One Chapter Ends, Another Begins

108th Spring Commencement: May 14, 2016

“To the Coker College Class of 2016: Congratulations! You did it! I’d like to thank the faculty and staff. Each of you has either directly or indirectly influenced at least one of these graduates in a positive way. I’d also like to thank the family members who have motivated and helped us up to this point and who will continue to motivate and help us.

Coker is truly a family school with a family atmosphere. And, like most families, it is built on tradition. With any family, it can be hard to satisfy everyone. But, thankfully, at Coker there’s something here for everyone — or at least the opportunity to create it. This is true for classes, career paths, and interest groups.

Coker College conferred bachelor’s degrees on 144 new graduates.
Dr. Shannon Marrero, a pediatrician at the University of Wisconsin Medicine Seattle Children’s Hospital, presented the commencement address and received an honorary doctorate of humane letters.
 
31 individuals received their master’s degrees.

“Each Coker story is different. However, I can bet that all of our Coker stories are similar in that we’ve learned a lot, we’ve seen a lot, and — whether we choose to admit it or not — we’re not the same people we were when we first stepped foot on this campus.”

Also like many other families, we’ve often bonded over food. Coker faculty and staff have been known to cook or bring food into a meeting or a class. If you’re lucky, you may have even been invited out to lunch or dinner. This family is also very involved in the community and has made sure each of us has had the opportunity to build relationships outside of the college gates — not only in Hartsville, but also in other states or even abroad. I’m sure that each graduate can say that Coker has allowed them the opportunity to become well-rounded and also stay grounded.

Each Coker story is different. However, I can bet that all of our Coker stories are similar in that we’ve learned a lot, we’ve seen a lot, and — whether we choose to admit it or not — we’re not the same people we were when we first stepped foot on this campus. I bet you were challenged in some way that changed you for the better. Maybe your ideas about something have been changed, you’re more passionate about something now than you’ve ever been before, or you learned more about yourself. Maybe you broke out of your shell, and you probably even gained a lifelong friend or two. In my case, I gained family.

Once again, congratulations to you all. Come back if you can, keep in touch, and share your successes! You never know who you’ll inspire with your story.”

Tanisha Gerald, ‘16

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