Coker Opens New Residence Hall and Residential Village

The Village at Byerly Place and Betty Y. and Charles L. Sullivan Jr. Residence Hall Names Revealed

HARTSVILLE, S.C. – Aug. 15, 2013 – Coker College celebrated the opening of The Village at Byerly Place and its first residence hall, the Betty Y. and Charles L. Sullivan Jr. Residence Hall, during a ribbon-cutting ceremony today. It marked the third consecutive academic year for Coker opening a new residential facility for its students.

“As we continue to grow as an institution, today’s celebration symbolizes another milestone event for the college,” said Coker College President Robert Wyatt. “This village is another wonderful property which will become a landscape upon which Coker’s students, neighbors and Hartsville’s residents will gather for everyday encounters, youthful celebrations, athletic competitions, and most importantly for that safe, hopeful space that defines home and community.”

The location of the residential village rests on the ground that was formerly the Byerly Hospital. A generous gift from the Byerly Foundation helped make the new development possible.

“Having the Byerly name on the Coker College residential village is a major tribute to the former Byerly Hospital that stood on that piece of ground,” said Richard Puffer, executive director of The Byerly Foundation. “Dr. Byerly made that hospital happen, and continuing to have the Byerly name in such an important part of the community will help remember his tremendous involvement in building the city of Hartsville.”

Housing 48 students in all, the 18,096 square-foot, three-story residence hall has 12 total apartments, with four students per unit. Each unit has a living room, a full kitchen, four bedrooms, two full bathrooms, cable television access, wireless Internet access, central air conditioning and individually programmed key-card access for security. The building has on-site parking, a laundry facility, spacious in-unit storage closets, and each floor has a common outdoor porch with eight rocking chairs.

A retired executive vice president of Sonoco Products, Charles Sullivan is a member of the Board of Trustees of Coker College and recently served as the interim Vice President for Institutional Advancement for the college. He is also co-chair of Redefining Excellence: The Campaign for Coker Athletics and Residence Life.

“There are a lot of things that happen to an individual throughout their life, and most of the things that are really important are probably things we don’t deserve,” Sullivan said. “This is one of them. I certainly didn’t get involved in this campaign for recognition, but I am overwhelmed by it, as is Betty. Our relationship with Coker began many years ago, and we are sincerely honored and humbled for this recognition.”

Since joining the Coker College Board of Trustees in 2002, Sullivan served as vice chair from 2002 to 2006 and as chair from 2006-2010. He also served on the steering committee of the Gateway to the New Century Campaign, the college’s recent record-breaking capital campaign, which raised $24 million. The fundraising effort enabled the college to make significant investments in the campus community, including the construction of the 40,000-square foot, $6.5 million Charles W. and Joan S. Coker Library-Information Technology Center. Millions of dollars from the campaign also went to improving academic programs, residence halls and campus landscaping.

“Charles has been a mentor for me from the day I arrived at Coker,” Wyatt said. “It is a double honor to have this residence hall named after him.”

Mr. Sullivan is married to Betty Young Sullivan, Coker College Class of ’71, who received Coker’s Distinguished Alumni Service Award in 2009. They have two children, Rosemary and Duncan, and four grandchildren.

Along with Wyatt and Sullivan, speaking at the dedication were students Malcolm Reed and Sara Atkinson; Dr. Jason Umfress, dean of students; and Dr. Gary Colboch, pastor at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Hartsville.

The Betty Y. and Charles L. Sullivan Jr. Residence Hall is the first of six to be built over the next few years within The Village at Byerly Place as part of the Redefining Excellence campaign. The campaign also includes a new athletics facility, the Harris E. and Louise H. DeLoach Center, which broke ground in April and is expected to open in spring 2014.

Both the residential village and DeLoach Center were designed by McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture, with construction management services provided by Choate Construction.

For more information about Coker’s new residential village, contact Jason Umfress, dean of students, at 843-383-8035.  For more information about attending Coker College, contact Coker Admissions at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 843-383-8050.


Coker College readies undergraduates for personal and professional success through a distinctive four-year program that emphasizes a practical application of the liberal arts as well as hands-on and discussion-based learning within and beyond the classroom. Coker is ranked among the “Best Colleges” in the South by U.S. News & World Report as well as The Princeton Review. Located in Hartsville, S.C., Coker is within two hours of the cultural, financial and recreational resources of Charlotte, Columbia, Charleston and Myrtle Beach.

For more information, contact Chris Dougherty - 843.383.8018

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