University of South Carolina

Former New York Governor George Pataki
Former New York Governor George Pataki

CONT: Commencement

Kayla McCoy, 29, earned her associate’s degree from USC Lancaster. McCoy will start on her bachelor’s degree in August and hopes to attend law school and help abused women. Her family, including her 2-year-old daughter Kinzey, who was recently crowned Miss Tiny Tot South Carolina, filled an entire row.

“I was determined for her to be here. She won a $2,000 savings bond for college. I’m the first to graduate from college in my family. I wanted her to be here and know what a graduation is. She’s at mine and I’ll be at her college graduation some day, too.”

Sitting next to her was Danyell Lynn, 36, a 17-year Navy veteran who served three tours in Iraq and two in Afghanistan. He was wounded twice and returned to the United States in 2009. On Saturday, he received his associate’s degree from USC Lancaster and plans to study public relations at USC Columbia. His goal is to help veterans.

“I want to improve the world for veterans. We are the ones who defend the country. Veterans have to deal with issues a regular American never hears about. I want to help,” said Lynn, of Fort Lawn.

Jason Abernethy of Columbia, who received his master’s in linguistics, will be heading to Korea next month to teach English.

“It’s a chance to see the world. My mother’s Korean, and I’m interested in teaching English. Korea’s a good place to start,” said Abernethy, 26, who also received his bachelor’s degree in English from USC.


Josh Crowley
Josh Crowley

Josh Crowley, who earned his degree in public relations, will begin an internship at Erwin-Penland in Greenville. “I feel really lucky to have this opportunity,” Crowley said. “I’ had a great experience at Carolina, and I feel prepared to take this next step.”

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