Alumnus of the Year
Patrick Sparks graduated from CCU in 1995 with a degree in marketing. He is the general manager and co-owner of Sparks Toyota in Myrtle Beach, a family-owned and operated business since 1982.
In 2010, Sparks and his father created the Sparks Family Scholarship Fund through the Coastal Educational Foundation, providing scholarships to local students attending CCU. The Sparks family continues to add to this fund each year with the annual Sparks Family Scholarship Golf Classic and the Fuel the Future Dinner and Auction. To date, six CCU students have received Sparks Family Scholarships. Students can receive up to $5,000 per year for up to four years.
Sparks is a member of the Southeast Toyota Dealer Council, a National Auto Dealers Association Dealer Academy graduate and an active supporter of many local community groups and charities.
Young Alumnus of the Year
Brooke Donaldson, a 2011 CCU graduate, is from Long Valley, N.J., and works as a dog trainer with The Seeing Eye. She has trained 20 dogs that have since been matched to blind or visually impaired individuals from across the United States.
While at Coastal, she was a resident assistant, a peer leader, a tutor in the Writing Center and a senior eco-representative, as well as a member of several social clubs and organizations. She received the Outstanding Student Award for earning the highest GPA in the University College, was a Ronald Lackey Public Service Award finalist and received the Unsung Hero Award.
Donaldson has been active in her local community, volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, preparing dinner for the residents of the Eric Johnson House (a housing service for those with HIV) and coordinating a community garden. She also works with the Literacy Volunteers of Morris County to provide free tutoring to those who speak English as a second language. In addition, Donaldson and her dog Brady have passed the therapy dog test and will soon begin participating in the Paws for Reading program at local libraries.
Click to read more about the annual Founders Day Celebration