Converse Awards Master’s Degrees to 99 Candidates
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Converse Awards Master’s Degrees to 99 Candidates

William Marcus Morris, winner of the Lovett Promising School Leader Award, processes into graduation with his classmates

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Educators, writers, marriage and family therapists, musicians and more were among the 99 students who earned Master’s degrees from Converse College during the graduate commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 20. Many have already left an indelible mark upon their communities and professions, and all will go forth from this College to achieve even greater things with their Converse degrees in-hand.

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Video Highlights from the Ceremony

In her commencement address, President Krista Newkirk shared humorous yet poignant stories recounting her life’s adventures of trying new things that did not always come easy. She encouraged the graduates not to worry about being perfect, and to “fail fantastically” along their paths to finding great joy and success.

“I truly believe the world will only improve if we sit down with those whose opinions differ from ours – with those whose opinions we find offensive or even reprehensible…”

She also encouraged them to become part of the solution that brings us together as a community. “Our world is more open now than ever before with social media and the internet of seemingly infinite opinions and perspectives. Yet the selectivity of technology allows us to friend and follow only those with whom we agree, and to unfriend, filter and report those with whom we disagree,” she said. “I have a deep concern about the way our society and our country is becoming increasingly polarized.  I truly believe the world will only improve if we sit down with those whose opinions differ from ours – with those whose opinions we find offensive or even reprehensible – and have hard conversations on equality, race, social and economic opportunity, and the future for our working and middle class….It all starts with our willingness to listen to others and to see them as individual people who are worthy of respect and consideration.”

William Marcus Morris receives the Lovett Promising School Leader Award
William Marcus Morris receives the Lovett Promising School Leader Award

During the ceremony, the Lovett Promising School Leader Award was presented to William Marcus Morris, who was also awarded the Educational Specialist degree in Administration and Supervision. A veteran educator with many years of classroom experience, Morris has led music and band programs for schools in Spartanburg, Chester, Horry, and Laurens counties in South Carolina as well as in Charlotte North Carolina. Currently, he is District Performing Arts Coordinator and Assistant Band Director for Laurens School District 55. In this position, he provides professional development to the performing arts teachers in the middle schools and high school. Mr. Morris received his Bachelor of Music Education and his Master of Music Education from Winthrop University.