More than 700 students walked across the stage as CCU's last graduating class of the decade

More than 700 students were eligible to participate in commencement ceremonies at Coastal Carolina University on Dec. 17, 2019, marking the last class of the decade to graduate from CCU. Ron Daise, vice president for creative education at Brookgreen Gardens, was the special speaker during the two commencement cerimonies.

Daise used messages from Nick Jr.'s award-winning and internationally broadcasted television program "Gullah Gullah Island" to inspire and motivate the graduates and to remind them that this is only the beginning of their lifelong quest for knowledge.

"Realize this day marks only the beginning of continued education. You have not yet reached the pinnacles of understanding, self-awareness, or wisdom. As said by Albert Einstein, 'intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death.' Stay hungry for knowledge," said Daise.

Daise is known by many as "Mr. Ron" on Nick Jr.'s award-winning and internationally broadcasted television program, "Gullah Gullah Island," for which he and his wife Natalie performed in starring roles. They also served as cultural consultants on the program. For more than 30 years, Daise has promoted awareness of Gullah Geechee culture and history. A cultural preservationist, performing artist, and educator, he has developed and presented stories, songs, and lectures about history, culture, and faith at museums, theaters, conferences, churches, and educational institutions across the country.

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