CCU Commencement Speaker Says Graduates' Skills are Needed More Than Ever

Staff Report From South Carolina CEO

Monday, August 12th, 2019

More than 445 students were eligible to participate in Coastal Carolina University's summer commencement program on Aug. 9. F. Eliza Glaze, Ph.D., a CCU history professor and the 2019 HTC Distinguished Teacher-Scholar Lecturer, gave the commencement address.

Glaze spoke to students about success, saying that it is about more than finances. “We all need to earn enough to live, or even better, to establish some financial stability for ourselves and our loved ones. But even more than that, success is about doing something that we love and that is worthwhile to all.”

Glaze assured this graduating class that the world needs every one of them. “Never before in American history… were the skills of a truly well-educated person needed so much as they are now – in our political discourse, in our families, friendships, workplaces and public institutions,” Glaze said.

“In this world of soundbites and tweets, when we are all-too-often tempted to rush to judgement, to circle wagons and support our own individual tribe, it is my hope that you, the graduate, will find new and brilliant ways to get us talking and working together again,” Glaze continued. “To the extent that you can do that, even as you pursue your career goals, that would be a most precious kind of success and worth any amount of money.”

She encouraged graduates about the challenges and struggles they will face in the future. “You will have what you need, the skills to dig down deep to take care of yourselves and to triumph over adversities,” Glaze said.

As this year's recipient of the HTC Distinguished Teacher-Scholar Lecturer Award, Glaze was recognized for her outstanding teaching, intensive scholarly research and concern for student learning. In her teaching, she explores the interstices between the intellectual and social histories of the Middle Ages.

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

Tyra Leigh Bjorlo from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, earned a Bachelor of Arts in Intelligence and National Security Studies.

Brenna Janiece Wiinanen from West Fargo, North Dakota, earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music.

Hailey Michele Wimmenauer from Conway, South Carolina, earned a Bachelor of Science in Exercise and Sport Science.

CCU faculty member David Bankston, Ph.D., was recognized for his service as professor of music with the title of Distinguished Professor Emeritus. In addition to teaching music courses at CCU, Bankston, is the director of Acoustic Songbook, an ensemble that specializes in performing popular sounds with small groups of singers and instrumentalists in an unplugged format. He began his musical career in the early 1970s, and over the years has performed many genres including folk-rock, opera, musical theater, Americana, contemporary folk music and jazz.

The late Roger Johansen was also recognized for his service to the University with the title Distinguished Senior Lecturer. Johansen joined the CCU faculty in 2010 as a teaching associate in the Department of English, where he later served as a Lecturer, and, since 2018, a senior lecturer.