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Farnsworth selected as student speaker at Commencement

Last updated April 29, 2013

By News administrator

Long-time El Salvador peace activist Sister Peggy O’Neill will serve as commencement speaker when Furman University holds its graduation exercises Saturday, May 4 at 7:30 p.m. in Eugene Stone Soccer Stadium.

The public is invited to attend.  In case of rain, the ceremony will be moved to Timmons Arena and admittance will be by ticket only.

The day will include an 11 a.m. baccalaureate service in McAlister Auditorium.  That ceremony is reserved for graduates and their guests and is not open to the public.

Graduating senior Jack Farnsworth, a mathematics major from Athens, Ga., will be the student speaker at commencement.

Furman will award approximately 590 undergraduate and graduate degrees during the ceremony, which will be broadcast live via streaming video on the Furman website (  The university will also award Sister Peggy an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree.

Jack Farnsworth

Farnsworth, who completed his hours in December, has been teaching fifth grade math this spring at Veritas Classical School in Richmond, Va.  He will teach geometry and trigonometry in the fall.  While at Furman, he worked as a chaplain at prisons and hospitals in and around Greenville through the Exploration of Vocational Ministry program.  He also played on the rugby team for four years, and spent two summers doing research in mathematics.

Sister Peggy, a nun with the Sisters of Charity, has been living and working in El Salvador since 1987. She went there to accompany a community returning from a U.N. refugee camp in Honduras during the nation’s civil war.  She ended up staying for the remainder of the war and has decided to devote the rest of her life to helping that community.  Her efforts include the founding of Centro Arte Para la Paz, a center designed to promote psychological and emotional healing through the arts.

Before going to El Salvador, Sister Peggy earned a Ph.D. degree in theology from New York University and taught religion and theology classes for nearly 20 years at Iona and Barry colleges.  She also teaches at the University of Central America in El Salvador.

For more information, contact Furman’s News and Media Relations office at 864-294-3107.

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