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Shopping for Scholars helps CSU students

Warren Peper // Marketing and Communication // 11.07.2016

It started as a small gathering.

“Just a thought, just an idea,” recalled Susan Johnson, CSU Women’s Council chair. Thirteen years later, Shopping for Scholars, Charleston Southern University’s annual student scholarship event, has become much more than that.

Sissy Hunter, Charleston Southern’s first lady, recalls a small group with unknown expectations.  “Three friends were asked to bring three gifts, and we raised $6,000 that first year,” she said.

From those modest beginnings now stands a Women’s Council annual event that has endowed three full scholarships. This year’s event was attended by 100 friends of the university with approximately 300 items auctioned, raising more than $44,000 for CSU students.

Janice Messex, Co-Chair of this year’s event, said it’s so gratifying to see this money help students get a Christian education they might not be able to afford.

The auction items are generated by the Women's Council and include hand-crafted gifts, shopping sprees, jewelry, a sports fishing trip, artwork, vacations, weekend getaways and cruises. 

“We were thrilled that first year, but every year since has been better,” says Lisa Main, a member of the CSU Women’s Council.

Shopping for Scholars has raised $99,000 over the last two years and $382,000 dollars since its inception. For more information on student scholarship opportunities at Charleston Southern, visit

Founded in 1964, Charleston Southern University is a private, four-year liberal arts college. CSU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and is affiliated with the South Carolina Baptist Convention. The University's vision is to be a Christian university nationally recognized for integrating faith in learning, leading and serving.