University honors Jairy and Sissy Hunter

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By The Staff

Staff Reports

Charleston Southern University dedicated a new wing of its Hunter Center and renamed the building during a ceremony June 11 in honor of Lancaster natives Dr. Jairy and Carolyn “Sissy” Hunter.

The Hunter Center serves as both the students services and reception center at the Christian liberal arts school where Jairy Hunter has served as president for the past 30 years.

During the ceremony, university officials renamed the building the Jairy C. & Carolyn K. Hunter Center and named a new wing in honor of Sissy Hunter.

“We are indeed appreciative for this recognition and sincerely grateful to the board of trustees and everyone who has supported this beautiful center for student services,” the Hunters said in a press release.

“More importantly, we thank God for having provided us the opportunity to serve in Christian higher education,” the Hunters said.

The naming of the new wing recognizes Sissy Hunter for her 30 years of leadership at the university during her husband’s tenure as president.

The expanded facility will allow the university to provide better service to its current and prospective students.

The new center provides a central location for several student services, including undergraduate and graduate admissions, enrollment, the cashier and registrar’s offices, financial aid, veterans services and student accounts and employment.

The reception center is the vision of another Lancaster native, the late Richard Blackmon, a former contractor, developer and bank board member, who believed the university needed to make a good “first impression” for guests, the release said.

According to the release, in her role as the university’s first lady, Sissy Hunter has been active in day-to-day special events and served as the BUC club board of director and CSU’s Women’s Council, the latter of which has raised more than $400,000 for the university.

The university awarded Sissy Hunter with an honorary doctorate of education in 1999.

During Jairy Hunter’s tenure as president, the university has grown from enrollment of 1,600 to 3,300 and numerous undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

Hunter has also overseen the construction of several new buildings.

Charleston Southern University board of trustees Chairman Jerry Williams said the renaming is a sign of the university’s respect for the Hunters.

“The expanded center is truly a testament to Jairy and Sissy for their dedication to Charleston Southern,” Williams said. “With the idea of the center birthed in Lancaster, we share in the excitement with all Charleston Southern friends.”