Presidential Perspectives: Gone in a Blink

From the desk of Coker College President Robert Wyatt

I blinked and the academic year is almost over.

One of our most rewarding and biggest events of the year, spring commencement, is scheduled for May 12, 2018, at 8:00am in the Davidson Hall courtyard, and we would be delighted for you to join us.  Rob Tiede, newly appointed President and CEO of Sonoco Products Company, will be our the speaker at our 110th commencement.

Coker has grown and evolved to meet the ever-changing needs of our students, but still maintain those qualities that make us unique. This year, we will host our first-ever graduate commencement and hooding ceremony at Drengaelen on May 11, 2018, at 6:00pm, for those completing one of our master’s programs.  Our own Tony Floyd, President-Elect of Mars Hill University in Mars Hill, N.C., will deliver the commencement address. Who would have thought 10 years ago we would need to host not one commencement, but three––spring, winter and graduate?

I have watched our now-seniors develop from first-year college students to confident campus leaders who are accepting positions with companies like Sonoco, Cerner, Weyerhaeuser, Enterprise, or are being accepted into graduate programs at first-rate institutions. It is why we do what we do. The college’s goal is to graduate students with the ability to think analytically and creatively and to write and speak effectively.  Experiences inside and outside the classroom are focused on active student involvement and the practical application of academic knowledge that leads to lifelong learning.

Each of our 200+ soon-to-be Coker graduates will leave us a different person from when they began here. Some have met their future partner. Some have discovered that they love literature or psychology. Some have discovered that they don’t love dorm life or speech class. Some have discovered that they thrive under pressure. All have been pushed beyond their comfort zone and have written their Coker story.

In talking with our alumni all over the country and having just finished touring what seemed to be 500 colleges with my daughter in her college selection process, I realize now more than ever  there truly is something special about Coker. Thanks to the vision and support of Major James Lide Coker and the generosity of friends and alumni like you, we are able to graduate men and women who make a genuine difference in the world. Thank you.

Kindest regards,


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