FLORENCE, S.C. (WBTW) – Francis Marion University awarded a record 387 degrees to students during three in-person commencement ceremonies held Friday and Saturday in the Smith University Center, the university said in a news release.
There was no commencement speaker, but FMU’s president, Dr. Fred Carter, spoke at all three ceremonies and told the new graduates that the degrees they were receiving were essentially “only” if they aspired “to treat the ill, litigate our laws, manage our thriving industries and businesses, educate our sons and daughters, design our bridges and buildings, lead our state, counties, and communities.
“If you don’t want to do these things, you probably don’t need the degree,” he said. “On the other hand, if you want to be an integral part in shaping the future of this state and making a better life for its citizenry, then a university education is imperative. But I speak to the choir, don’t I? You are here today because you want to do these things.”
The 387 degrees awarded – 324 bachelor’s and 63 master’s or specialist’s degrees – brought the total for the 2020-21 academic school year to 723, which also set a record. The previous single-ceremony was 380 set in the spring of 2017.
The current year’s record-breaking spring class was buoyed by 19 undergraduates from the Department of Physics and Engineering. It was the largest graduating class in the department’s history.
The School of Business graduated 57 undergraduates. In addition, 48 new nurses received degrees from the School of Health Sciences, and 24 new teachers received their undergraduate degrees from the School of Education. FMU also recognized 83 students who earned Latin or University honors during the ceremonies.