Coker College alumna Carol Turner Atkinson doesn’t buy into the old cliché that ‘you can never go home again.’
“I would challenge people to take that first step,” Atkinson says. “If you haven’t been to campus in a while, come back and see an experience you will find to be far and above your greatest expectations.”
Atkinson double majored in mathematics and psychology at Coker College. “I think Coker does a wonderful job at education,” says Atkinson, who was a member of the honor society during her time here. “I think my favorite aspect of my Coker life was the opportunity to make some lifelong friends.”
“I would challenge people to take that first step.”
After graduating in 1973, she went on to Clemson University where she earned a master’s degree in mathematics with a major in statistics.
When Atkinson talks about her career, she describes the early years as “somewhat varied.” She taught classes at Francis Marion in Florence, S.C., then started a career in statistical consulting.
“For well over 30 years, I’ve been training people and doing statistical analysis in industry,” Atkinson says. She greatly enjoys training people because it involves teaching, which she loves.
Even with a background primarily focused in mathematics, Atkinson uncovered her creative and artistic sides during her time at Coker. She was involved in the dance program and is grateful to Coker for providing her the means to travel to Europe and study art and architecture during her undergraduate career.
She remembers the trip to Europe as a sort of turning point in her life. “You must travel and you must remember to enjoy art,” she says.
Atkinson lives in Hartsville and continues to remain active in the Coker community, particularly by attending many of the music, theatre and dance performances, as well as sporting events. She recently completed her term as the president of the Alumni Board and, along with her husband Mike, is a member of the Coker Society.
“You must travel and you must remember to enjoy art.”
Atkinson says her favorite Coker College event is the Men’s Vocal Ensemble. “I think they’re just a spectacular group of young men and I thoroughly enjoy every performance they give,” she says.
Atkinson, a great example of community involvement, both on and off campus, is impressed by how engaged and involved Coker’s current students are in the community. “I’m thankful to all of the students on campus for going out and about and getting involved in the community,” she says.
She encourages alumni to come back to Hartsville and see how much Coker has changed.
“You’ll be hooked if you come back,” she says.
Written by William Henry, alumni relations intern
Edited by Elizabeth Coxe Hubbard, content marketing specialist