Darius Rucker, former CIA director Robert Gates to address USC grads

From Staff ReportsMarch 29, 2013 

— A former director of the CIA and Columbia’s own Darius Rucker, the lead singer of Hootie and the Blowfish, will speak to students at the University of South Carolina’s spring graduation.

The school announced the speakers Friday for its two days of commencement exercises in May.

Robert Gates, chancellor of the College of William and Mary, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency and, prior to that, secretary of defense, on May 10 will address graduates of the students from the Darla Moore School of Business, College of Mass Communications and Information Studies, College of Nursing, South Carolina College of Pharmacy and the Arnold School of Public Health. Gates will receive an honorary degree of doctor of public service.

J. Brady Anderson, a former ambassador to Tanzania and the former administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, will receive a doctor of public service honorary degree. Leo Twiggs, one of South Carolina’s preeminent artists and arts educators, will receive an honorary doctor of fine arts degree.

Stephen Zack, the former president of the American Bar Association and the first Hispanic-American to hold that position will address graduates of the School of Law.

In a separate ceremony on the afternoon of May 10, Dr. Richard E. Besser, a physician and chief health and medical editor for ABC News who previously served as acting director for the Centers for Disease Control, will address graduates of the USC School of Medicine.

On May 11, Rucker, a country music artist who first found fame as lead singer of the rock band Hootie and the Blowfish, will address graduates of the South Carolina Honors College and the College of Arts and Sciences. Rucker, who formed Hootie and the Blowfish with three fellow USC students in 1986, will receive a doctor of music honorary degree. Bernard Dunlap, author, lecturer and president of Wofford College, will receive an honorary degree of doctor of education.

In a separate ceremony on the afternoon of May 11, Philip Lader, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom and chairman of the world’s largest communications services group, will address graduates of the College of Education, the College of Engineering and Computing, the College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management, the School of Music and the College of Social Work.

Kessel Stelling Jr., chairman of the board and CEO of the Georgia-based Synovus Financial Corp., will receive a doctor of business administration honorary degree.

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