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Moglia to CCU graduates: Greatness is part of CCU’s destiny; go do something extraordinary

May 5, 2018
Head football coach Joe Moglia delivered the commencement address. More than 1,100 students become Coastal Carolina University graduates during three separate ceremonies May 4-5 More than 1,100 students become Coastal Carolina University graduates during three separate ceremonies May 4-5

Head football coach Joe Moglia believes there are four principles in life that, if applied, provide a foundation upon which to build a successful life of leadership and impact, and he made sure Coastal Carolina University graduates knew what those principles were before they crossed the stage to receive their diplomas.

“Stand on your own two feet,” Moglia said. “Accept responsibility for yourself, and treat others with dignity and respect. Live with the consequences of your actions.”

Moglia’s second principle is dedication, which he said is more than being No. 1. “Dedication is the desire to work as hard as you can to be the best you can be,” he said. “Don’t be afraid to go it alone, to stay late, to ask questions.”

Moglia, also chairman of the board at TD Ameritrade, has been the head football coach of the Chanticleers since 2012.

In his first five seasons at CCU, he led his team to the national playoffs five times and was conference champion four times. He has also received multiple Coach of the Year honors, including the Eddie Robinson National Coach of the Year. He is the recipient of the Vince Lombardi Award and has been inducted into the Lombardi Hall of Fame.

Moglia has received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor and the Sharp Trophy for Leadership. He has been honored by the National Italian American Foundation, the Columbus Citizens Foundation, the South Carolina Football Hall of Fame, and the American Institute for Stuttering. He has also been inducted into six Halls of Fame and is the recipient of three honorary doctorates.

Moglia’s third principle is courage. “Stand up for what you believe is right,” he urged the graduates. “Everyone in here knows the difference between right and wrong. Have the guts to always do the right thing, and never do the wrong thing. Finally, never underestimate the power of love, the commitment to the well-being of others. Remember, it’s not about you. It is always about others.”

Moglia ended his remarks with a firm resolution to the graduates: “You graduated from Coastal Carolina. You are well-prepared to go out to the next phase of your life. Go add even more value to your degree. Go do something extraordinary!”

Approximately 1,183 students were eligible to walk in CCU's graduation exercises, held on campus at the HTC Student Recreation Center and Convocation Center in three separate ceremonies May 4-5.

Twelve students received the President's Award for Academic Achievement, which recognizes students with the highest cumulative grade point averages. The recipients of the award all had perfect 4.0 GPAs, graduating summa cum laude:

• Colton John Aksomitus, from Bel Air, Md., earning a Bachelor of Science in biology

• Hannah Lee Arrington, from Loris, S.C., earning a Bachelor of Arts in sociology

• Juliane Gabriele Caughron, from Pylesville, Md., earning a Bachelor of Science in marine science

• Abigail Mare Chaney, from Fallston, Md., earning a Bachelor of Science in marine science

• Justin Frederick Lowes, from Conway, S.C., earning a Bachelor of Science in public health

• Christian Carhart Adams, from Winston Salem, N.C., earning a Bachelor of Science in economics and finance

• Emily Jayde Graham, from Hemingway, S.C., earning a Bachelor of Science in accounting and management

• Katelin McKenzie Hardee, from Conway, S.C., earning a Bachelor of Arts in special education

• Paris Renee Winters, from Mechanicsville, Va., earning a Bachelor of Science in marketing and management

• Eric Karl Kalkbrenner, from Myrtle Beach, S.C., earning a Bachelor of Arts in intelligence and national security studies

• Dominique Desiree Smith, from Charlotte, N.C., earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts in theatre arts

• Christopher John Wright, from Conway, S.C., earning a Bachelor of Arts in music

This spring commencement ceremony also saw the largest class of Honors Program students graduate in program history. Eighty-one honors students earned their degrees after completing a rigorous curriculum composed of at least 24 hours of honors work and cumulating a GPA of at least 3.5. The cumulative GPA of the graduating class is 3.79.

Retiring CCU faculty member Gregory Geer, Ph.D., was recognized for his service with the title of Professor Emeritus. Geer was the first faculty member hired into the new educational leadership program, established in 2009, and he served as coordinator of the program for six years.

He wrote and implemented the specialist in educational leadership program, and developed many of the current educational leadership courses. Geer earned his Ph.D. in educational administration and policy studies from the University of Albany.

Retiring professor Maura Kenny was also recognized for her service to the University with the title Distinguished Emeritus Professor. Kenny, professor of art, came to CCU in 1984 as an instructor, and became a full professor in 2003. Her works have appeared in many regional, national and international juried art exhibitions.

During the 2 p.m. ceremony, a posthumous honorary Master of Arts in Liberal Studies was awarded to Tory Campbell Tall and accepted by her husband, Cliff. She was taking classes in the MALS program at the time of her passing. Tall served as the executive director of Friendship House charity for many years, and later wrote for multiple local publications, including The Sun News.

All three commencement ceremonies were streamed live on Coastal Carolina University’s Facebook page.

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