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Commencement Speakers and Honorary Degree Recipients

In the early 1950s, a handful of community leaders were anxious about the socioeconomic perils that could befall a region without ready access to higher education. Those leaders set a goal, went to work, and on Sept. 20, 1954, Coastal Carolina Junior College held its first classes – after hours in Conway High School. In 1963, the institution opened its first building on the new campus, the Edward M. Singleton Building. On July 1, 1993, on the portico of the Singleton Building, S.C. Governor Carroll Campbell signed legislation that established an independent public university – Coastal Carolina University. The University awarded its first honorary degrees as part of the commencement ceremony in May of 1995.

Coastal Carolina University honorary degree recipients and their respective degrees are indicated below. Honorary degree recipients who delivered the commencement address are indicated with an asterisk. An August commencement was added to the academic calendar in 2013; while honorary degrees are not awarded during this convocation, University faculty who delivered the commencement address are shown in italics.

2017 Luke A. Rankin * Doctor of Public Service
Charles Sasser Doctor of Science
Covia Stanley Doctor of Science
Speaker: John Hutchens Professor of Marine Science
William H. "Billy" Alford Doctor of Public Service
Amber J. Campbell Doctor of Science *
Robert W. Honeycutt Doctor of Science
2016 Susan N. O'Malley Doctor of Science *
Speaker: Robert Young Professor of Marine Science
Dennis L. Wade Doctor of Public Service *
2015 Molly M. Spearman Doctor of Public Service *
Speaker: Pamela Martin Professor of Politics
Michael J. Gerson Doctor of Humane Letters *
2014 Speaker: Edgar "Eddie" Dyer Professor of Politics, EVP/COO
Speaker: Arne R. Flaten Professor of Art History
Natasha Trethewey Doctor of Humane Letters *
2013 Michael F. Clayton Doctor of Humane Letters *
Speaker: Holley E. Tankersley Associate Professor of Politics
Raymond E. Cleary III Doctor of Public Service
Timothy E. Scott Doctor of Public Service *
2012 Vernice Armour Doctor of Humane Letters *
W. Brian White Doctor of Public Service
James E. Clyburn Doctor of Public Service *
2011 Pierre J. Thuot Doctor of Public Service *
Harold "Hal" Rogers Doctor of Public Service
** awarded during a special convocation held in September
2010 Richard A. Raskopf Doctor of Humane Letters *
Bonnie McElveen-Hunter Doctor of Public Service *
2009 Jonathan Green Doctor of Fine Arts *
Edward Ball Doctor of Humane Letters * 
Clay D. Brittain Jr. Doctor of Public Service
Hilda M. Carter Doctor of Public Service
Arthur Herbert "Doc" Lachicotte Jr. Doctor of Public Service 
2008 Dorothy K. Anderson Doctor of Public Service
Harold C. Stowe Doctor of Public Service
Liston Barfield Doctor of Public Service
William Gibson Doctor of Humane Letters
Patrick Cleburne "Clebe" McClary Doctor of Public Service *
J. Yancey McGill Doctor of Public Service 
2007 Larry L. Biddle Doctor of Public Service
Daniel T. Cooper Doctor of Public Service
Marilyn J. Fore Doctor of Public Service
James C. Benton Sr. Doctor of Public Service 
James F. Hackler Jr. Doctor of Public Service
Josephine Humphreys Doctor of Humane Letters
Judith K. Ingle Doctor of Public Service
2006 William J. Baxley Jr. Doctor of Public Service
M. Lois Eargle 
Doctor of Public Service
Emma Lou Johnson 
Doctor of Public Service 
H. Neyle Wilson 
Doctor of Public Service
David W. Harwell 
Doctor of Public Service
Gerrita Postlewait 
Doctor of Public Service
Jack Thompson 
Doctor of Fine Arts
William W. Wilkins 
Doctor of Public Service *
2005 Henry E. Brown Jr. Doctor of Public Service * 
John W. Dawsey Doctor of Public Service 
Edward M. Singleton Doctor of Public Service
Mickey Spillane Doctor of Humane Letters
2004 Lindsey O. Graham Doctor of Public Service * 
Thomas G. Keegan Doctor of Public Service
Florida Yeldell Doctor of Humane Letters
2003 David H. Drayton Doctor of Humane Letters
Ashby Ward Doctor of Public Service (posthumously)
2002 Hugh K. Leatherman Sr. Doctor of Public Service 
W. Horace Carter Doctor of Humane Letters
Mark S. Kelley Doctor of Public Service
Judy Woodruff Doctor of Public Service *
2001 James P. Blanton Doctor of Public Service
Walter Edgar Doctor of Humane Letters *
Genevieve Chandler Peterkin Doctor of Humane Letters
Bill Pinkney Doctor of Fine Arts
2000 Sigmund Abeles Doctor of Fine Arts * 
John Hope Doctor of Public Service
1999 Rita R. Colwell Doctor of Public Service * 
William H. Davis Doctor of Humane Letters
D. Kent Sharples Doctor of Public Service
1998 Henry J. Cauthen Doctor of Public Service
William R. Ferris Doctor of Humane Letters *
Alberta L. Quattlebaum Doctor of Public Service
1997 Fred P. Brinkman Doctor of Public Service
William F. Davis Doctor of Public Service
Joab M. Lesesne Doctor of Humane Letters *
1996 Jonathan Kozol Doctor of Public Service *
William A. Sessions Doctor of Humane Letters
1995 Catherine H. Lewis Doctor of Humane Letters
Philip H. Prince Doctor of Public Service *
R. Cathcart Smith Doctor of Public Service