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Grand Strand Chapter

of the Military Officers Association of America


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Please  join us for our October 2021 GS MOAA luncheon meeting on Tuesday, October 12, 2021.  Social hour begins at 11AM with our meeting at noon, lunch at 1230PM and the program at 1PM.

The program will provide insight to the current status and future direction of Coastal Carolina University as a growing academic institution, with an equally expanding Army ROTC unit.  Our guest speaker will be their newly appointed President, Michael T. Benson.   A photo and brief bio of Mr. Benson can be found below.


To register for this event, please click on the registration "Button" above.   If you are having problems completing this action, please  call/text Rufus Manning at: 703.501.4045 and he will assist in getting you registered.

Lunch is $30 per person with a cash bar.  PAYMENT MAY BE MADE BY CREDIT CARD ON-LINE, or by check, cash or credit card at the door.  Prior registration is recommended as we continue to follow State and CDC guidelines for public gatherings. 

Master of ceremony will be our Chapter President, Jim Albert, who will guide us through the meeting and lunch program.   

Dress is business casual and spouses and other guests are encouraged to attend.

The Dunes Golf and Beach facility staff and the Grand Strand Chapter will follow established Federal, State, and local guidelines for dining attendees.  

     - Dunes facility staff will serve food to guests in a buffet line and avoid sharing food or drink containers at dining tables;

     - Hand sanitizer, face masks and other safety measures will be made available to all members and guests;

     - Seating will be set at a distance appropriate for the occasion.

If you have any additional concerns, questions or suggestions about event safety precautions, please contact Jim Albert, Chapter President, via text/cell: 203-509-8555.

Presentation of the Colors at this dinner will be provided by the Vietnam Veterans of America, Unit 925.


James R. Albert, Lt Col, USAF (ret)



Michael T. Benson – Bio

A veteran of higher education administration, Michael T. Benson is the third president of Coastal Carolina University (CCU). He began his tenure on Jan. 1, 2021.

Benson previously served as the 13th president of Eastern Kentucky University from 2013 to 2020 and was named president emeritus of EKU in December 2019. While at EKU, he held an appointment as professor of government. He recently served as a visiting professor in the Department of History of Science and Technology in the Krieger School of Arts & Sciences at Johns Hopkins University.  Benson also holds the title of professor of history at CCU.

Before serving as president of Eastern Kentucky, Benson was the 15th president of Southern Utah University, where he helped secure the designation for SUU as the state’s public liberal arts and sciences university; established the Hispanic Center for Academic Excellence; gained admission into the Big Sky Conference for all athletic teams; completed new residence halls, a teacher education facility, and a science and engineering center; and directed the development and implementation of SUU’s largest and most ambitious comprehensive fundraising effort. This endeavor raised a record $105 million for SUU.

Benson previously served for five years as the 14th president of Snow College in Ephraim, Utah, where he helped raise more private money for the institution during his tenure than had been secured in the previous 115 years of the college’s history combined. Appointed president of Snow College at age 36, Benson was the youngest college president in the history of the Utah System of Higher Education.

Benson’s background includes membership on the Council of Presidents of the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, on the Presidents’ Trust for the Association of American Colleges and Universities, and on the Task Force on University Partnerships of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. He also recently chaired 4 substantive change committees for universities in Texas, Georgia, Florida, and North Carolina for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Active in intercollegiate athletics, Benson completed a four-year term as a member of the nine-person NCAA Honors Committee, the group charged with awarding the NCAA’s highest recognitions each year. He is also a past chair of the Presidents’ Council for the Ohio Valley Conference and was elected as representative for the Ohio Valley Conference on the NCAA Division I Presidential Forum.

Born in Utah and raised in Texas and Indiana, Benson worked and studied abroad for 7 years in Italy, England, and Israel. He earned his bachelor’s degree cum laude from Brigham Young University in 1990 with a major in political science and double minors in English and History. He completed his doctorate in modern history from the University of Oxford (St. Antony’s College) in 1995, where he was a Rotary Foundation Scholar and recipient of the Oxford Graduate Overseas Fellowship. He also earned a master’s degree cum laude in non-profit administration in 2011 from the University of Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business, where he was the recipient of the prestigious Father Theodore Hesburgh Founder’s Award. Benson is two courses shy of completing a Master of Liberal Arts at Johns Hopkins University and will graduate in Fall 2021.

Benson’s scholarly work has focused on development of the research university and its impact on society. He recently completed his third book, this one titled, “Gilman at Hopkins: The Birth of the Modern American Research University”. It will be released by Johns Hopkins University Press this year.

Benson and his wife, Debi, are the parents of three children – Truman, Tatum, and Talmage. His two older children from a previous marriage, Emma and Samuel, are both students at Brigham Young University.

The Grand Strand Chapter, an Affiliate of National MOAA, is a 501(c)3 organization.

Mailing Address:  Grand Strand Chapter MOAA,  P.O. Box 15842,  Surfside Beach, SC. 29587

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