CCU Virtual Commencement Ceremony Set for May 8th Featuring Special Guest Speaker Michael Kelly

Staff Report From South Carolina CEO

Thursday, April 30th, 2020

Coastal Carolina University will launch its first virtual commencement ceremony on Friday, May 8, at 6 p.m., featuring a recorded message from alumnus and Emmy-nominated actor Michael Kelly.

President David A. DeCenzo will preside over the ceremony for the spring Class of 2020, which will be launched on the Coastal Carolina University YouTube channel. The virtual ceremony provides the opportunity for every CCU graduate to mark this momentous occasion and personal milestone.

Nearly 1,300 students are eligible to participate in the virtual spring commencement ceremony, which was planned in consultation with Spring 2020 graduates. It will incorporate many traditional customs associated with on-campus commencement exercises, including formal remarks from the president, provost, and deans in full academic regalia; a message from Kelly; the official conferring of the graduate and undergraduate academic degrees; and the playing of the alma mater.

The virtual ceremony will also feature individual student recognition slides that will be shown during the event.

Kelly is perhaps best known for his four-time Emmy-nominated role as Doug Stamper in the Netflix original series “House of Cards,” in which he starred all six seasons. Kelly can currently be seen in season two of Amazon Prime’s Original Series “Jack Ryan” alongside John Krasinski and Wendell Pierce. He graduated from Coastal Carolina in 1992 with a degree in performing arts.

Following the completion of the virtual ceremony, graduates, friends, and families have the option of viewing a more personalized ceremony on the CCU commencement website. There, viewers will have the option to choose which components of the ceremony they want to see again.

Graduates and family members are encouraged to tag @CCUGrads in their photos of their in-home celebrations on social media to be featured on the CCU Grads Facebook page.

The virtual spring commencement ceremony will be launched at 6 p.m. Friday, May 8, on CCU’s YouTube channel and archived for future viewing at

CCU has also committed to having Spring 2020 graduates and their families return to campus for in-person celebrations when public health guidelines allow. Potential dates, logistics, and activities for in-person recognition are currently being explored. The University will provide more details as more information is known about the spread of COVID-19 and the continued need for social distancing.