In a banner year of outstanding achievements, Callie Norris of Florence will graduate Saturday from Francis Marion University with a bachelor’s in biology. Not only will she be a recipient of the William H. Blackwell Award, the highest academic honor given by the university, but she has already received the Duane P. Myers Honors Award, the Scholastic Achievement Award, theFMU Biology Award and Pride of the Patriot Award.
Her accomplishments are equally as impressive as the fact that Norris is a third-generation FMU college graduate with multiple family members who have graduated from the university. Norris’ mother, (Sharon, 1985), father (Larry, 1978), sister (Laura, 2004) and grandmother (Shirley Corbett, 1978, 1982) all hold degrees from FMU.
“I feel a sense of ownership at Francis Marion having so many people you know and love having attended here,” Norris said.
Even with the family history of earning degrees from FMU, Norris planned initially to only attend for three semesters and transfer to earn a physical therapy degree at the Medical University of South Carolina. Four years later, Norris will cross the stage Saturday as one of two students with a 4.0 grade point average in this graduating class, earning the Blackwell Award.
Magan Alicia Bishop of Johnsonville is the other student earning this honor named in memory of the founding chairman of the FMU Foundation. Both students compiled perfect 4.0 grade point averages and will graduate summa cum laude.
“She’s a very motivated, diligent worker, and we are very proud of her accomplishments,” said Sharon Norris. “We appreciate the fact that she did not have to leave home to pursue an education. Francis Marion gives anyone who wants to go to college an opportunity to do so.”
Education, training and research opportunities were a few things Norris said have made her stay at FMU a productive one. In fact, the training she earned working in the biology lab for the past year has peaked her interest in biological research. Norris’ postgraduate studies will be in neuroscience. Her ultimate goal is to become a professor of biological sciences.
#180 / 5-3-07