Alumni, Campus wide, Giving

CSU presents endowed scholarship in honor of Keith and Deborah Summey

By Jan Joslin | December 16, 2023
President Keith Faulkner announces the establishment of The Keith and Deborah Summey Family Endowed Scholarship. Pictured are: Faulkner, Annie Summey, Elliot Summey, Deborah Summey, and Keith Summey.

Charleston Southern University announces the establishment of The Keith and Deborah Summey Family Endowed Scholarship to honor the Summey’s record of public service. Keith Summey is retiring this month after serving as Mayor of North Charleston for 29 years.

The endowment will provide financial assistance to numerous students from the Charleston tri-county region. The Summeys have long ties to Charleston Southern. Keith graduated from the-then Baptist College at Charleston in 1969, and Deborah graduated in 1970. 

“Mayor Keith and Deborah Summey are two of CSU’s most successful alumni,” said Dr. Jairy Hunter, president emeritus of CSU, and scholarship campaign chair. “The Summeys have provided dedicated leadership in the local community during the best years of their careers. I learned Mayor Summey was retiring in December, and I approached the president of CSU and requested that the Mayor speak at the Physician Assistant program graduation ceremony. We wanted to surprise Keith and Deborah at this time with an endowed scholarship in their honor. Due to the generosity of friends and donors, we are delighted to present these alumni leaders with the Summey Family Endowed Scholarship totaling $170,000. Annual interest income from this endowment will provide numerous scholarships for tri-county students in perpetuity.”

Keith took office in October 1994 as the third mayor of North Charleston. He was reelected in seven consecutive elections. Under his leadership, North Charleston was awarded the National League of Cities Award for Municipal Excellence and Home Depot Foundation’s Award of Excellence for Sustainable Community Development.

He previously served on North Charleston City Council and on Charleston County Council and in numerous civic capacities. Charleston Southern awarded him an honorary doctor of public service in 2006.

Deborah is a retired magistrate judge. She was appointed by the Governor of South Carolina in 1996 as a Charleston County magistrate, where she served until 2012. She began the centralized criminal domestic violence court in Charleston County. She has been a teacher and served on the North Charleston constituent school board and also on the Charleston County school board. She owned Aunt Beas Restaurant and East Montague Antiques. The Summeys were instrumental in the revitalization of the old village in North Charleston.

The Summeys have two children and four grandchildren: Elliot Summey, wife Allison, and children Jackson and Harrison; and Annie Summey and children Rhett and Lizzie.

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