Local business owner Carolyn Hunter has pledged $1 million to Trident Technical College over the next 20 years, marking the largest gift in the school's history.

Hunter is president and owner of C&A Unlimited Inc.which operates three McDonald’s restaurants in Moncks Corner, Ladson and Summerville. She has committed $50,000 to Trident Tech each year for the next 20 years. And she is placing no restrictions on how the school spends the money, leaving the decision to college leaders. The move is unusual in college giving.

"I was impressed with what the college has accomplished," Hunter said. "They are good stewards of money," she said. And they are the experts on the college's needs. She trusts college officials to use the money wisely.

Hunter, who has served on Trident's foundation board since 2006, attended a two-year community college in Virginia before beginning her career with McDonald's.

She has served on the Trident Tech's Emergency Student Fund Committee and launched the school's Rachel Hunter Thompson Scholarship Fund, which is named in honor of her mother.

Trident Tech President Mary Thornley said Hunter was "a role model trustee and a role model individual."

Hunter, who also is a single parent, at first wanted her gift to remain anonymous, Thornley said. "But we twisted her arm multiple times."

The story of Hunter's success and generosity will inspire Trident Tech students, Thornley said. "We needed that story."

Read more in Thursday's editions of The Post and Courier.