Campus wide, Giving

Word of mouth leads Swain to make financial donation

By Tom Clemmons | May 28, 2020

Kenneth E. Swain’s passion to help others has led him to give substantial donations to Charleston Southern, including establishing two endowed scholarships. 

A retired Myrtle Beach pharmacist, Swain, 91, has been an active environmentalist, visionary and philanthropist. His philanthropy extends to higher education, and he recently made gifts to CSU because he wanted to make a difference in the lives of college students who want to make a difference in the world for Christ. 

Ken Swain, retired Myrtle Beach pharmacist, establishes two endowed scholarships at Charleston Southern University.
Ken Swain, retired Myrtle Beach pharmacist, established two endowed scholarships at Charleston Southern University. Photo by Tom Clemmons

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 Swain to President Dondi Costin. 

Swain is a lifelong Baptist and has been an active layman in the church. His gifts sprang from a desire to see the Gospel spread throughout South Carolina and the world. The gifts include two endowed scholarships (named for his mother, Jewel Clemmons Swain, and an aunt, Rea Swain Clark) which will go to students who are seeking a degree in Christian studies or a church-related vocation. These endowed scholarships and another substantial gift reflect his humble passion to see lives changed now and for eternity. Swain also joined the CSU Legacy Society, the university’s planned giving organization. 

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 said, “I want my money to keep funding student scholarships for many, many years after I am gone.” 

Swain graduated from the University of South Carolina in the 1950s, served in the Air Force during the Korean war, and later returned to his beloved hometown of Myrtle Beach and opened a pharmacy. His family has roots in Horry County, South Carolina, and Brunswick County, North Carolina.


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