U.S. Sen. Tim Scott will give the address at Coastal Carolina University's Spring 2013 commencement ceremony, scheduled for 8:30 a.m., Saturday, May 11, at Brooks Stadium. Approximately 950 students are eligible to participate in the ceremony, which recognizes May 2013 candidates for graduation.
On Aug. 10, CCU will hold its first summer commencement, honoring students who will complete their degrees this summer. Previously, both spring and summer graduation candidates were recognized in the May ceremony.
Scott will also receive the honorary degree, Doctor of Public Service. S.C. Sen. Raymond E. Cleary III will also receive the honorary degree, Doctor of Public Service, at the ceremony.
Scott was appointed to the U.S. Senate in January 2013 following the resignation of Jim DeMint. He is the only African American in the Senate and the first black senator from the South since Reconstruction. He was previously a congressman serving the state's First District in the U.S. House of Representatives (2011-2013), where he was selected to be president of the Freshman Caucus and House Whip.
As a legislator, Scott has focused on reducing spending, reforming the tax code and supporting economic freedom and entrepreneurship. He was an original cosponsor of the Cut, Cap and Balance Act and cosponsored two bills aimed at adding a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. He has also been an outspoken supporter of right-to-work states and authored the Protecting Jobs From Government Interference Act.
Scott grew up in North Charleston and served on the Charleston County Council for 13 years, including four terms as chair. He earned a bachelor's degree in political science from Charleston Southern University in 1988. Prior to his political career, he was owner of Tim Scott Allstate and partner of Pathway Real Estate Group.
Cleary, of Murrells Inlet, has served in the South Carolina Senate since 2005. A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, he earned a bachelor's degree from Ohio State University in 1970 and graduated from Ohio State College of Dentistry in 1973. After college, Cleary served as a captain in the United States Air Force and later opened his dental office in Surfside Beach, where he continues to practice.
In the state senate, Cleary serves on many committees, including education, finance, medical affairs and transportation. He is chairman of the Green Schools Caucus, and he received the Senate Conservation Leadership Green Tie Award from the Conservation Voters of South Carolina. He is a past chairman of the Grand Strand YMCA, Grand Strand Soccer League, South Strand Sertoma and a member of the advisory board of Horry Georgetown Technical College dental hygiene program and the South Carolina Dental Association.
The commencement ceremony will also include the presentation of awards to outstanding graduates for academic achievement as well as recognition of retiring faculty members Andy Hendrick and Sara Sanders. The ceremony will be streamed live on the CCU website at coastal.edu/graduation/spring_stream.html.
In case of inclement weather, commencement exercises will be held in the HTC Center on the CCU campus and divided into two ceremonies. For more details and ticket information, visit the website at coastal.edu/graduation.