A total of 975 students participated in Coastal Carolina University's commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 5 at Brooks Stadium. A total of 1,186 candidates from May and August were eligible to march in the ceremony, including 116 master's degree candidates.
U.S. Rep James E. Clyburn gave the commencement address and received the honorary degree, Doctor of Public Service.
"I ran for elective office three times and lost," Clyburn said in his address. "People tried to tell me three strikes and you're out, but life isn't played by baseball rules. When you leave this campus, you may not always succeed on the first try. But I hope, as residents of South Carolina, that you will adopt our state's motto 'While I breathe, I hope,' and never give up."
Graduating students were recognized for outstanding academic achievement and community service.
Kimberly Ann Shaw of Green Sea received the President's Award for Academic Achievement, the University's highest academic honor. She earned a bachelor's degree in accounting with a 4.0 grade point average.
Sarah C. Sexton of Waynesboro, Va., received the 2012 Faculty Distinguished Student Excellence Award, an annual award honoring a student who has achieved both a high academic average and a record of campus/community involvement. Sexton, a double major in marine science and mathematics, was a member of the honors program and served as a tutor, lab assistant and research assistant.
Two retiring Coastal Carolina University professors were recognized for their service: Stephen J. Sheel, distinguished professor emeritus of computer science, and Susan J. Slavik, emeritus professor of art.