Coastal Carolina University honors fall graduates
Commencement speaker Kevin Jenerette, Coastal's 2007 Distinguished Teacher of the Year, urged the graduates to be proud of their accomplishment. "Today is the culmination of a long and difficult struggle," he said. "For those of you completing a bachelor's degree, take pride in the fact that you are in a select group. Roughly one in four Americans aged 25 or older has reached this level ... Some of you are graduating with master's degrees. You join the nine percent of our country's population who hold advanced or professional degrees. This is quite a feat."
Jenerette, who is director of Coastal's Learning Assistance Center, said he and his brother were first-generation college graduates in their family. He earned a bachelor's degree in applied mathematics, magna cum laude, from Coastal in 1992 and a master's degree in mathematics from the University of South Carolina in 1994.
Sandra Leigh Causey of Conway received the President's Award for Academic Achievement, which recognizes students with the highest cumulative grade point average. She graduated summa cum laude, achieving a 4.0 GPA for all her college work. Causey earned a bachelor's degree in English, has been a member of the English and foreign language honor societies and has worked on the staffs of all three of CCU's student publications.
Receiving honorary degrees in public service were Larry L. Biddle, Daniel T. Cooper and Marilyn J. Fore.
Biddle, a lifelong educator and businessman, is president of the Burroughs Company in Conway. He and his wife Ginny were instrumental in the establishment of the Biddle Center for Teaching and Learning, an outreach of the CCU's Spadoni College of Education, where he chairs the Board of Visitors.
Cooper, a certified insurance counselor of Piedmont, is chairman of the Ways and Means Committee in the S.C. House of Representatives, where he has served continuously since 1990. Cooper has had an instrumental role in securing state support for CCU.
Fore is senior vice president for academic affairs at Horry-Georgetown Technical College. A native of Ohio, Fore joined HGTC in 1974 and has worked closely with Coastal in developing programs that enable students to transfer from HGTC to CCU.