The museum announced Carolyn Hunter’s gift Dec. 21. Officials hope to break ground next summer on the project, which is expected to cost $75 million.
Hunter is president of C&A Unlimited Inc., which owns McDonald’s restaurants in Ladson and Summerville. She started her career as a McDonald’s grill worker after graduating from a community college in 1977.
Museum CEO Michael Boulware said Hunter’s story exemplifies the American dream.
Hunter established a scholarship fund at Trident Technical College and serves on the boards of Trident Technical College Foundation, Charleston Southern University, Trident United Way and the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Charleston.