College of Charleston alumna Sabra Horne ’87, director of the Organizational Change Management Initiative under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, will be the commencement speaker at the College’s winter commencement ceremony on Dec. 15, 2018.
More than 300 students are expected to receive their degrees during the ceremony. Commencement begins at 2 p.m. and will be held in the College of Charleston’s TD Arena at 301 Meeting St. A clear bag policy for all ticketed events at the College’s athletics venues, including TD Arena, was implemented earlier this year. Guests attending winter commencement may only carry clear plastic, vinyl or PVC bags into the arena. For more information visit the College of Charleston Athletics website.
In addition to Horne, the College of Charleston will also present honorary degrees to philanthropists Dr. Neil Draisin ’65 and Carolyn Feinberg Draisin and former College of Charleston Board of Trustee Chair Greg Padgett ’79.
Sabra Horne ’87
Sabra Horne is the director of the Organizational Change Management Initiative, overseeing the transformation of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency into a component agency. She previously was the director of Stakeholder Engagement and Cyber Infrastructure Resilience, leading agency efforts for ensuring the effective sharing of cyber information with the private sector, as well as state, local, tribal and territorial entities. Prior to her time at DHS, she served at the National Security Agency (NSA) as the deputy chief for information sharing and collaboration, facilitating the sharing of the NSA’s most highly classified intelligence. She was senior advisor to NSA Threat Operations Center leadership and led its effort to share unclassified cyber threat information with other government agencies and the private sector. Horne was previously director of communications at the Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs, responsible for all legislative, public and intergovernmental affairs and senior advisor for strategic partnerships for open source at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), where she also served as the chief of staff in the standup of the National Maritime Intelligence Center and led development of the Unified Intelligence Strategy for the National Intelligence Manager for Cyber. Prior to her government service, she had an 18-year career in academic publishing, the last 12 as senior executive editor for the largest list of academic criminal justice publications at Wadsworth Publishing. Horne holds a master’s degree in public administration from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and a bachelor of arts degree in English from the College of Charleston. She is a member of the College of Charleston Dean’s Council. Horne and her husband John live in Washington, D.C.
Carolyn Feinberg Draisin
Retired teacher Carolyn Feinberg Draisin taught elementary school children in three states over the course of her more than 20-year career as an educator. Draisin was born and raised in Opelika, Alabama, where her parents, Sidney and Francis Feinberg, instilled in her and her siblings a great appreciation for education and a great respect for educators.
After graduating from the University of Alabama with a bachelor of sciences degree in education, Draisin taught elementary school in Atlanta, Georgia, for three years. She then moved to Pennsylvania where she was a grade school teacher in the Cheltenham Township School District for three years. She eventually relocated to Charleston, taking a teaching position at Orange Grove Elementary Charter School. It was at this time that she fostered what would become a lifelong connection to the College of Charleston, which began by mentoring student teachers. Growing up in the South during segregation and bearing witness to the fight for civil rights, Draisin drew from her experiences to aim at creating a level playing field in the classroom. For her, teaching was more than a career: It was a vocation. She not only helped shape future educators, she sought to support her own thirst for professional development with continued education, taking graduate courses at the College of Charleston. Draisin and her husband, Neil, have three children, Alison, Leslie and David.
Neil W. Draisin ’65
Dr. Neil W. Draisin is an optometrist who is board certified in children’s vision and visual perception and development, as well as the treatment and management of eye disease. An authority in vision therapy and rehabilitation, Draisin has maintained a private practice in Charleston, South Carolina, since 1972. He is a fellow and past president of the College of Optometrists in vision development and is a member of the Coastal Carolina Optometric Society, the American Optometric Association, the Optometric Extension Program and the South Carolina Optometric Association, of which he also served as president. Draisin currently serves as president for the Southeastern Council of Optometrists. He was also named Alumnus of the Year for the Pennsylvania College of Optometry in 2001, was elected to the National Academy of Practice in 2011 and was awarded the American Optometric Association’s Optometrist of the Year in 2013 and the American Optometric Association’s Optometric Recognition Award for excelling in continuing education from 1990–2016. Born and raised in Charleston, Draisin is a graduate of the College of Charleston with a bachelor of sciences degree in biology and is a graduate of Pennsylvania College of Optometry. He completed his residency in pediatric optometry and vision therapy at State University of New York. He established the Head Start Vision Screening Program in Charleston in 1976. He served as president of the Charleston Jewish Community Center; as vice president of the Charleston Jewish Federation; was a board member of his synagogue; was on the Executive Board of the Charleston Boy Scout Council; and is a member of the St. Andrews Rotary Club. In 2004, the College of Charleston Foundation elected him to its Board of Directors.
Gregory Duncan Padgett ’79
Gregory Duncan Padgett is the chief financial officer of Fennell Holdings Inc., a Charleston-based investment holding company encompassing the hospitality, waste services, real estate, aviation and finance industries. Prior to joining Fennell Holdings, Inc., he was a partner and staff at the accounting firm of Gamble, Givens & Moody, CPA’s. He is currently a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants; the South Carolina Association of Certified Public Accountants; Omicron Delta Kappa, a national leadership honor society; and Beta Gamma Sigma, a national business honor society. A native of Spartanburg, South Carolina, he received a bachelor of sciences degree in business administration from the College of Charleston in 1979 and is also certified public accountant. Padgett’s involvement with the College of Charleston has been longstanding and far-reaching, having served on numerous boards. He is a past chair for the College of Charleston Board of Trustees, and for six years he served on the Alumni Association Board of Trustees. He is also a past president of the College of Charleston Foundation, a past member of the College of Charleston Cougar Club Board and a past president of the Housing Corporation of the Alpha chapter of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity, a national fraternity founded at the College of Charleston in 1904. Currently, he serves as a member of the College of Charleston School of Business and Economics Advisory Board and holds a seat on the College of Charleston Presidential Search Committee. Padgett resides in Charleston, South Carolina. He and his wife Tina have two children, Ryan and Anna.