A total of 385 students participated in Coastal Carolina University's fall commencement ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 15, at the HTC Center, the first time the event was held in the new student recreation and convocation center on campus. Approximately 536 total candidates from the fall semester were eligible to march in the ceremony.
Commencement speaker Vernice "FlyGirl" Armour, the first African-American female combat pilot, received the honorary degree Doctor of Humane Letters. She urged graduates to be willing to make sacrifices to achieve their goals. She described the obstacles she faced as a black woman in the military and as an entrepreneur.
"Acknowledge the obstacles, but don't give them power," she said. "Coastal Carolina University is your gateway to the American dream. So many people are depending on you to succeed."
S.C. Rep. Brian White (District 6) received the honorary degree Doctor of Public Service. A native of Anderson County, White is chairman of the Ways and Means Committee.
Two retiring faculty members were also recognized at the ceremony: Virginia Gayle Disney, emeritus professor; and Charmaine Tomczyk, emeritus librarian.