Virtual Commencement Fall 2020 - E. Craig Wall Sr. Wall College of Business
Oh, say can you see by the dawn’s early light What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming? Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight, O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming? And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air, Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there. Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave? Hello, Teal Nation, and welcome to this special virtual ceremony honoring the class of 2020. I’m Dr. David DeCenzo, President of Coastal Carolina University. While we were excited to host an in-person ceremony recognizing our Fall 2020 graduates last week, we understand that some individuals were unable to participate due to special circumstances or restrictions related to COVID-19. With this in mind, we are hosting this virtual celebration so all Fall 2020 graduates are appropriately recognized for reaching such a significant milestone in their lives.
To begin today’s celebration, I want to take a moment to speak directly to the graduates. You, the class of 2020, are without a doubt one of the strongest classes I have had the honor of interacting with during my tenure as president. Year after year, you have been faced with a new challenge, and year after year, you have remained strong and stayed the course. Whether your journey was impacted by one of the major hurricanes occurring at CCU each year from 2015 to 2019, or by the life-altering global pandemic of 2020; you persevered, and I am honored to call each of you a Chanticleer. For those who may not be aware, the Chanticleer is a proud, fierce rooster who is quick-thinking and crafty.
When faced with an obstacle, the Chanticleer finds a solution to the problem. The Chanticleer always has its eyes fixed on the horizon, ready to rise with the sun and take on new opportunities. Graduates, I can truly say that your class has fully embodied the spirit of the Chanticleer, and as you leave CCU, many exciting opportunities lie on your horizon, so it is my honor to announce that just like the Chanticleer, the Class of 2020 is READY TO RISE! At this time, we would like to recognize the graduating students whose stellar academic work has qualified them for the President’s Award for Academic Achievement. These remarkable students have earned the highest academic distinction – summa cum laude – because they have earned a PERFECT 4-POINT-0 grade point average for all of their academic work.
The Fall 2020 President’s Award candidates are: * Christian Alexis Hanna from Conway, South Carolina, earning a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Accounting. * Nicole Elizabeth Michael from Westminster, Maryland, earning a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. Nicole is also a member of the HTC Honors College. * McKayla Marie Mills from Nescopeck, Pennsylvania, earning a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a minor in Criminology. McKayla is also a member of the HTC Honors College. * Alexis Nicole Panepinto from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Education in Elementary Education.
* Victoria Schuyler from Manville, New Jersey, earning a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Accounting. Victoria is also a member of the HTC Honors College. * Hailey Mariah Shetler from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and minors in Pre-Law and Philosophy.
* Zackary Robert Weilage from Monroe, North Carolina, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and minors in New Media and Digital Culture. Congratulations to each of you on this outstanding achievement. Hello, I’m Dr. Dan Ennis, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Coastal Carolina University. Each year, the Board of Trustees recognizes qualified retiring faculty members with the title of Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Emeritus Professor, or Distinguished Lecturer. These titles acknowledge the value of an accumulated record of teaching, research, and community service.
At this time, Janice Black is hereby recognized as Distinguished Professor Emeritus. Black brought a strong commitment to helping first-generation students succeed when she joined the CCU faculty in 2010. She served as a Professor of Management in the Wall College of Business Administration; in addition to, serving six years as a Faculty Senator, four years on the Graduate Council, and four years on the MBA Advisory Committee. Most recently, Black was recognized in Fall 2020 by the University’s Center for Global Engagement for her exceptional service and support of international students affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. We appreciate Dr. Black’s years of service to the department of Management and Decision
Sciences, the Wall College of Business, and Coastal Carolina University. At this time, Henry Lowenstein is hereby recognized as Distinguished Professor Emeritus. Lowenstein joined the CCU faculty in 2007 as Dean of the Wall College of Business. Most recently, he served as a professor of management and law and a Vereen Endowed Professor of Business. Lowenstein’s research on essential need and economic viability of the railroad system played a critical role in the purchase of the Carolina Southern Railroad by R.J. Corman Railroad Group; helping save the only railroad serving Horry and Marion counties in South Carolina and Columbus County in North Carolina.
As a professor, Lowenstein’s excellence has been recognized by the academic academy and CCU through various awards and achievements. We appreciate Dr. Lowenstein’s years of service to the department of Marketing, Hospitality, and Resort Tourism; the Wall College of Business; and Coastal Carolina University. At this time, Steven Madden is hereby recognized as Distinguished Professor Emeritus. Madden joined the CCU faculty in 2008 as Chair of the newly-created communication department, which became the fourth largest department at CCU under his leadership. Madden later served as Faculty Senate Chair, and most recently served as the CCU Faculty Ombudsman.
After covering sled dog racing in Alaska, leasing 18-wheel trucks in Texas, and pursuing graduate studies in New Mexico; Madden discovered his passion was teaching. That passion combined with his life experiences and dedication to CCU, made him a leader and source of guidance for what is now called the Department of Communication, Media, and Culture. We appreciate Dr. Madden’s years of service to the Department of Communication, Media, and Culture; the Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts; and Coastal Carolina University. At this time, Ray Moye is hereby recognized as Emeritus Professor. Ray Moye joined the CCU faculty in 1994 and served as an associate professor of English in the Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts.
Moye specializes in the translations of Alfred the Great, and he studies Chinese literature and language. Moye is currently working to produce scholarship linking ancient Chinese culture to Old-English culture. During his time at CCU, Moye has served as a Faculty Senator and as a faculty advisor for Sigma Tau Delta.
He has received various honors, including being selected four times for the SGA Apple Award for Outstanding Humanities Professor. We appreciate Dr. Moye’s years of service to the English Department; the Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts; and Coastal Carolina University. At this time, Carol Osborne is hereby recognized as Distinguished Professor Emeritus.
Osborne joined the CCU faculty in 2002. She most recently served as the Director of Academic and Community Outreach, overseeing the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, Continuing Education, and the Coastal Carolina Kids’ Camps. Her teaching background at CCU includes courses in contemporary literature, Chinese literature, media and culture, popular fiction, and adolescent literature. Another notable role for Osborne was as the Associate Dean for the Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts, where she coordinated assessment and the First-Year-Experience program within the college, in addition to editing Tapestry, an Edwards College publication.
We appreciate Dr. Osborne’s years of service to the English Department; the Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts; and Coastal Carolina University. Congratulations to all of you! It is my pleasure to transition the next part of this ceremony to someone I hope our graduates are all familiar with by now, the dean of their academic college. Each dean has prepared remarks specifically for the graduates within their college and will impart their knowledge one last time before our graduates begin their next journey in life.
Hello graduating class of 2020! I am Erika Engel Small, interim dean of the E. Craig Wall Senior College of Business Administration. It is my honor to congratulate each of our graduating business students on this milestone day in your life. I am sure this is not how you imagined this day at the beginning and throughout your journey at Coastal Carolina University. And I can certainly speak not only for myself but also for our faculty and staff in saying that we truly wish we could clap you through the gauntlet, as has been our tradition and shake your hand – or at least give you a fist bump – in celebration today. We are so proud of you.
Decades from now, we’ll talk about the 2020 pandemic, and we’ll always remember our place in it – where we were, what we were doing, how life changed. And it so happens that for you, this historic moment in the world crosses paths with the personal milestone of your college graduation. But as easy as it would be to dwell on what we’ve lost with regard to this celebration, I encourage you to consider what you’ve gained.
Here’s what I see from where I sit. I see a group of students who learned what they came to learn in the Wall College of Business – how to think critically about situations and find ethical solutions to problems, how to communicate information and ideas effectively in writing and in speaking, how to collaborate to get work done, and about the basics of business and the specifics of your chosen discipline of accounting, finance, economics, marketing, management, or hospitality. And all of those things are accomplishments in themselves. But here’s what I also see you’ve gained: I see a group of individuals who showed resilience when challenged and who persisted when it would have been easy to throw in the towel, or at least put things on pause. Resilience and persistence – you can’t gain these qualities from a book or a lecture.
They only come from experience, and crossing this finish line today is evidence that you have grown in these significant ways. Here’s what else I hope you have gained in this journey – the value of relationships. As we have had to distance ourselves from each other physically for quite some time now, that separation has highlighted how important social connections are to us as human beings. The term social distancing has always bothered me because we weren’t made to be distanced from each other socially. And it seems our ever-increasing use of technology has changed our social connections over time. But weeks and months of quarantine and distancing can make a person realize how critical it is to be connected to each other.
And so we have learned new ways to connect with each other, ironically through technology. Even though the state of the world does not allow us to celebrate this momentous occasion physically together, I hope what it has provided is an opportunity for you to showcase just how much you have learned, not only about business as well as art, science, and humanities, but also about persistence and dedication. I hope you continue to value the relationships you developed and nurtured, not only in the hallways, classrooms, faculty offices and Prince Lawn, but also in your virtual collaborations. But mostly, I hope when you look back on this crossroads moment decades from now – where a world pandemic crossed paths with your own personal life milestone – I hope you are proud of all that you have accomplished as a Coastal Carolina University Chanticleer. At this time, theater faculty member, Kristi McIntyre, will announce the E. Craig Wall
Senior College of Business Administration candidates for degrees. And now the moment you all have been waiting for… By virtue of the authority vested in me by the people of the state, acting through their representatives in the General Assembly and the Board of Trustees of this University, and on the recommendation of the faculty thereof, I confer upon you the degree for which you have been recommended, which entitles you to all the rights and privileges appertaining thereto. I now have a special request for members of the Coastal Carolina University Class of 2020. Graduates, no matter where you are, will you please rise? If you are viewing this ceremony in your cap and gown, I ask that you move your tassels from the right side to the left, to signify your status as a graduate. If you are participating today without a cap and gown, I hope that you will take a bow or give yourself a pat on the back, and celebrate with your friends and family.
You are officially a graduate of Coastal Carolina University. Congratulations! At this time, Theatre faculty member, Kristi McIntyre, will announce the candidates for degrees. Hello, Class of 2020. I’m Diane Sanders, Class of 2005 and Executive Director of Alumni Relations here at Coastal.
Today, I’m excited to be the first to say to you, “Congratulations, Alumni! You made it!” It is truly an honor to be a part of this virtual celebration with you. More than 37,000 alumni from 50 states and numerous countries all around the world join me in congratulating you on your hard-earned achievement. You are now a member of this exclusive group that we proudly call Alumni of Coastal Carolina University! Members of your alumni family include * an Emmy-winning Associate Art Director for Nickelodeon, * a three-time U.S. Olympian, * and a leading software entrepreneur who was named one of the “Top 40 CEOs Under 40” by American Venture Magazine, just to name a few… So we look forward to also seeing YOUR rise to greatness.
As a new graduate, we are providing each of you today with a one-year membership into the Coastal Carolina University Alumni Association. Through the Alumni Association, you will discover many opportunities to be involved with your alma mater. I encourage you to visit campus as often as you can, attend local or regional alumni events, and please know that your Office of Alumni Relations will always be here as a resource for you.
In the years ahead, I hope that you continue to stay connected to Coastal not just as alumni, but also as volunteers, as ambassadors, and just proud supporters. By continuing to engage with CCU, you will pave the way for those who come after you. Your active participation will strengthen this already thriving university. As alumni, you make us proud and show the value of a Coastal Carolina University degree. Be proud and celebrate this day and your great accomplishments wherever you are.
And remember… you will forever be a Chanticleer and a member of Teal Nation! As a final note to our graduates, I hope you continue to embrace the spirit of the Chanticleer as you journey ahead, and I hope that your time spent here at Coastal – the impact you’ve made, the achievements, and the challenges you have overcome – has provided you with irreplaceable experiences, lasting friendships, life lessons, and motivation to make a positive difference within your communities and in the lives of those in your midst. The Alma Mater will now play, followed by a beloved tradition of faculty congratulating you and ushering you through to your next chapter of life. Congratulations, Class of 2020! Go Chants! We come to you to lead our search, and learn to reach beyond ourselves – below the earth, beyond the stars- to form our dreams for better years. Here, green and bronze in nature; light – sweet pine forests that surround us, ocean waters that sustain us – reflect your standards that prepare us. May we return in thought and care to share your promise of enrichment, and celebrate and sing our praise for Coastal Carolina. Cheering and Applause! Congratulations from the HTC Honors College and Center for Interdisciplinary Studies! You did it! Cheering and Applause! Congratulations from the Spadoni College of Education! Cheering and Applause! Congratulations, graduates from the Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts! Cheering and Applause! Congratulations form the Wall College of Business! Cheering and Applause! Congratulations from the Gupta College of Science!