May 7, 2022

FMU honors graduates, faculty at expanded commencement ceremonies

FMU honors graduates, faculty at expanded commencement ceremonies

Francis Marion University is celebrating the accomplishments of graduates and faculty alike at commencements this weekend that more closely resemble pre-pandemic ceremonies.


The first of 330 degrees for spring 2022 graduates were awarded at the Smith University Center gym on FMU’s main campus Friday night. Members of the School of Business and School of Health Sciences marched across stage to the applause of friends and family.


Graduates from the College of Liberal Arts and School of Education will confer their degrees at a ceremony Saturday morning at 10am. 


Several commencement traditions that were abandoned during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic have been reinstated at FMU, including an expanded platform party and the procession of faculty and graduates.


“The ruffles and flourishes are back, the procession has returned, and the alumni association will entertain on the lawn immediately afterward,” FMU President Dr. Fred Carter told attendees of Friday’s commencement ceremony. “And of course, there is that same sense of excitement and anticipation that has always been so much a part of this signature event.”


During his commencement address, Carter advised graduates to savor the moment made possible by years of hard work and persistence. 


“By any standard, you have all completed an incredibly difficult journey, culminating in this fifty-foot walk,” said Carter. “I want you to enjoy that; savor every single step and soak in enough of the atmosphere around you to sustain the memories for the next few decades. You deserve it, and so do your family and friends.”


FMU’s spring Class of 2022 is comprised of 278 undergraduate and 52 graduate degrees. This includes 154 graduates from the College of LIberal Arts, 74 from the School of Health Sciences, 60 from the School of Business, and 42 from the School of Education.


Of those graduating, 93 percent are South Carolina residents. 


The weekend commencement ceremonies feature many FMU faculty members, who largely did not participate in ceremonies over the last two years in an effort to reduce crowd sizes during the pandemic. Carter closed his remarks Friday by paying special tribute to the faculty and lauded their efforts to deliver quality education despite enormous challenges.


“They are everything a university president could envision–gifted scholars, masterful teachers, and studious researchers. But especially during the past two years, as the university struggled with the problems and perils of COVID, their support and compassion for our students and each other has been nothing less than extraordinary,” Carter said. “I am certain that the size of last year’s graduating class and this class would be much smaller were it not for their dedication during these most trying of circumstances.”


Carter then asked the audience to join him in giving the faculty a standing ovation.