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Charleston Southern University > CSU News > Berry inspired by CSU Class of 2017 graduates

Berry inspired by CSU Class of 2017 graduates

University Relations // 05.06.2017

Class of 2017

One journey ended and another one began Saturday for 657 Charleston Southern University students. The North Charleston Coliseum was packed as University officials and family, friends and relatives came together to celebrate the Class of 2017, the largest graduating class in University history.

Joan Robinson-Berry, Vice President and General Manager of Boeing South Carolina, was the Commencement keynote speaker. She told Class of 2017, “As you enter this new chapter in your life, most of you will be continuing the amazing work of the scientists, engineers, doctors and business leaders that precede you."

A native of Hollywood, California, Berry earned her Bachelor of Science degree from California State Polytechnic University and a Master of Science in Engineering Management and Business from University of California.

She encouraged CSU’s graduating class to Have faith. Continue to Learn. Take risks. Be Innovative. Embrace challenging jobs.

”Innovative minds are needed to determine the future conditions of mankind," she told the Class of 2017. "By being here today, you have proven yourselves to be intelligent and dedicated enough to do the job. I am inspired by your faith, energy and enthusiasm."

Charleston Business magazine recently recognized Berry-Robinson as one of the 50 most-influential people in Charleston. She also received the Woman of Distinction and Accomplishment award from Washington State African American Achievement Awards team and the Most Powerful Women in Business by Black Enterprise.

“I’m happy to see that the great promise and potential for our future is being placed into good faith-based educated hands,” said Berry.

The most popular degree programs from the Class of 2017 at Charleston Southern are:

Read more about Class of 2017 graduates here, here and here.


Founded in 1964, Charleston Southern University is a private, four-year liberal arts college. CSU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and is affiliated with the South Carolina Baptist Convention. The university's vision is to be a Christian university nationally recognized for integrating faith in learning, leading and serving.