big South Coach of the Year and inducted into the George F. “:Buddy” Sasser CCU Athletic Hall of Fame and the Big South Conference Hall of Fame. CCU’s baseball field is named for him and his parents.
Steve Jones, email@example.com