May 7, 2013
CONWAY - Coastal Carolina University held a special graduation Tuesday evening at the Ronald Lackey Chapel, honoring members of the Chanticleer baseball and softball programs that will be unable to participate in this weekend's official ceremony due to competition.
David Anderson, Aaron Burke, Jazmin Daigle, Cacia Pierre and Josh Powell had their Coastal Carolina degrees conferred by Robert Sheehan, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs.
Over 35 more Chanticleer student-athletes are set to participate in the official CCU graduation ceremony Saturday at Brooks Stadium from 8 am-Noon.
The Chanticleer baseball team will be hosting UNC Asheville this Saturday at Noon - with the team honoring its seniors prior to the first pitch, forcing Anderson, Burke and Powell, as well as Justin Creel - a 2012-13 Big South Christenberry Award honoree for Academic Excellence, and Alex Buccilli - a Big South Presidential Honor Roll honoree, to miss the University's graduation exercises.
The Chanticleer softball program, the 2013 Big South regular season champion, will be defending its Big South Tournament title from last season as this year's number one seed at Winthrop.
Anderson, who was the 2009 Big South Player of the Year and All-American, started his collegiate career in 2005, but the Lexington native spent two years in the Baltimore Orioles organization before returning to campus this year as a student assistant coach so he could complete his degree in recreation Sports Management.
Burke, the 2012 Big South co-Pitcher of the Year and All-American, is completing his third year at Coastal after two seasons at Allen (Kan.) Community College. The 2012 Big South leader in wins and ERA, also ranking fifth in the nation in ERA last season, received his degree in Interdisciplinary Studies.
Daigle, the 2010 co-Big South Freshman of the Year and second team All-Big South selection, is a three-time Big South Presidential Honor Roll recipient and received her degree in Recreation Sports Management.
Pierre, a first team All-Big South pick in 2010, is also a three-time Big South Presidential Honor Roll recipient. She received a dual degree in Exercise Sport Science and Health Promotion.
Powell is in his second year at Coastal Carolina after spending his first two seasons at Brunswick (N.C.) Community College. Powell, a Big South Presidential Honor Roll recipient, has served as Coastal's number two catcher the past two seasons and he received his degree in Interdisciplinary Studies.
The evening opened with Tom F. Woodle, Director of Career Services, giving the invocation. Director of Athletics Hunter Yurachek was the ceremony's keynote speaker, imploring the graduates to not get caught up in material things but building strong personal relationships to make you a strong person on the inside.
The five graduates then had their degrees conferred by Sheehan and Michael H. Roberts, Dean, College of Science, and Nelljean M. Rice, Dean, University College. Deborah K. Conner, Vice President of Student Affairs, concluded the evening by welcoming the newest group of CCU alumni and expressing to them the vast community of which they are now members.