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CCU announces Outstanding Alumnus of the Year recipients

November 15, 2023
Sara McCall has been named Outstanding Alumnus of the Year.Vilmarie Ocasio has been named  Outstanding Young Alumnus of the Year.

The Coastal Carolina University Office for Advancement and Alumni Engagement has announced its Outstanding Alumnus of the Year recipients. Sara McCall has been named the Outstanding Alumnus of the Year, while Vilmarie Ocasio is the Outstanding Young Alumnus of the Year. McCall and Ocasio were recognized during CCU football games on Oct. 28 and Nov. 11, respectively.

Candidates nominated for the alumni awards are chosen by a steering committee consisting of the University’s college deans. Criteria for the annual awards include loyalty to CCU, record of service and accomplishments, and demonstration of positive attributes.

McCall, a native of Charlotte, N.C., earned a bachelor’s degree in art studio from CCU in 2008. She is the founder and CEO of Stunning and Brilliant Events, a full-service wedding and event coordination company established in Myrtle Beach in 2010. She now has franchises in 10 other locations around the country. In 2020, McCall founded Lemon or Lime, a mobile full-service bar company that is also being franchised.

“Powered by ambition, Sara has not only embraced the entrepreneurial journey, she’s turning her dreams into reality,” said Diane Sanders, CCU’s vice president for advancement and alumni engagement. “We are so proud of her ongoing success. She is a true inspiration.”

Ocasio, a native Manati, Puerto Rico, earned a bachelor’s degree in communication with a minor in public health from CCU in 2021. She recently completed the Public Health Associate Program with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Ocasio is the founder and CEO of the nonprofit organization Community Organization of Multiple Sclerosis and Cancer Inc. For the past seven years, she has secured corporate and government grants for the provision of portable air conditioners and whistles (for earthquake safety) for MS patients in Puerto Rico. In addition, Ocasio played a major role in the passage of a law in 2016 to create a mandatory registry for people diagnosed with MS in Puerto Rico. In November 2018, she was named a Daily Point of Light honoree. The award was given by Points of Light, an organization designed to inspire, equip, and mobilize people to take action that changes the world. It was founded by former president George H.W. Bush.

“Vilmarie is a compassionate thread, weaving a narrative of hope and resilience,” said Sanders. “With a heart dedicated to supporting those who suffer from multiple sclerosis, her commitment to the cause is a testament to the profound impact one individual can make when driven by empathy and fueled by the spirit of service.”