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Coastal graduates largest senior class ever

May 10, 2003

More than 600 students participated in Coastal Carolina University's spring commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 10 at the Coastal Federal Field in Myrtle Beach. Both spring and August candidates participated.

Commencement speaker Bob Squatriglia, retiring vice president of student affairs at Coastal, urged graduates to consider a service career. "I think that action is the best expression of education - action in the interest of helping to heal what ails our communities, our nation and our world," said Squatriglia, citing both the tragedies of Sept. 11, 2001 and the Iraqi War. "One of the values we profess in America is that we believe in commitments and loyalties beyond self - our American heritage of service."

Squatriglia has been at Coastal for 26 years and is credited with creating nearly all the student services on campus, including three residence complexes with 10 dormitory buildings that house 1,300 students. He is active in civic and community organizations including Rotary International.

David Drayton of Georgetown received the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters for his "lifelong commitment to improving the quality of life for all citizens of Georgetown County" and for his 34 years of achievement in public education. Drayton, principal of Howard High School for 21 years, co-chaired the steering committee that organized the 2001 visit of the Freedom Schooner Amistad in Georgetown. He is also a current chairman of the Board of Commissioners of the Georgetown Housing Authority and a member of the Georgetown County AIDS Task Force.

Lori Beth Gorman of Myrtle Beach received the President's Award for Academic Achievement, the honor given to the graduating senior with the highest cumulative grade point average. She earned a 4.0 grade point average for all her collegiate work and graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor's degree in elementary education, which she completed in three and a half years.

In addition to her exemplary course work, Gorman student taught at Carolina Forest Elementary School and has been a girls' soccer coach at Carolina Forest High School for thee years, including one season as head coach. During the recent Honors Convocation, she was recognized by the College of Education as the outstanding elementary education program student.

The late Ashby Ward had been scheduled to receive the Doctor of Public Service honorary degree before his April 13 death, and his family will be given the degree privately.