CLEMSON – Clemson University awarded more than 1,300 degrees at graduation ceremonies in the refurbished Littlejohn Coliseum Thursday. The degrees included 1,028 bachelors and 255 masters. In a hooding ceremony Wednesday, 60 doctoral students received their Ph.Ds.

A row of graduates in caps and gowns sing the alma mater.

Clemson University graduates including quarterback and Heisman Trophy finalist Deshaun Watson sing the Clemson alma mater at their graduation ceremony in Littlejohn Coliseum, Dec. 15, 2016. (Photo by Ken Scar)

Clemson President James Clements expressed his hope that the graduates got everything they expected and more from their time at Clemson – academic and otherwise.

“I hope that your Clemson experience has been everything that you had hoped it would be, and that we taught you more than your academic subjects,” said Clements. “I hope that we instilled in you the core values that we hold so dear: honesty, integrity and respect. I hope that we challenged you, and inspired you to think critically, to be engaged in your community and the world, and to make a positive difference every day.

“Today, you join a family of approximately 145,000 members. Today, your life as a Clemson graduate commences. Make your life matter, make us proud, make a difference … and go Tigers!”

Retired U.S. Army Col. Sandy Edge, president of the Clemson Alumni Association, welcomed the graduates into the alumni family and acknowledged the students’ friends and family who supported them during their college journey.

“I know that you probably are thinking about the family that got you here to Clemson,” he said. “To those special folks, I say:  ‘Thank you for your trust in Clemson and for supporting your students in their decision to attend our special university.’”

Edge then addressed the graduates directly and encouraged them to do more than just join the workforce and follow the career paths of their fields of study.

“I know that when you leave here today you’re going to embark on new adventures. First I want to thank you all for what you’ve already done for our Clemson family, he said. “But I’m more excited about what I believe your future holds. Now, go out and change the world, and help us make it a better place.”

Clemson Tigers quarterback and Heisman Trophy finalist Deshaun Watson received his bachelor’s degree in communication in the morning ceremony. He chatted and took selfies with classmates while celebrating his academic accomplishments with his peers.