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April 24, 2001

Coastal Carolina University will recognize approximately 480 candidates for graduation during commencement exercises Saturday, May 5 at 9 a.m. at the campus Soccer Stadium. May and August candidates will be recognized. The public is welcome to attend.

The ceremony will be transmitted over the Internet at:

Walter Edgar, Genevieve Chandler Peterkin and Bill Pinkney will receive honorary degrees.

Walter Edgar, the commencement speaker, is Claude Neuffer Professor of History and director for the Institute of Southern Studies at the University of South Carolina. He is the author or editor of 14 books on South Carolina and the American South, including South Carolina: A History, published in 1999. He founded and served as the first director of USCs acclaimed Public History Program.

Edgar earned a masters degree in 1967 and a Ph.D. in 1969 in history from the University of South Carolina. After two years in the U.S. Army, including a tour of duty in Vietnam, he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives. Edgar joined the USC faculty in 1972 and was named director of the Institute for Southern Studies in 1980. He is active in community organizations and has served on the boards of the South Caroliniana Society, the Historic Columbia Foundation and the Columbia Museum of Art.

Genevieve Chandler Sister Peterkin, a writer, historian and environmental activist, is a longtime resident of Murrells Inlet, S.C. Her acclaimed memoir, Heaven is a Beautiful Place, written with William P. Baldwin, is a personal account of the areas rich history and culture. Peterkin earned a bachelors degree in English from Coker College and a bachelors degree in library science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She serves on the board of directors of the Coastal Conservation League and the Freewoods Foundation.

Pioneer rhythm and blues recording artist Bill Pinkney is one of the founders of the Original Drifters, the legendary soul ensemble which was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988. A native of Dalzell, S.C., Pinkney was decorated for his service in World War II. He is the only living member of the Original Drifters, formed in 1953. The group was closely associated for many years with the Atlantic Record Company and produced many classic recordings for the label, including Under the Boardwalk, Up on the Roof, On Broadway and There Goes My Baby. The music of the Drifters is closely associated with South Carolinas state dance, the Shag.

In case of inclement weather, the commencement ceremony will be held in Kimbel Arena; a closed-circuit broadcast also will be shown in the Wheelwright Auditorium. For more information, contact the Office of Marketing Communications at 349-2087.