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CCU commencement set for May 10, speaker announced

April 18, 2008

Approximately 814 students are eligible to participate in Coastal Carolina University's spring commencement ceremony Saturday, May 10 at 8:30 a.m. in Brooks Stadium. May and August candidates will be recognized in the ceremony.

Receiving honorary degrees at the ceremony are commencement speaker and Vietnam veteran 1st Lt. Patrick Cleburne "Clebe" McClary, Doctor of Public Service; South Carolina Rep. Liston Barfield (Dist. 58), Doctor of Public Service; science fiction author William Gibson, Doctor of Humane Letters; and South Carolina Sen. J. Yancey McGill (Dist. 32), Doctor of Public Service. McClary grew up in the South Carolina lowcountry. After completing Officers Training School in Quantico, Va., 1st Lt. McClary became platoon leader of the 1st Recon Battalion in Vietnam. McClary suffered the loss of his left arm and left eye on his 19th recon patrol. Since then he has told his story of courage, determination and strength to motivate audiences including the FBI, the New York Giants and the Atlanta Braves.

Barfield is the first Coastal alumnus to serve in the South Carolina General Assembly, where he was a member from 1985 to 1989 and from 1997 to the present. A native of Aynor, Barfield served four years in the U.S. Army, including one year in Vietnam. He was a member of Coastal's first full-degree graduation class, earning a bachelor's degree in physical education in 1975. In 2001, Barfield was named Coastal's "Distinguished Alumnus of the Year." He is the state co-chair for the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and was named ALEC's "Legislator of the Year." Barfield serves on the House Ways and Means Committee.

Gibson, born in Conway, is credited with coining the term "cyberspace." His books anticipated the Internet and virtual reality. His first novel "Neuromancer" (1984) won the Hugo Award, the Philip K. Dick Memorial Award and the Nebula Award. Other books he has written include "Count Zero," the best selling "Virtual Light," "Idoru" and "All Tomorrow's Parties." He also wrote a collection of short stories "Burning Chrome" and co-authored the collaborative novel "The Difference Engine" with Bruce Sterling.

McGill, a real estate agent and residential homebuilder, represents district 32 in the South Carolina State Senate. He is chairman of the Financial Subcommittee on Natural Resources and of the North Eastern Strategic Alliance. McGill is the former president of the Kingstree Jaycees and the Kingstree Chamber of Commerce. In 1999, he was named the Senator of the Year by the American Legion and received the S.C. Counseling Association Legislature award.

In case of severe weather there will be four ceremonies at Kimbel Arena located on the Coastal Carolina University campus. Tickets will be required due to space limitation. The severe weather ceremony times are as follows:

* 8:30 a.m. - Wall College of Business

* Noon - Spadoni College of Education

* 3:30 p.m. - Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts and Interdisciplinary Studies

* 7 p.m. - College of Natural and Applied Sciences

For more information, visit the Web site at www.coastal.edu/commencement.