A total of 325 students participated in Coastal Carolina University's fall commencement ceremony today at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center.
Commencement speaker Barbie Norvell challenged the graduates to have positive attitudes despite the poor economy and feeble job market. "Your aptitude will get you only so far in life, but your attitude can take you anywhere you want to go."
Norvell, an assistant professor of early childhood education, was named the University's Distinguished Teacher of the Year in spring 2008.
Emily McColl of Wellington, New Zealand, received the President's Award for Academic Achievement, which recognizes students with the highest cumulative grade point average. She graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor of science degree in biology, achieving a 3.987 GPA for all her collegiate work and has been on the President's list for seven semesters.
As a member of the women's soccer team, McColl was named an Academic
All-American and Big South Scholar-Athlete of the Year. She competed in the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics as a member of Team New Zealand. She has plans to pursue medical school in New Zealand.
Receiving honorary degrees in public service were Dorothy K. Anderson and Harold C. Stowe.
Anderson is a Myrtle Beach businesswoman, hotelier and civic leader whose family over the past 40 years has developed a significant presence in the Myrtle Beach tourism industry.
Stowe was president and chief executive officer of Canal Industries Inc. from 1997 to 2005 and served as acting dean of Coastal Carolina University's E. Craig Wall Sr. College of Business Administration in 2006 and 2007. Active in civic affairs, he has served as chairman of the board of trustees of Conway Hospital and as chairman of the Myrtle Beach Air Base Redevelopment Authority, as well as a member of the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education Business Advisory Council and the Wall College of Business Board of Visitors.