College of Charleston graduates say they're ready for work

By Ava

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV -- Charleston native and 1969 College of Charleston graduate Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell gave the 2013 commencement speech at the school's commencement ceremonies Saturday.

"It was summed up best by Sir Winston Churchill when he said, 'You make a living by what you get; you make a life by what you give.' I congratulate you today on your great accomplishment and wish for you every happiness in your life ahead," said McConnell.

{}The final minutes of being a college student ticked away as the senior class was reminded what is{}ahead of them.

"As you enter into the real world, whether you move on to grad school, a big person job or even backpack through Europe, congratulations class of 2013," said Senior class co-chair Alex Pappas.

Name by name, Pappas and her fellow senior class members crossed the stage on the Cistern, greeted by administrators and professors..

"It's a little emotional up there.{} Writing the speech was pretty hard because you smush four years of amazing experiences into 400 words," said Pappas. {}

Eager family members with cameras stood patiently, ready to catch a glimpse of their graduate walk across the stage.

Many graduates will join the work force, but some graduates say next Fall they will be right back at the College of Charleston.

"I'm hoping to go to the College of Charleston MBA program to get a masters and it's their one year accelerated program," said Haley Weerasinghe.

Other graduates have already started on their new journey.

{}"I finished in December so I moved up to Washington, D.C.{}I actually already started working at a consulting firm in D.C.," said Rich Burke, who majored in business administration.

A record number of students crossed the stage under the majestic oak trees in the historic Cistern Yard during the 2013 College of Charleston Graduation ceremonies. Over 1,850 students received their degrees in the two ceremonies.

The College of Charleston also presented an Honorary Degree to Trident Technical College President Mary Thornley during the ceremonies.

The graduating class includes the first graduates of both the B.A. and B.S. in public health and the B.S. in exercise science.