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Students and faculty honored during Commencement

Graduates of the Class of 2023 who were presented with awards stand on the stage during Commencement on Saturday, May 6, 2023.

Last updated May 4, 2023

By News administrator

Student and faculty awards and honors were handed out at the commencement ceremony for the Class of 2023 on Saturday, May 6, by Furman University President Elizabeth Davis, assisted by Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Beth Pontari and Board of Trustees Chair Kevin T. Byrne ’91.

General Excellence Awards

The Donaldson-Watkins and the Bradshaw-Feaster Medals for General Excellence are awarded each year by the faculty to outstanding senior graduates. The awards are based on scholarship, general culture, participation in college activities and high moral character.

In 2023, the Donaldson-Watkins Medal was presented to Katherine McCann of Greenville, South Carolina. The 2023 Bradshaw-Feaster Medal went to Kylie Gambrill of Summerville, South Carolina.

Scholarship Cup

The Furman University Scholarship Cup is awarded to the undergraduate degree candidate or candidates with the highest grade-point average. Each of the scholarship cup winners achieved a perfect academic record.

The Class of 2023 Scholarship Cup was awarded to Shane Embury of Knoxville, Tennessee; Landon Minor of Waxhaw, North Carolina; Joshua Powers of Greenville, South Carolina; Sheridan Rosen of Fort Worth, Texas; and Amelia Spell of Kingsport, Tennessee.

Meritorious Teaching and Advising

The Alester G. Furman Jr. and Janie Earle Furman Award for Meritorious Advising is given annually to a member or members of the faculty or staff judged to be exceptional academic advisors. The 2023 award for meritorious advising was presented to John Quinn, an associate professor of biology.

The Alester G. Furman Jr. and Janie Earle Furman Award for Meritorious Teaching is given annually to a member or members of the faculty in recognition of teaching excellence. The 2023 awards for meritorious teaching were presented to Marianne Bessy, the Lois Aileen Coggins Professor of Modern Languages and Literatures, and Stephanie Knouse, an associate professor of modern languages and literatures.

The Chiles-Harrill Award is presented annually to a member of the faculty or staff chosen by the senior class as having the greatest influence on the class. Recipients of the award become honorary members of the class and sit with the class during the Commencement ceremony. The 2023 Chiles-Harrill Award was presented to Kevin Treu, the Herman N. Hipp Professor of Computer Science.

Retiring Faculty

Retiring faculty were also acknowledged at the ceremonies. This year’s faculty retirees represent 233 years of cumulative service to the university, noted Davis. Faculty who retired after the 2023-2023 academic year are:

  • Harry Kuoshu, the Herring Professor of Asian Studies, who retires after 18 years on the faculty.
  • Adrián Massei, an associate professor of modern languages and literatures, who retires after 23 years on the faculty.
  • Paula Gabbert, a professor of computer science, who retires after 27 years on the faculty.
  • Charles Tompkins, a professor of music, who retires after 37 years on the faculty.
  • Laura Wright, a professor of chemistry, who retires after 40 years on the faculty.
  • Nelly Hecker, a professor of education, who retires after 44 years on the faculty.
  • David Turner, a professor of physics, who retires after 44 years on the faculty.

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