Former CSU golden gal’s legacy lives on with $1.5 million gift

May 15, 2023

A gift from the estate of a longtime Charleston Southern University employee will bless students for years to come. The gift of nearly $1.5 million from the late Barbara “Binky” Mead is the largest single gift to endow scholarships in the history of the university. Each year, multiple students will benefit from Mead’s generosity through The Barbara “Binky” C. Mead Endowed Scholarship.

At the time of her death in October 2021, Mead had worked at CSU, formerly Baptist College at Charleston, for 55 years. Mead began her career in admissions in 1967, later becoming the assistant dean of students. In more recent years, as the associate dean of students, she oversaw the international student program, worked on major campus events, and taught dining etiquette.

Just after her passing, President Dondi Costin, said, “Barbara Mead represented the purest example of living one’s calling that I have ever seen. Because of her outside business interests, Binky never needed a job, never needed a paycheck, and never wanted recognition. But she was compelled to serve the Lord by loving students in countless ways, always generously, and often anonymously. In a CSU career with service in seven different decades, Binky was driven to demonstrate this truth: ‘only one life will soon be past; only what’s done for Christ will last.’ And only God knows the number of lives she impacted for good during her one full life.”

Tiffany D. Coleman, executive director of undergraduate admissions, said, “Ms. Barbara Mead will be remembered as a phenomenal woman who loved Charleston Southern and believed in making an impact. The Enrollment Team is honored that through Endowed Scholarships, Ms. Mead’s legacy will live on to provide limitless opportunities for students attending Charleston Southern. Charleston Southern is blessed to have had Ms. Barbara Mead for 55 years and will forever be grateful for her EPIC service.”

Endowing new scholarships is a key component of the university’s current Limitless fundraising campaign, and Mead’s gift will enhance the student experience for countless CSU students. Throughout her CSU career, Mead was a major donor, and established the P.O. Jr. and Margaret I. Mead Endowed Scholarship in memory of her parents. She was instrumental in establishing the Student Emergency Care Fund during COVID.

Retired Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students Clark Carter said, “Ms. Mead dedicated her life to serving others. She always made people feel so special! She would spend hours talking with our international students and anyone else who might be struggling to ‘fit in’ at CSU. She loved our students so well that many of them called her Momma Mead. Ms. Mead told me several times that when it came time for her to leave this earth, she wanted to make sure that much of her resources were left to helping students attend the university that she dedicated most of her life to – Charleston Southern University. She was not really interested with investing in buildings, but in people.” Mead was a graduate of Furman University and The Citadel and was a licensed counselor.

About Charleston Southern University

Founded in 1964 in the heart of the Charleston metro area, Charleston Southern University is a private, Christian liberal arts university. With an enrollment of nearly 3,500 students, CSU offers more than 80 academically rigorous and faith-integrated undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs. Charleston Southern has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as #39 nationally for Best Online Bachelor’s Programs and #22 for Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans. Students can learn online or in a traditional classroom setting, all while discovering their pathway to purpose.