Redefining Ready Speech Wins Grand Award

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HARTSVILLE, S.C. – Jan. 27, 2012 – In one of the nation’s largest and most competitive district competitions for communications professionals in education, “Redefining Ready,” a speech by Coker College President Robert Wyatt, was recently recognized as the year’s Grand Award Winner by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).

President Robert Wyatt presented the speech during a press conference at Thornwell School for the Arts last February to help launch PULSE, a new $5M education initiative in Hartsville.

His remarks were intended to frame the project as a model collaboration, an opportunity for important community growth and a source of ongoing community pride.  In it, Wyatt expressed his unguarded personal appreciation for the counsel and expertise of his friend and a world-renowned child-development scholar, Yale University’s Dr. James Comer, and for the generous support of the program’s corporate sponsor, Sonoco.

“I am humbled by the award, obviously, but I am proud of the recognition it brings to my colleagues in Hartsville who, working through PULSE, are making important differences for students in Hartsville,” said Wyatt.

“Success in the competition, which annually draws 1,000 entries, honors not only Dr. Wyatt, but also shines a light on the changing world of communication,” said Executive Director of Marketing and Communications Kyle Saverance, who submitted the speech for consideration.

“Obviously, the speech was excellent, but what put it over the top for the judges,” Saverance said, “was our including a link to the YouTube video that showed clips from the press conference.  One judge commented that the video helped them see for themselves the ‘passion and the commitment’ that drove the project.”

The CASE award will be presented at CASE’s annual conference, which this year is being held Feb. 19-22 at the Omni at CNN Center in downtown Atlanta.

CASE District III serves more than 4,000 members in nine states of the Southeast and is committed to supporting educational and professional institutions in its region by enhancing the effectiveness of the alumni relations, fund raising, communications, marketing and other advancement professionals who serve them.


Photo:  Robert L. Wyatt, Coker College President



Coker College readies undergraduates for personal and professional success through a distinctive four-year program that emphasizes a practical application of the liberal arts as well as hands-on and discussion-based learning within and beyond the classroom. Coker is ranked among the “Best Colleges” in the South by U.S. News & World Report as well as The Princeton Review. Located in Hartsville, S.C., Coker is within two hours of the cultural, financial and recreational resources of Charlotte, Columbia, Charleston and Myrtle Beach.


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