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February 6, 2016   
Posted: August 18, 2013
New Student Convocation welcomes incoming students

  President DeCenzo congratulates Big Read Essay Contest winners (left to right): President DeCenzo; Charles Perry, first place; Kaela Moon, second place; Michael Jones, third place.  
The 2013 New Student Convocation, held Sunday, Aug. 18 at the HTC Center, welcomed approximately 2,800 freshmen and transfer students to campus.

The anchor event of Welcome Week, the convocation was an occasion for the Class of 2017 to bond and reflect on the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

As part of the convocation ceremony, members of the class took the Coastal Carolina University Honor Pledge, promising to take responsibility for their personal behavior and opposing instances of academic dishonesty as defined in the CCU Code of Student Conduct.

CCU President David DeCenzo welcomed the class and reported on its demographics: 45 percent are from South Carolina and 55 percent hail from 38 other states and 12 other countries; half of the class is majoring in the sciences; the average high school grade point average of students in the entering class was 3.4; their average SAT score was more than 1,000.

The winners of the Big Read essay contest were announced and recognized. The first place winner was Charles Perry, an undeclared major of Hemingway, who received a $150 gift certificate for the new Chanticleer Store. The second place winner was Kaela Moon, a marine science major of Long Island, Va., who received a $75 gift certificate; Michael Jones, a history major from North Charleston, took the third place prize, a $25 gift certificate.

The convocation address was given by Barbara Ritter (pictured on the main web page), interim dean of the E. Craig Wall Sr. College of Business Administration. Her speech addressed themes from this year's Big Read book, "Start Something That Matters," by Blake Mycoskie. Founder of the TOMS shoes, Mycoskie is committed to donating a portion of the company’s profits for direct charitable endeavors.

“Giving is good business,” said Ritter. “Economic and social priorities can be merged. . . . You don’t have to be a billionaire to have an influence on other peoples’ lives.” She named several individuals in the community who run nonprofit organizations that assist people in need.

Ritter asked the students to write down their top three “life goals,” followed by three things they need to do in the upcoming year to achieve their goals.

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