Francis Marion holds commencement ceremony Saturday for nearly 300 graduates

Pee Dee

FLORENCE, SC (WBTW) – Nearly 300 graduates celebrated their graduation Saturday at Francis Marion University.

Saturday’s graduating class was the third-largest in the university’s history and included 76 graduate students getting their diplomas.

FMU credits their new graduate programs as being the driver behind the school’s growing enrollment.

In addition to the 298 graduates, FMU also awarded honorary degrees to civil rights activist Dr. Cleveland Sellers, educator Marilyn K. Chapman and well known civic leader Bill Yonce.

Dr. Sellers delivered the commencement address.

He spoke about the struggle he faced while fighting for civil rights. He said graduates should have passions they follow throughout their lives.

“A tragedy in life lies not in not reaching your dreams, but having no dreams to reach,” Dr. Sellers said. “It’s not failure, but low aim that is a sin.”

President of FMU, Dr. Fred Carter said all three honorary degree recipients should serve as role models for the graduates.

“Model your life on what you do for others, just like our three friends here,” Carter said, “And you’ll enjoy success beyond your dreams … and you’ll also sleep pretty darn well every night.”

Graduating Magna Cum Laude (“With Greatest Praise”), meaning they attained a cumulative graduate point average of 3.9 to 4.0 were: Jonathan Glenn Britt, Rhyli D. Burke, Jessica Marie Garnett, Zoe Johnson, Curtis Robert Mackinson Jr., Benjamin Joel Taylor and Savannah Victoria Wright.

Graduating Summa Cum Laude (“With Great Praise”), meaning they attained a cumulative graduate point average of  3.75 to 3.89 were: Luke Alexander Fennell, Graceyn Brooke Floyd, Zoe Nicole Geddie, Ryan Adele Hilbourn, Adam Lee Hill, Bailey Raelynn Hudson, Haley Virginia Hurst, Micahla Nykol Kitchen and Jacob W. Limehouse. 

Graduating Cum Laude (“With Praise), meaning they attained a cumulative graduate point average of 3.5 to 3.74 were: BobbiJo Ann Beach, Sha’Dai Raquel Burch, Sarah Emily Burkett, Taylor Elizabeth Byrd, Sha’angel La’faith Chandler, Megan Lynn Chapman, Savannah Katherine Cruel, Jewel Cyrus Green, Brooke Erin Dixon Leigh Anna Driggers, Katelyn Filyaw, Lauren Blake Fuller, Mark Gavin Hafey, Makayla Dawn Hicks, Sarah Grace McFadden, Darryl Bryant Miller Jr., Hannah Elizabeth Owens, Rachel Lauren Rhodes, Darian C. Sansbury, Jonas Patrick Smith and Betty Nicole Suggs.  Those receiving University Honors included Rhyli D. Burke, Luke Alexander Fennell and Micahla Nykol Kitchen. Students receiving University Honors have completed 21 hours of Honors-level course work with at least a 3.25 GPA, and have an overall GPA of at least 3.25. University Honors’ graduates receive FMU’s Honors Medallion.

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