Coker Hosts Ribbon Cutting for Wiggins School of Education

For more information, contact Barb Steadman - 843.857.4199

HARTSVILLE, S.C. – Sept. 13, 2012 – Coker College will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house for Phase I of the Betty C. and Joseph L. Wiggins School of Education at 10 a.m. Sept. 24.

A gift of more than $1 million from the estate of Betty C. Wiggins enabled the project – the first named school in Coker’s history – which is housed at 207 East Carolina Avenue in the building previously occupied by the Hartsville Messenger.

“As part of “Redefining Ready,” the college’s strategic plan, the Wiggins School of Education will strengthen the College’s national position as a force for innovative teacher education and, at the same time, enhance our ability to serve teachers, students and children in the Pee Dee Region,” said Coker College President Robert Wyatt.

Renovations to the 6,400 square-foot building, designed and renovated by Hartsville architect Bobby Goodson, were divided into two phases.  Phase I, which is now complete, included completely refurbishing the building’s office and meeting spaces.  Phase II, which is slated for completion next summer, will include creating model classrooms that will serve, among other things, as teaching labs for Coker’s education students.

“For teachers, fall is always an exciting time, but, this season, my colleagues and I are feeling unusually blessed,” said Associate Professor of Education Susan D. Henderson, who directs the new school.  “Thanks to the Wiggins’ generosity, teacher education at Coker College now has a home that truly exemplifies excellence.  We are honored to be a part of the program and are determined to continue working closely with the college and community to develop the well-educated teacher – a legacy worthy of both the Wiggins’ and the college.”

Residents of Hartsville, Betty and Joe Wiggins were lifelong supporters of Coker College.  Betty was a Trustee and had received a Doctor of Humane Letters from Coker College in 2001.  In 1986 she was awarded the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award. She died in 2010.

Joe had been president of the Hartsville Broadcasting Company Cable TV of Hartsville and owner, publisher and editor of The Hartsville Messenger. He received an honorary degree from Coker in 1987. He passed away in 2001.

Among the many philanthropic interests in addition to Coker College that the Wiggins supported were Black Creek Land Trust, Hartsville Community Concerts, Spoleto Festival, Hartsville Interfaith Ministries, Spring Beauty Garden Club, SCETV, Hartsville Memorial Library and the Hartsville Museum.

For information about the Betty C. and Joseph L. Wiggins School of Education, visit .  For information about admission to Coker College, visit or call 843-383-8000.


Photo:  Coker College President Robert Wyatt.

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