Campus wide, Giving

Swain’s $2 million legacy lives on through CSU students

By Jan Joslin | December 16, 2022

Lifetime donations and gifts from the estate of the late Ken Swain will impact the lives of Charleston Southern University students for years to come. Swain was a Myrtle Beach pharmacist, philanthropist, and an active Baptist layman.

Ken Swain became a supporter of Charleston Southern University in his last years on earth. His multi-million dollar gift leaves a legacy that will live on in the lives of CSU students for years to come.

Swain’s involvement with Charleston Southern demonstrates the power of word of mouth. Swain learned of the mission of the university through a relative who works at CSU, who then introduced him to President Dondi Costin. 

“Ken Swain left a transformational gift to Charleston Southern because he cared deeply about Christian higher education,” said Costin. “Ken’s legacy will bear much Kingdom fruit. His gifts total $2 million, which touch almost every area on our campus. It began with endowed student scholarships, continued with the renovation of the Student Center and the addition of The Cove diner, will enhance our College of Science and Mathematics, support church relations, and make over a million dollar impact on our future convocation center/arena.”

Swain’s gifts are impacting:

  • Students through endowed and annual scholarships and the Student Center renovation
  • Academics through the Swain Faculty Research Endowment and computer science technology upgrades in the College of Science and Mathematics
  • The entire university through support of church relations and the future convocation center/arena as a part of the Limitless campaign

Inspired by CSU’s vision of preparing graduates to integrate Christian faith as they learn, lead, and serve others in many different career paths, Swain joined the CSU Legacy Society, the university’s planned giving organization. “I want my money to keep funding student scholarships for many, many years after I am gone,” said Swain.

Swain graduated from the University of South Carolina, served in the Air Force during the Korean War, and later opened a pharmacy in Myrtle Beach. His family has roots in Horry County, South Carolina, and Brunswick County, North Carolina.


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