Ray Tanner to address December graduates
Ray Tanner, coach of the University of South Carolina’s national championship baseball team, will speak at USC’s December commencement exercises for baccalaureate, master’s and professional-degree recipients from all eight campuses at 3:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 13, in the Colonial Life Arena.
Former Columbia Mayor Bob Coble, who served an unprecedented two decades as mayor of South Carolina’s capital city, will receive an honorary doctorate of laws at the commencement ceremony. Norman J. Arnold, a Columbia businessman, philanthropist and public health advocate, will receive an honorary doctorate of humane letters. Arnold and his wife, Gerry Sue, donated $10 million to USC in 2000 to benefit the School of Public Health, which now bears his name.
The doctoral hooding ceremony will be at 1:30 p.m. at the Koger Center for the Arts. Dr. Tayloe Harding, dean of the School of Music and interim dean of the South Carolina Honors College, will speak.
The university expects to award 1,781 degrees from the Columbia campus, including three associate’s degrees, 1,189 baccalaureate degrees, 14 law degrees, one medical degree, 42 graduate certificates, 430 master’s degrees, 12 specialist’s degrees and 90 doctoral degrees.
Also receiving degrees will be graduates of the university’s regional and four-year campuses: Aiken, 190 baccalaureate and three master’s degrees; Beaufort, two associate’s degrees and 69 baccalaureate degrees; Lancaster, 13 associate’s degrees; Salkehatchie, 20 associate’s degrees; Sumter, 23 associate’s degrees; Union, 10 associate’s degrees; and Upstate, 454 baccalaureate degrees.
Tanner was named the head baseball coach at USC in June 1996. His Gamecock teams have posted a 634-282 overall record, with 12 NCAA tournament appearances, four College World Series appearances and the College World Series Championship in 2010.
In 2005, Tanner and his wife, Karen, established the Ray Tanner Foundation, which supports organizations that care for seriously ill children, the homeless and other causes throughout the Midlands. A grant from the foundation to Harvest Hope Food Bank has helped one area elementary school’s Backpack Program to provide cereal and healthy snacks to students to take home on weekends and holidays.
During Tanner’s tenure at USC, the new Carolina Baseball Stadium was completed near the banks of the Congaree River. The team played its first season there in 2009.
Tanner is a graduate of North Carolina State University, where he played four seasons of collegiate baseball and, at age 28, became one of the youngest Division I head coaches. He was named ACC Coach of the Year in 1990.
- When: Monday, Dec. 13, 3:30 p.m.
- Where: Colonial Life Arena
- Who: USC baseball coach Ray Tanner to address graduates of all eight campuses