A total of 309 students participated in Coastal Carolina University's
fall commencement ceremony today at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center. The
first graduates of Coastal's Master of Business Administration (MBA) program
received their degrees at the event.
Commencement speaker Kevin Jenerette, Coastal's 2007 Distinguished
Teacher of the Year, urged the graduates to be proud of their
accomplishment. "Today is the culmination of a long and difficult struggle,"
he said. "For those of you completing a bachelor's degree, take pride in the
fact that you are in a select group. Roughly one in four Americans aged 25
or older has reached this level ... Some of you are graduating with master's
degrees. You join the nine percent of our country's population who hold
advanced or professional degrees. This is quite a feat."
Jenerette, who is director of Coastal's Learning Assistance Center, said
he and his brother were first-generation college graduates in their family.
He earned a bachelor's degree in applied mathematics, magna cum laude, from
Coastal in 1992 and a master's degree in mathematics from the University of
South Carolina in 1994.
Sandra Leigh Causey of Conway received the President's Award for
Academic Achievement, which recognizes students with the highest cumulative
grade point average. She graduated summa cum laude, achieving a 4.0 GPA for
all her college work. Causey earned a bachelor's degree in English, has been
a member of the English and foreign language honor societies and has worked
on the staffs of all three of CCU's student publications.
Receiving honorary degrees in public service were Larry L. Biddle,
Daniel T. Cooper and Marilyn J. Fore.
Biddle, a lifelong educator and businessman, is president of the
Burroughs Company in Conway. He and his wife Ginny were instrumental in the
establishment of the Biddle Center for Teaching and Learning, an outreach of
the CCU's Spadoni College of Education, where he chairs the Board of
Cooper, a certified insurance counselor of Piedmont, is chairman of the
Ways and Means Committee in the S.C. House of Representatives, where he has
served continuously since 1990. Cooper has had an instrumental role in
securing state support for CCU.
Fore is senior vice president for academic affairs at Horry-Georgetown
Technical College. A native of Ohio, Fore joined HGTC in 1974 and has worked
closely with Coastal in developing programs that enable students to transfer
from HGTC to CCU.