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Furman says goodbye to the class of 2019

Last updated May 12, 2019

By Furman News

View a gallery of photos from commencement

A list of the seniors who graduated with honors 

Read commencement speech by Eleanor Beardsley

Read student commencement speech by Imani-Grace King

2019 Senior Spotlight

The threat of rain and inclement weather Saturday evening forced Furman University to hold its commencement exercises indoors at Timmons Arena, but it didn’t dampen the celebration as Furman awarded 637 undergraduate and graduate degrees and heard an inspiring message from commencement speaker Eleanor Beardsley, a 1986 Furman alum and international correspondent with National Public Radio.

These Furman graduates celebrated commencement a little earlier in the day.

“Your life of learning and growing is not done when you walk out of Furman,” Beardsley told the graduates. “It’s just beginning. Furman has opened your mind, exposed you to amazing people, places, and opportunities, taught you to think, to be critical, to be curious. Now it’s up to you to draw on that, to go out and make your life meaningful. Decide what is important to you–something that feels right for you and simply head in that direction.”

Beardsley was also awarded an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree during the ceremony.

The Donaldson-Watkins and the Bradshaw-Feaster Medals for General Excellence are awarded each year by the faculty to outstanding senior graduates. Caroline Maria Daly, a neuroscience and religion major from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, received the Donaldson-Watkins Medal, while the Bradshaw-Feaster Medal was awarded to Laurin Elizabeth Bixby, a sociology major from Edmond, Oklahoma.

Daly and Bixby also received the Scholarship Cup, given to the outstanding scholars of the senior class, as did Jack Harrison Ligon, a politics and international affairs major from Atlanta, Georgia, and Quincy Daniel Mix, a history major from Palmyra, Virginia.

Two of the graduates found time to take a selfie before the ceremonies began.

The university also presented the Alester G. Furman, Jr., and Janie Earle Furman awards for meritorious teaching and advising.

The teaching awards went to Rhett Bennett Bryson, professor of theater arts, and Linnea Ruth Freeman, assistant professor of biology and neuroscience.

The advising awards were presented to Susan Smart D’amato, professor of physics, and Ilka Rasch, associate professor of modern languages and literatures.

The student speaker was graduate Aleah Imani-Grace King, a communication studies and politics and international affairs major from Greenville.

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

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Clinton Colmenares
Director of News and Media Strategy