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AU News

Commencement will be May 6 and 7

May 2, 2022
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Governor, former Board of Trust Chair, to give commencement addresses.

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Anderson University will honor the accomplishments of its graduates in two commencement exercises taking place on the historic Alumni Lawn, May 6 and 7, 2022. 

On Friday, May 6, at 10 a.m., commencement ceremonies will take place for the Center for Cybersecurity, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business, College of Christian Studies and the School of Public Service and Administration. 

On Saturday, May 7 at 10 a.m., commencement ceremonies will take place for the College of Education, College of Engineering, College of Health Professions, School of Interior Design and the South Carolina School of the Arts.

The student procession will pass through the Anderson University Archway, up the front walk and into seating on Alumni Lawn.

For the convenience of family and friends who are unable to attend Commencement, there will be a live video streaming option on the Commencement page, where a link will be published when it becomes available.

Information regarding Commencement will be regularly updated on the Anderson University Commencement page

Commencement highlights

The commencement speaker for the Friday ceremony is Mr. Donald Darnell Harper, retired vice president for human resources of the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, a Fortune 500 Company; and former chair of the Anderson University Board of Trust. Mr. Harper has also served on the boards of numerous organizations and has been an active volunteer for many civic and nonprofit organizations. When he was appointed as chairman of the Anderson University Board of Trust, Mr. Harper was the first African-American to serve as trustee chair of any South Carolina Baptist Convention-related institution. He is also the author of Blessed Is the Man, a book paying tribute to his parents and how their strong Christian faith made an impact on their family and community.

The commencement speaker for the Saturday ceremony is South Carolina Governor Henry Dargan McMaster. After serving as lieutenant governor, McMaster became governor in 2017 when Governor Nikki Haley was appointed to serve as United States Ambassador to the United Nations. He was then re-elected to a full term as governor in 2018. Governor McMaster has had a long career as a public servant as a legislative assistant to United States Senator Strom Thurmond, serving as a federal and state prosecutor and also as a United States attorney appointed by President Reagan in 1981. He has also served as the state’s attorney general and practiced law for more than 40 years. 

During the Saturday ceremony, Anderson University President Dr. Evans Whitaker will present Governor McMaster with an honorary doctorate.

The Class of 2022 has much to celebrate. Among them are graduates of the first political science class. 

“The first class of political science students that are graduating this semester set the bar incredibly high for those that are following in their footsteps,” said Professor Roger Flynn, chair of the Department of History and Political Science in the Anderson University College of Arts and Sciences. 

Inspired by her grandfather emigrating from Lebanon to the United States, political science graduate Jayli Esber of Connecticut plans to study immigration law.

“It was actually my freshman year when I became very interested in my family’s heritage and became interested in my grandfather’s life, so I looked into his story,” Esber said.

Among the international students who are receiving degrees are Lacey De La Rosa and Cindy Sifren, both from the Dominican Republic.

Coming to Anderson University was a dream come true for these two childhood friends. De La Rosa and Sifren grew up together in the Dominican Republic, and while the cultural adjustment to the United States was initially hard, being able to share their experiences away from their home country made things easier. De La Rosa, who has been studying marketing and economics in the College of Business, hopes to earn her MBA, possibly at Anderson.

“We’re like, ‘Hey I know it’s hard, but we’re here, this is the dream, this is what we wanted and let’s just fight for it,’” said De La Rosa, who plans to work in a customer service training setting in the U.S. after graduating. When she graduates, Sifren plans to continue her studies in the MBA program at Anderson. While acclimating to American culture and struggling with the language early on, Sifren is grateful to her professors and others who helped her succeed in her study of supply chain and marketing. She has also enjoyed being involved in the International Student Organization (ISO). 

“I really enjoy having small classrooms, the professors, the community here and having professors who care and understand,” Sifren said.

For other graduates, following the ceremonial ring of the bell at commencement will be wedding bells.

Ruth Rogers, a business and marketing major from Greer, South Carolina, looks forward not only to graduating, but also to tying the knot later in May with Tyler Berry, whom she met while both were student workers in the College of Christian Ministries. He popped the question to her at Brashier Glade, a tranquil garden set in a beautiful wooded part of the campus. Berry, a graduate student, hopes to receive his master’s degree in education at Anderson this August. 

Both Rogers and Berry feel God led them to Anderson to meet one another and also to experience a Christ-centered education and to get to know caring faculty and staff. 

“AU does a great job of finding people who can pour into students,” Rogers said. “You have such a tight-knit community of love and hard work.” Receiving a Presidential Fellows Scholarship, being part of strong degree programs in the Anderson University College of Education and playing on the Trojans baseball team, Berry feels blessed.

“I feel like God lined up everything for me to be here,” Berry said. 

The couple will reside in Boiling Springs, South Carolina.

Inclement weather may require the University to change the location and nature of the event. For details, visit the Anderson University Commencement page


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