Coastal Carolina University held commencement ceremonies for an estimated 1,145 candidates for graduation May 5 and 6, 2017, at the HTC Student Recreation and Convocation Center on campus.

Area students Sophie Brunett (Bachelor of Arts in graphic design) of Clarksburg and Sklyer Morgan (Bachelor of Science in public health) of Fairmont were among the candidates.

In her remarks to Coastal Carolina University’s Class of 2017, commencement speaker Amber J. Campbell encouraged graduates to be true to themselves and their own course in life instead of relying too much on conventional wisdom.

“Don’t listen to ‘they,’ because ‘they’ will tell you all kinds of things,” said Campbell, an Olympic athlete and 2004 CCU graduate. “‘They’ don’t always have your best interests at heart. ‘They’ will try to talk you out of your dream. ‘They’ will tell you that what you’re pursuing doesn’t make sense or that the career you chose is too obscure. Meanwhile, you might end up a three-time Olympian and travel the world!”