May 6, 2017
Five FMU graduates receive prestigious Blackwell Award
Francis Marion University graduates Rebecca Cross, Devin Kellis, Margaret Evans, Natalie Stirewalt and Reba Gaskins received the William H. Blackwell Award during the spring commencement exercises at the Smith Center on Saturday, May 6.
The Blackwell Award is named in memory of the founding chairman of the FMU Foundation and is presented to the undergraduate student, or students, with the highest grade point average (for all academic work undertaken at FMU) of those graduating. Frank J. Brand, chair of the Foundation Board, presented the awards at Saturday’s commencement.
Cross, originally from Darlington, double-majored in Mass Communication and Spanish and served as Staff Writer and Managing Editor for The Patriot student newspaper, and President of the Baptist Collegiate Ministry. She was also a member of Phi Kappa Phi, Sigma Delta Pi honor societies and is a recipient of many awards including the Duane P. Myers Honors Award, the Phi Kappa Phi Award and the Scholastic Achievement Award.
Kellis, a Florence native, double-majored in Biology and Psychology and minored in Chemistry. He was a Student Marshal, President of the Biology Club, and a member of Phi Kappa Phi, Psi Chi, Beta Beta Beta, and Gamma Sigma Epsilon honor societies as well as a recipient of many awards including the most prestigious President’s Undergraduate Research Award, the Phi Kappa Phi Award, the Duane P. Myers Honors Award, and the Scholastic Achievement Award.
Originally from Marion, Evans majored in Biology and minored in Chemistry. She served as a Student Marshal and a Consultant in Biology and Chemistry in the FMU Tutoring Center and the Chemistry Tutoring Center. Evans has been a member of Phi Kappa Phi, Beta Beta Beta, and Gamma Sigma Epsilon honor societies.
Stirewalt, a Sumter native, double-majored in Spanish and History. She has served as a member of Phi Kappa Phi, Phi Alpha Theta, and Sigma Delta Pi. Stirewalt is the recipient of the Scholastic Achievement Award and the Modern Language Award.
Gaskins, a product of Mount Pleasant, majored in Accounting and completed her degree requirements in only three years. She also served as Treasurer and Vice-President of FMU Diplomats, and a member of Beta Gamma Sigma. Gaskins is a recipient of the 2017 Accounting Award and the Scholastic Achievement Award.