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CCU honors its December 2011 graduating class

December 17, 2011

A total of 364 students participated in Coastal Carolina University's commencement ceremonies on Saturday, Dec. 17, at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center. A total of 509 candidates from August and December were eligible to march in the ceremony. Forty-four of the students who walked were master's degree recipients.

Commencement speaker Pierre Thuot, a former NASA astronaut, received an honorary degree for public service. He urged graduates to "reach for the stars," embracing the core values integrity, commitment, accountability, respect and excellence that will help them to have happy and successful lives and careers.

Thuot flew on three space shuttles Atlantis, Endeavor and Columbia and logged 17 hours on three space walks.

"Dare to have dreams," Thout told the graduates and their families. "Appreciate the help and encouragement of others, but realize that you alone will do the work that will enable you to realize your dreams."

Two students received the President's Award, the University's highest academic honor, for having perfect 4.0 grade point averages. They were Emily Schrag of Simpsonville, who earned a bachelor's degree in art studio; and Katelyn Isaacson of Charleston, who earned a bachelor's degree in English. They received the honor of summa cum laude, and both plan to go to graduate school.