Candlelight Walk Makes Debut at Lander
Monday, May 03, 2021

seniors walking

With its first annual candlelight walk on Thursday, April 22, Lander University began a new tradition honoring graduating seniors.

Students followed a path lined with hundreds of candles, past family, friends, faculty and staff members, with the walk beginning at the fountain on the front lawn and ending at the Lander Amphitheatre.

During the ceremony that followed, students entered the stage, one by one, and rang the 225-pound bell purchased in 1876 by Williamston Female College, which relocated to Greenwood in 1904 and was renamed Lander College, after its founder, Rev. Samuel Lander.

Dr. Boyd Yarbrough, vice president for Student Affairs, who spoke at the event, said that the bell hung in the Lander Bell Tower during the college’s early days in Greenwood, and played a prominent role in the life of the school.

“Lander used it often and proudly for many years,” he said.

Student Government Association president and senior Zach Woods, of Greenwood, also addressed those present. Although they will soon be graduating, “you can always come back to Lander. Your Lander family will always be here,” he said.

Professor of English Dr. Lillian Craton, the keynote speaker at the event, told the graduates that their time at Lander was not about the information they learned.

“The facts that you learned at Lander will help you get started in the next stage of life, but those facts were not your education. Facts change. You’ll be learning new facts throughout your career. Your education was about cultivating your curiosity, comprehension and analysis. It was about building up your courage to try the big, hard, complicated things that life demands, and building a community that can accomplish those things,” she said.

Following the ceremony, participants enjoyed a reception in the porch area of Lander’s Science Building.