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Honorary Degrees

In the early 1950s, a handful of community leaders were anxious about the socioeconomic perils that could befall a region without ready access to higher education. Those leaders set a goal, went to work, and on Sept. 20, 1954, Coastal Carolina Junior College held its first classes – after hours in Conway High School. In 1963, the institution opened its first building on the new campus, the Edward M. Singleton Building. On July 1, 1993, on the portico of the Singleton Building, S.C. Governor Carroll Campbell signed legislation that established an independent public university – Coastal Carolina University. The University awarded its first honorary degrees as part of the commencement ceremony in May of 1995.

Honorary degree recipients and their respective degrees are indicated below. Honorary degree recipients who delivered the commencement address are indicated with an asterisk. An August commencement was added to the academic calendar in 2013; while honorary degrees are not awarded during this convocation, University faculty who delivered the commencement address are shown in italics.

2017 May
August
Amber Campbell Doctor of Science *
Speaker: John Hutchens Professor of Marine Science
2016 December
August
May
Susan N. O'Malley Doctor of Science *
Speaker: Robert Young Professor of Marine Science
Dennis L. Wade Doctor of Public Service *
2015 December
August
May
Molly M. Spearman, Doctor of Public Service *
Speaker: Pamela Martin Professor of Politics
Michael J. Gerson Doctor of Humane Letters *
2014 December
August
May 
Speaker: Edgar "Eddie" Dyer Professor of Politics, EVP/COO
Speaker: Arne R. Flaten Professor of Art History
Natasha Trethewey Doctor of Humane Letters *
2013 December
August
May
Michael F. Clayton Doctor of Humane Letters *
Speaker: Holley E. Tankersley Associate Professor of Politics
Raymond E. Cleary III Doctor of Public Service
Timothy E. Scott Doctor of Public Service *
2012 December
May
Vernice Armour Doctor of Humane Letters *
W. Brian White Doctor of Public Service
James E. Clyburn Doctor of Public Service *
2011 December
**
Pierre J. Thuot Doctor of Public Service *
Harold "Hal" Rogers Doctor of Public Service
** awarded during a special convocation held in September
2010 December
May
Richard A. Raskopf Doctor of Humane Letters *
Bonnie McElveen-Hunter Doctor of Public Service *
2009 December
May
Jonathan Green Doctor of Fine Arts *
Edward Ball Doctor of Humane Letters * 
Clay D. Brittain Jr. Doctor of Public Service
Hilda M. Carter Doctor of Public Service
Arthur Herbert "Doc" Lachicotte Jr. Doctor of Public Service 
2008 December

May
Dorothy K. Anderson Doctor of Public Service
Harold C. Stowe Doctor of Public Service
Liston Barfield Doctor of Public Service
William Gibson Doctor of Humane Letters
Patrick Cleburne "Clebe" McClary Doctor of Public Service *
J. Yancey McGill Doctor of Public Service 
2007 December


May
Larry L. Biddle Doctor of Public Service
Daniel T. Cooper Doctor of Public Service
Marilyn J. Fore Doctor of Public Service
James C. Benton Sr. Doctor of Public Service 
James F. Hackler Jr. Doctor of Public Service
Josephine Humphreys Doctor of Humane Letters
Judith K. Ingle Doctor of Public Service
2006 December



May
William J. Baxley Jr. Doctor of Public Service
M. Lois Eargle 
Doctor of Public Service
Emma Lou Johnson 
Doctor of Public Service 
H. Neyle Wilson 
Doctor of Public Service
David W. Harwell 
Doctor of Public Service
Gerrita Postlewait 
Doctor of Public Service
Jack Thompson 
Doctor of Fine Arts
William W. Wilkins 
Doctor of Public Service *
2005 May Henry E. Brown Jr. Doctor of Public Service * 
John W. Dawsey Doctor of Public Service 
Edward M. Singleton Doctor of Public Service
Mickey Spillane Doctor of Humane Letters
2004 May Lindsey O. Graham Doctor of Public Service * 
Thomas G. Keegan Doctor of Public Service
Florida Yeldell Doctor of Humane Letters
2003 December David H. Drayton Doctor of Humane Letters
Ashby Ward Doctor of Public Service (posthumously)
2002 December
May
Hugh K. Leatherman Sr. Doctor of Public Service
W. Horace Carter Doctor of Humane Letters
Mark S. Kelley Doctor of Public Service
Judy Woodruff Doctor of Public Service *
2001 December
May
James P. Blanton Doctor of Public Service
Walter Edgar Doctor of Humane Letters *
Genevieve Chandler Peterkin Doctor of Humane Letters
Bill Pinkney Doctor of Fine Arts
2000 May  Sigmund Abeles Doctor of Fine Arts * 
John Hope Doctor of Public Service
1999 May Rita R. Colwell Doctor of Public Service * 
William H. Davis Doctor of Humane Letters
D. Kent Sharples Doctor of Public Service
1998 May Henry J. Cauthen Doctor of Public Service
William R. Ferris Doctor of Humane Letters *
Alberta L. Quattlebaum Doctor of Public Service
1997 May Fred P. Brinkman Doctor of Public Service
William F. Davis Doctor of Public Service
Joab M. Lesesne Doctor of Humane Letters *
1996 May Jonathan Kozol Doctor of Public Service *
William A. Sessions Doctor of Humane Letters
1995 May Catherine H. Lewis Doctor of Humane Letters
Philip H. Prince Doctor of Public Service *
R. Cathcart Smith Doctor of Public Service