Furman sends class of 2017 on its way
Furman University awarded 697 undergraduate and master’s degrees and presented its top academic honors during graduation exercises Saturday, May 6.
Approximately 4,600 people attended the commencement activities in Timmons Arena.
The Scholarship Cup, given to the graduating senior judged to be the outstanding scholar of the class, was awarded to Lauren Alexandria Pinion, a physics major from Alpharetta, Ga.
Pinion also received the Donaldson-Watkins Medal for General Excellence as the outstanding female graduate in the class of 2017. Mahmood Syed, a chemistry major from Greenville, received the Bradshaw-Feaster Medal for General Excellence as the outstanding male in the class. Both awards are given by the Furman faculty.
The university also presented the Alester G. Furman, Jr., and Janie Earle Furman awards for meritorious teaching and advising.
The teaching awards went to Janet D. Kwami, associate professor of communication studies, and Grant W. Knox, assistant professor of music.
The advising awards were presented to Michelle E. Horhota, associate professor of psychology, and Suzanne B. Summers, James C. Self Professor of Business and Accounting.
The Meritorious Award for Diversity and Inclusion was presented to Akan Malici, associate professor of politics and international Affairs, and Mike Winiski, interim executive director of community-engaged learning.
Degrees were awarded posthumously to Yuqiao Ni and Blake Hadden.
Alexander Stubb, a 1993 Furman graduate and the former Prime Minister of Finland, served as commencement speaker. He was also awarded an honorary Doctor of Philosophy degree.
The student speaker was graduate Jack McNeill of Bloomington, Minn., a biology major. His talk is available here. A video of the entire ceremony has been posted online. The video of Stubb’s commencement speech is here.