December 18, 2021

FMU graduates record number of SC residents at two fall ’21 commencement ceremonies

FMU graduates record number of SC residents at two fall ’21 commencement ceremonies

Francis Marion University graduated a record number of South Carolina residents in the fall class of 2021 during two commencement ceremonies this week.

FMU awarded a total of 248 degrees at the ceremonies, which were held at the Smith University Center on the university’s campus on December 17 and 18. Of those who graduated, 97 percent were residents of the Palmetto state, the highest percentage of any class in the university’s history.

Diplomas awarded this semester included 179 baccalaureate, and 69 master’s and specialist’s degrees.

Graduates from the School of Education and School of Health Sciences received diplomas the evening of December 17, while those from the School of Business and College of Liberal Arts were celebrated at a morning ceremony December 18.

The School of Health Sciences awarded 54 undergraduate degrees as part of the fall 2021 contingent. The School of Business had 31 undergraduates, and the School of Education presented 12 undergraduates with diplomas.

Dividing the schools and colleges into two ceremonies assured adequate social distancing among graduates and their guests. As has been the case throughout the pandemic, no honorary doctorates were awarded and there was no guest commencement speaker. 

Francis Marion President Dr. Fred Carter addressed the graduates, congratulating them on their achievement and reminding them that their accomplishment can make an impact beyond their own story.

“Graduation is an enormous achievement, and you’ll remember this ceremony very vividly decades from now, along with the smiles and laughter from your family and friends,” Carter said.

“And your own story? Well, it’s the most important one in the room right now, and that story will be even more important in the years ahead. You see, with this education, you’re not simply taking your place in society – you’re carving your own niche – a niche which may very well change the world.”


FMU recognized 41 students earning Latin or University honors during the ceremonies. 


Students earning Latin Honors in the fall classes of 2021 were: 


Summa Cum Laude (grade point average of 3.9 to 4) — Yidi Gao, Greyson M. McIntyre, Shilpa V. Rao, Meranda Vinson, and Alexis H. Watts.


Magna Cum Laude (grade point average of 3.75-3.89) — Kinsley Brooke Capps, Mallory C. Baxley, Madelyn B. Baxley, Whitney E. Baxley, Hannah M. Braddock, Hannah Lauryn Cantey, Ja’leese L. Castro, Vincent R. Flamini, Jr., Adam W. Graham, Taylor L. Hayes, Georgia L. Ingalls, Macey B. Shelley, and Denise E. Wiggins.


Cum Laude (grade point average of 3.5 to 3.74) — Haley E. Andersen, Kiersten T. Camlin, Bianca A. Flores, Trystan M. Freeman, Bryant T. Green, Yosimar Huerta, Ciara B. Johnson, Heather C. Knowlton, Tyler R. Laugh , Katheryn Jackson Smith, Garrett D. Terry, Tamilee D. Tucker, Hillary M. Walls, Kody W. Lawler, Jade H. McCoy, John R. McIntyre, Bridget N. Miller, Jonathan C. Murray, Ansley B. Parsons, London M. Richardson, Marina E. Rishmawi, and Robert T. Sloan.


Rachael B. Elliot graduated with University Honors. University Honors are awarded to students who maintain an overall GPA of 3.25 or higher, and complete 21 hours of honors courses with a GPA of 3.25 or higher in those courses.