More than 1,500 graduate from College of Charleston

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Seniors at the College of Charleston are celebrating their big moment this weekend.

"It's just so surreal, like, being in there with everybody," College of Charleston graduate Julie Hudak said. "It's just crazy."

Graduation ceremonies began Friday and continued Saturday morning and afternoon.

Friday afternoon ceremonies were for all Master's degree candidates, Bachelor of Professional Studies degree candidates, and BA and BS degree candidates from the School of the Arts and the School of Education, Health and Human Performance, CofC spokesman Michael Robertson said.

On Saturday morning, all BA and BS degree candidates from the School of Business and School of Science and Mathematics graduated.

A separate ceremony for all BA and BS degree candidates from the School of Humanities and Social Sciences and the School of Languages, Cultures and World Affairs will be held at 4 p.m.

Graduates who walked during the Saturday ceremonies all mentioned the heat that was with them throughout the graduation.

"It was hot," College of Charleston graduate Oliver Penegar said. "It was super hot. Eventually, we were in the shade, but at the start of it, we were just boiling out there."

Commencement speakers for the various ceremonies included artist Brian Rutenberg, a 1987 graduate; Federal Judge Bruce Howe Hendricks, a 1983 graduate; and actor Matt Czuchry, a 1999 graduate.

Of the 1,544 graduates, six are graduating with top honors and 14 graduated with A.B. degrees, Robertson said.

"There were definitely a lot of special awards and a lot of very talented, bright, young people out there," College of Charleston graduate Kelsey Dyer said.

The graduates range in age from 19 to 64 years of age, representing 40 states and territories, including Washington D.C., and 23 countries in addition to the United States.

Another 106 are graduating from the CofC's Honors College, and that includes four graduating with top honors, a perfect 4.0 GPA and are recipients of the John Lewis Gervais, Jr. Award, he said. There are 23 double majors and one triple major.

"We've been waiting all four years for this," Penegar said. "Most of us have been waiting even longer than that. And it's finally here. I can't believe it actually happened, it flew by, really."

The time may have gone by quickly, but almost every student said they will always remember the time they spent at the college because of what they learned and the people they met.

"Lifelong friendships," Dyer said. "Everyone here had a very great time while we were here. I definitely made a lot of good friends that I'm never going to forget."

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