Converse College conferred 145 degrees during the college’s 112th commencement. Pat Mitchell, president and chief executive officer of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), delivered the address to the graduating class, and received the honorary doctor of laws degree from Converse.
Special Awards Presented During Commencement
Graduating senior Jane Marion and community leader Ellen Rutter were presented with the Mary Mildred Sullivan Award for their demonstrated exemplary citizenship through their positive influence and special achievements within the community.
Marion, a Rock Hill native, is a history and art history double-major. She coordinated and instructed children’s history workshops, and served as a history interpreter and guide for area museums, summer history camps, and special events. Marion served her classmates through a highly successful tenure as president of the SGA, treasurer for the SGA, vice-president of her junior class, president of the Presbyterian Student Association, and an orientation leader. In addition, she served on the Student Admissions Board and in the Granddaughter’s Club, and was a key participant in the student-led Crescent Honor Society, which is devoted to leadership and service to Converse and the surrounding community. She also took a leadership role with the College Town Service Committee, a consortium of the six colleges in Spartanburg.
Rutter, a Spartanburg native, is known for her volunteerism, care for others and proactive citizenship. She has cooked and served meals at the Second Presbyterian Soup Kitchen, and volunteered for Hospice, St. Luke’s Free Medical Clinic, the Red Cross Advisory Council and the South Carolina Special Olympics. She also volunteered for cleanup efforts at Ground Zero in New York City. Her love for the arts resulted in volunteer posts for the Spartanburg Little Theatre, the Spartanburg Arts Partnership, the Spartanburg Repertory Company, the Yadkin Arts Council in North Carolina, and the Macon Little Theatre in Georgia.
Katharine Claire Fisher, a music theory major from Kingsport, Tenn., 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.
Amanda Catherine Cartwright, an English major from Spartanburg, was awarded the Elford C. Morgan Award. Named for Elford C. Morgan, who served Converse from 1932 to 1959 as a Professor of English and Dean of Administration, the award is given to the senior with the highest academic record in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Susan Tekulve, assistant professor of English, was presented with the Kathryne Amelia Brown Award. The award recognizes a faculty member who has excelled in the classroom.
Members of the Converse departments of English, and History and Politics were presented with the Curriculum Innovation Award.
Dr. Anita P. Davis, the Charles A. Dana Professor of Education, was presented with the Scholarly and Creative Achievement Award.
Dr. Monica McCoy, associate professor of psychology and chair of the Psychology Department, 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.