CCU to hold commencement exercises May 6-7
The University ceremony will be held on Saturday, May 7, at 9 a.m. in Brooks Stadium. This is a campus-wide celebration of all the students graduating from the University’s academic colleges. As part of the ceremony, each college dean steps forward to request that University President Michael T. Benson confer degrees on the college’s candidates as they stand to be recognized en masse. The event will also feature remarks by Benson; William Turner, board of trustees’ member; and Brianna Martin, Student Government Association president. The keynote address will be delivered by Conway, S.C., native Vanessa Wyche, director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center, who will receive the honorary degree Doctor of Science.
The college-specific ceremonies are unique in nature to reflect the personalities of each of CCU’s five academic colleges, but all will include addresses from the dean of the college, and a guest speaker; and recognition of graduates. During these ceremonies, the graduates’ names will be announced, and they will be given the opportunity to cross the stage and receive their diploma cover.
One of the highlights of the weekend will be the recognition of approximately 20 doctoral degree candidates from the first cohort to complete the Spadoni College of Education and Social Sciences’ Doctor of Philosophy in Education program. Students in the program study one of three specialization areas: educational leadership; higher education administration; and curriculum, instruction, and assessment.
College-specific ceremonies schedule (HTC Center):
Friday, May 6
2 p.m., E. Craig Wall Sr. College of Business Administration
6 p.m., Gupta College of Science
Saturday, May 7
Noon, Spadoni College of Education and Social Sciences
4 p.m., Thomas W. and Robin W. Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts, and the HTC Honors College
Wyche leads NASA’s Johnson Space Center, which is home to America’s astronaut corps, Mission Control Center, International Space Station, Orion and Gateway programs, and its more than 10,000 civil service and contractor employees. She oversees a broad range of human spaceflight activities, including development and operation of human spacecraft, commercialization of low-Earth orbit, and the center’s role in landing the first woman and first person of color on the surface of the Moon.
She previously served as deputy director at Johnson, a position she held since 2018. Other key leadership positions include: assistant and acting deputy director of Johnson; director of the Exploration Integration and Science Directorate; flight manager of several missions of the retired Space Shuttle Program; executive officer in the Office of the NASA Administrator; and leader of additional center-level technical and program organizations. Before joining NASA in 1989, Wyche worked for the Food and Drug Administration in Washington, D.C.
Wyche earned a Bachelor of Science in engineering and Master of Science in bioengineering from Clemson University. In recognition of her contributions to the engineering profession, she was inducted into the Thomas Green Clemson Academy of Engineers and Scientists at Clemson University in 2019.
Wyche is a passionate promoter of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), and serves as a member of Clemson University’s College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences advisory board, the University of Houston’s C. T. Bauer College of Business advisory panel, the Houston Exponential board of directors, and is a past chair of the Space Center Houston board of directors. She is the recipient of two NASA Outstanding Leadership Medals, two NASA Achievement Medals and is a fellow of the International Women’s Forum.
Wyche is married to George Wyche Jr. Esq, and has one son, George Wyche III.