On May 24th, Converse College conferred 167 degrees during the college’s 111th commencement.
In her address to the Class of 2003, Converse alumna and U.S. Coast Guard Captain Jane Hartley encouraged the graduates to embrace the changes that they will see in their lives after college.
On June 4, 2002, Capt. Hartley was named Commanding Officer of the U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Office in Wilmington, N.C. In accepting the post, she became the first female Captain of the Port in the Coast Guard. Capt. Hartley has been decorated with the Coast Guard Commendation Medal (two awards), Coast Guard Achievement Medal, Commandant’s Letter of Commendation, and the Armed Forces Reserve Medal (two awards).
Special Awards Presented During Commencement
Mary Mildred Sullivan Awards
Graduating senior Maria Perry and community leader Corrie Whitlock were presented with the Mary Mildred Sullivan Award for their demonstrated exemplary citizenship through their positive influence and special achievements within the community.
While majoring in Music Education, Maria has been an active member of many campus organizations through which she has served both the Converse and Spartanburg communities. She has actively participated in the Student Activities Committee, the student-led Crescent organization, the Strategic Planning Committee, and the Student Admissions Board. For the 2002-03 academic year, she was elected by her peers to represent them as their Student Government Association President. Maria has also been a solid vocal performer in the Carroll Petrie School of Music, and an outstanding member of the national award-winning Converse Model League of Arab States team.
Corrie Whitlock, a 1958 graduate of Converse, received the community leader award. Corrie has worked tirelessly to enhance the beauty of Spartanburg. She has given freely of her talents to numerous community organizations such as the PRIDE Taskforce, the Spartanburg Planning Commission, and the Board of Hatcher Garden and Woodland Preserve. She has also served as a local, state, and regional garden club officer. Her friends compare her to a winter tree-small and delicate as she reaches heavenward, but firmly rooted in the soil of Spartanburg County.
The O’Herron Award for Faculty Excellence
Rick Mulkey, Associate Professor of English, was presented with The O’Herron Award for Faculty Excellence. The award is given to a faculty member who demonstrates exceptional teaching effectiveness, creativity, mentoring and advising, involvement in student-related activities, and achievement in research and publication.
Pi Kappa Lambda Award
Graduating senior Melanie Brown was presented with the Pi Kappa Lambda Award. The award is given to the senior with the highest academic record in the Petrie School of Music.
Curriculum Innovation Award
The Converse College Department of Biology was presented with the Curriculum Innovation Award. Dr. Douglas P. Jensen, Chair of the department and Assistant Professor of Biology, accepted the award on behalf of his department colleagues: Drs. Nian Yi Chen and Edna Steele.
Creative Achievement Award
Dr. Joe Dunn