Coastal Carolina University will recognize approximately 421 candidates for graduation during commencement exercises Saturday, Dec. 15 at 10 a.m. at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center. Two hundred sixty-nine fall candidates for graduation will be recognized, as well as 152 summer 2001 graduates. The public is welcome to attend.
Varavut Limpasuvan, assistant professor of chemistry and physics at Coastal, will deliver the commencement address. Loris businessman and conservationist James P. Blanton will receive the honorary degree Doctor of Public Service.
Limpasuvan was named Coastal's 2000-2001 Distinguished Teacher of the Year. The annual honor is presented to a faculty member who demonstrates excellence in teaching. Limpasuvan joined the Coastal faculty in 2000. He earned a bachelor's degree in engineering and applied science from the California Institute of Technology in 1992 and Ph.D. in atmospheric sciences from the University of Washington in 1998. He did post-doctoral research at the Joint Institute for the Study of Atmosphere and Ocean in Seattle.
Blanton is an original founder of Coastal Carolina University and is known and respected for his commitment to the conservation of the natural resources of Horry County. As a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives in 1967 and 1968, Blanton proposed the state's first ecology bill and focused attention on issues relating to soil conservation and forestry.
In 1987 Blanton founded the Playcard Environmental Education Center. Located on the edge of an 80-acre blackwater swamp 20 miles west of Conway, the center provided educational activities related to the study of the natural sciences and conservation. Created by the Horry County Conservation Foundation, which Blanton also founded, the Playcard Center offers classroom space, a conference center and nature trails.
Blanton has received numerous awards including the Hetty Ricker Community Development State Award in 1982; the South Carolina Soil and Water Conservation Society Commendation Award in 1989; and the State Conservationist of the Year Award in 1989.
Blanton has served on the Coastal Educational Foundation, Inc., since Coastal was established in 1954, and now serves as a director emeritus.
For more information, contact Coastal's Office of Marketing Communications at 349-2015.