More than 700 students were eligible to receive degrees from Coastal Carolina University during two commencement ceremonies held Friday and Saturday.
Graduates from the College of Science and the Thomas W. and Robin Edwards College of Humanities took part in the ceremony on Friday, and on Saturday graduates from E. Craig Wall Sr. College of Business Administration, the Spadoni College of Education and University College were recognized.
President David Decenzo, Ph.D., opened the ceremony with a speech quoting the late John Glenn, saying “He told the world what was most important to him when he said ‘there is no greater calling, if I can inspire young people to dedicate themselves to the good of mankind, I’ve accomplished something.’ ”
I feel great. I’ve been waiting on this day for a long time.
Dyquan Gore, graduate
Commencement speaker Susan O’Malley, who went to high school with Decenzo, gave an address during the ceremonies and received an honorary Doctor of Science degree.
She became the first female president of an NBA franchise when at 29 years old she took control of the Washington Bullets, now known as the Wizards.
“My message is simple,” she said. “I want you to follow your passion. And you’re thinking ‘Really? They’re going to give her a doctorate for that?’ But I think if you follow your passion, you’ll find your purpose.”
O’Malley conveyed a story about a school paper she wrote as girl in which she expressed her desire to run a professional sports team, to which the teacher had written a note saying “Good paper, not very realistic,”
“Undeterred, no one was going to crush my passion,” she said. “So when I became president of the Washington Bullets on May 9, 1991, I knew that I had opened the door for other women to be able to be executives in sports.”
After O’Malley’s address, graduates walked the stage and shook DeCenzo’s hand as their names were called. The ceremony ended with a benediction by The Reverend Robertson Donehue.
Dyquan Gore graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design and said he wanted to find a job doing web design or interface design.
“I feel great,” he said. “I’ve been waiting on this day for a long time.”
Christian Boschult, 843-626-0218, @TSN_Christian