Governor Joins Hundreds in Honoring DeLoach at Coker College Dedication

Louise H. (left) and Harris E. DeLoach, Jr.

Hartsville, S.C. – August 22, 2014 – During today’s dedication of the Harris E. and Louise H. DeLoach Center, Gov. Nikki Haley joined with Coker College President Robert Wyatt and other dignitaries to recognize the contributions of the DeLoach’s and others who made the new $12 million facility possible.

“Harris and Louise, you are at the center of all of this,” said Wyatt before an audience of some 600 students, faculty, staff, community members and donors. “Your guidance and service to the cause of improving educational opportunities in Hartsville has inspired this college, this community and hundreds in the region who have been involved in building this Center.”

Dr. Robert Wyatt, president of Coker College

Harris E. DeLoach, Jr. and Gov. Nikki Haley

“I hope this building reflects our deep appreciation for the good work of students, faculty, staff, alumni and the administration of Coker College,” Harris DeLoach said. “More importantly, however, we want it to reflect how passionately we believe in the role that education plays in the success of the people of this community.

“In this structure, Coker College students will learn invaluable life and business lessons about competition and teamwork,” DeLoach continued. “I also believe that this complex will become an important centerpiece for the people of Hartsville to gather and celebrate competition at its best.”

When Gov. Haley delivered her remarks, she stunned DeLoach when she awarded him the Order of the Palmetto, the state’s highest civilian honor, which was given in recognition of the business leader’s lifetime achievements and contributions to the state.

“From your outstanding leadership at Sonoco Products Company, to your extensive involvement in civic affairs, you have demonstrated a remarkable commitment to excellence, and your contributions will have a lasting impact for years to come,” Gov. Haley said.

Harris E. DeLoach Jr. served as chairman and chief executive officer at Sonoco before he retired in 2013. He is Executive Chairman of Sonoco’s Board of Directors and a Trustee of the Duke Endowment. In addition, he serves on the boards of Duke Energy and Milliken & Company and, locally, on the boards of the Byerly Foundation and the TEACH Foundation.

At 71,000 square feet, the Harris E. and Louise H. DeLoach Center, which opened earlier this fall, is the largest campus expansion in institutional history.

The multi-purpose facility includes a main gymnasium that seats 1,908 in stadium-style retractable bleachers and an auxiliary gymnasium. Level one of the facility also includes a strength and conditioning room, a Cafe and dining area, athletic training and rehabilitation/therapy rooms, sport-by-sport locker rooms, state-of-the-art classrooms and more. Level two features, among other things, a large Cobra Club, athletic offices and a walking track.

Other members of the platform party for the dedication ceremony included Sen. Gerald Malloy, Rep. Jay Lucas, Coker College Chair of the Board of Trustees Cindy Hartley, The Reverend John Foster III and students Hailey Yohn and Kendrick Reed, both seniors.

(From left to right) The Reverend John Foster III, Kendrick Reed, Rep. Jay Lucas, Hailey Yohn, Sen. Gerald Malloy, Dr. Robert Wyatt, Louise DeLoach, Harris DeLoach, Jr., Gov. Nikki Haley, and Cindy Hartley.

A grand opening celebration for the community will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. tomorrow. Intended as a fun, family-friendly event to give residents an opportunity to see the new facility before the start of the fall semester. Free and open to the public, the grand opening will include carnival refreshments, entertainment, tours of the new facility and opportunities for children (of all ages) to have their pictures taken with Striker, the Cobra’s mascot.

For more information about Saturday’s grand opening celebration, please call (843) 857-4211.

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Coker College readies students for personal and professional success through a distinctive 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 Kyle Saverance, Vice President for Marketing & Communications
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