Lander University graduated the largest class in its history when it conducted spring commencement ceremonies on Saturday, April 20. The graduating class numbered 335 students.
Mac Kirkpatrick, Lander's director of institutional research, said it was only the third time since 1986 that a spring graduating class exceeded 280 students. There were 281 in 2007 and 289 last spring. Kirkpatrick said, since 1986 Lander has averaged 221 spring graduates.
The commencement speaker was Jim Shore, the York, S.C., native and award-winning artist whose Heartwood Creek by Jim Shore and other creations are found in millions of homes around the globe. He is also the top artist-personality on television's "QVC." His daughter, Sandy Singletary, is an assistant professor of art in Lander's Department of Art.
Shore and John Fulp Jr. were awarded honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees during the event.
Fulp, owner and president of Vanguard Industries, is the former president of Abney Mills in Greenwood. He also chairs The Abney Foundation, which provides financial support for education, health, social services and cultural affairs. Its primary focus is on higher education and, this academic year, 50 Lander students were among the 571 students at 14 colleges and universities in South Carolina who received Abney Foundation scholarships.
The commencement ceremony was held in Lander's Finis Horne Arena.