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Coastal Carolina University honors graduates at Spring Commencement

May 11, 2013

A total of 739 candidates for graduation marched across the stage May 11 in Coastal Carolina University's spring commencement ceremony at Brooks Stadium.

The commencement speaker, U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, gave graduates of the Class of 2013 some advice as they embark on a new stage in their lives.

"Sometimes in life, you must fail forward," he said. "Failure only becomes fatal when you quit." He also urged the graduates to "be willing to stand up for those who can't stand up for themselves" and to take risks. "To maximize your potential, you have to exit your comfort zone."

Scott received the honorary degree, Doctor of Public Service, at the ceremony, along with S.C. Sen. Raymond Cleary III.

Seven students received the President's Award for Academic Achievement, which recognizes students with the highest cumulative grade point averages. The following recipients of the award all had perfect 4.0 grade point averages, graduating summa cum laude: Alexander Beck, a history major/political science minor of Glen Allen, Va.; Amber Ciemniewski, a political science major with a minor in intelligence and security studies of Conway; Katie Clark, a music major from Galivants Ferry; Justin Creel, a biology major of Greenwell Springs, La.; Sydni Donellan, an education major of Conway; Courtney Elliton, a marine science major with minors in psychology and biology of Huntingtown, Md.; and Lindsey Weintraub, an accounting major of Myrtle Beach.

Two retiring CCU faculty members were recognized for their service: Andy Hendrick, emeritus professor, and Sara Sanders, distinguished emeritus professor. Hendrick joined the CCU faculty in 1980. In addition to teaching business law, he also served as director of CCU's Professional Golf Management program (1999-2002) and as director of athletics (1992-1996).

Sanders joined the Coastal Carolina University faculty in 1987. A professor of English, Sanders has held numerous administrative posts during her tenure, including chair of the Department of English, director of the Honors Program and, most recently, director of the Jackson Family Center for Ethics and Values. She was named Kearns Palmetto Professor in 2007.

On Aug. 10, CCU will hold its first summer commencement, honoring students who will complete their degrees this summer. Previously, both spring and summer graduation candidates were recognized in the May ceremony.