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Coastal Carolina University honors 2008 graduates

May 10, 2008

A total of 710 students participated in Coastal Carolina University's commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 10 at Brooks Stadium.

Commencement speaker Lt. Patrick "Clebe" McClary, a Marine Corps veteran, decorated for his service in the Vietnam War, stressed to students the importance of honoring their commitments. "In this world of give and take, not enough people give what it takes," he said. He also encouraged the 2008 graduating class to set goals. "The only difference between a dream and a goal is that you put a date on a goal. Write them down and check them off. You've got to see yourself doing it or you'll never get it done."

Receiving honorary degrees were: McClary, S.C. Rep. Liston Barfield (Dist. 58), science fiction author William Gibson and S.C. Sen. J. Yancey McGill (Dist. 32). McClary, a native of the South Carolina low country, was platoon leader of the 1st Recon Battalion in Vietnam. He suffered the loss of his left arm and left eye on his 19th recon patrol. He received three Purple Hearts, the Silver Star and the Bronze Star for his bravery under fire.

Four students received for the President's Award for Academic Achievement, which recognizes students with the highest cumulative grade point averages. The recipients of the award, who all earned perfect 4.0 grade point averages, were Katherine Grobsky, Katie Hinson, Nicole Kuenzel and Sunni Stewart.

Grobsky, of Meriden, Conn., conducted research at Coastal as diverse as dust particles of the Sahara Desert and the cardiac stem cells in mice. She plans to pursue a Ph.D. degree in atmospheric chemistry.

Katie Hinson, of Myrtle Beach, a member of CCU's Wall Fellow program, graduates with a bachelor's degree in business administration. She interned in the office of U.S. Congressman Henry Brown and has been accepted at the Charleston School of Law.

Nicole Kuenzel, of Westminister, Colo., was recognized as the year's top student in the Department of Marine Science. Graduating with a bachelor's degree in marine science, she will begin the Master of Earth Science program at the University of New Hampshire this fall.

Sunni Stewart, of Rockview, W. Va., earned a bachelor of science degree in biology. She was recently recognized with the award for outstanding academic achievement in the Department of Biology, Stewart has been accepted iat the Indiana University School of Optometry.