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AU News

AU confers record 450 degrees/announces major gift during graduation

May 13, 2016

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On a picture perfect, sun-splashed May morning, Anderson University conferred a record 450 degrees under the giant oaks on Alumni Lawn at the front of campus Saturday.

Aside from being the largest graduating class in the 105-year-history of AU, the ceremony marked a few firsts for the University. The first graduates of the traditional BSN program (nursing) received their degrees. The 35 nurses entered AU as freshmen 4 years ago. The first nursing graduates from the accelerated BSN program graduated 2 years ago.

The first graduate of the Johnny Mann Center for Commercial Music also graduated on Saturday. The new program at AU was named for legendary composer/arranger Johnny Mann, who retired to Anderson and upon his passing last year left a huge legacy in The South Carolina School of the Arts.

Of the 450 graduates, 85 received graduate degrees.

Walt Brashier of Greenville delivered the commencement address, urging students to leave their past behind as instructed by The Apostle Paul and press forward to their futures. Brashier, one of the state’s largest real estate developers, a noted evangelist and major philanthropist, was awarded an honorary Dr. of Humanities degree and his wife Christine who attended what was then Anderson College but was unable to complete a degree due to family responsibilities, was awarded an honorary Bachelor of Arts.

During the ceremony, AU President Dr. Evans Whitaker announced that the couple has given gifts totaling $1.7 million toward scholarships to AU students and the completion of the G. Ross Anderson Jr. Student Center, which is slated for completion in the late summer.

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