USC Beaufort to graduate its largest class yet

John H. M. Hart, Jr., J.D., author of four New York Times bestsellers, will deliver the keynote address May 3 when the University of South Carolina Beaufort conducts its 2013 commencement ceremony on the Hilton Head Gateway campus in Bluffton.

Hart will deliver that speach to theĀ USCB's largest graduating class, 314 Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees, including the first graduates of Communications Studies and the Call Me Mister program.

A former criminal defense attorney, banker and stockbroker, Hart is now an author and land-preservation activist. His four works of fiction have been published to critical and popular acclaim. He is the only writer in history to have won the Edgar Award for consecutive novels, The King of Lies, his first book; and Down River, his second. Created in honor of Edgar Allen Poe, the Edgar Award is bestowed by the Mystery Writers of America. It is their equivalent of an Oscar or Emmy.

Dr. Harris Pastides, president of the University of South Carolina, will deliver his remarks immediately after Dr. Jane T. Upshaw, the USCB chancellor, welcomes administrators from both universities, faculty, distinguished guests, the graduating Class of 2013, parents and friends.

Hart will receive an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Literature from USCB. Emory Wayne Rushton, a USC graduate who rose to become Senior Deputy Controller in the Office of the Controller of the Currency and Chief National Bank Examiner in Washington, D.C., will receive an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Public Administration. During the course of his career, Rushton became the first Director of the OCC's Regional Bank Division in Washington and later helped to establish the OCC's Multinational Banking Program. He served as one of its earliest Deputy Controllers.

An awards ceremony will take place May 3 at 2 p.m. in Hargray 156 on the Hilton Head Gateway Campus.

The commencement ceremony will take place May 3 at 6 p.m. in the Helen and Brantley Harvey Plaza on campus.

Distinguished guests taking part in the ceremony will include representatives of the University of South Carolina Board of Trustees and the Beaufort County Higher Education Commission.

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