ST. HELENA ISLAND, S.C. - The executive director of the Penn Center on the South Carolina coast has resigned for personal reasons.

Michael Campi became executive director of the center on St. Helena Island last June. During the past 150 years, the center has been a school for freed slaves, a Jim Crow-era industrial school and a retreat center for civil rights leaders.

The center said Campi had family obligations requiring he live closer to his native Conway. Center director of history, art and culture Victoria Smalls said details of a search for a new executive director will be announced in the next month.

The center works to tell the story of the Gullah past on the sea islands and to preserve the culture that today is threatened by rapid coastal development.