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 Anderson University Honors Graduates at Winter Commencement

Approximately 75 Anderson University students received diplomas during winter commencement exercises Wednesday. In addition, Sheila Day, AU’s first graduate to have completed all her courses online, received her degree in Criminal Justice.

 

Dr. Wayne V. Cox, AU English Professor and Faculty Chair, delivered the commencement address. Dr. Cox is a published poet whose works have been crucially acclaimed. He has published his own anthology of poetry, The Things We Leave Behind, and has translated into English the poetry of Spanish poet Miguel Marti I Pol. Dr. Cox is a native of Maine and he traveled to South Carolina to attend graduate school at the University of South Carolina where he studied under acclaimed writer James Dickey, author of Deliverance. Dr. Cox is also a Fullbright Scholar.

 

Cox challenged the graduates to continue to broaden themselves beyond their specific disciplines in order to be able to adjust more readily to the rapidly changing world around them.

 

Also at commencement, Richard H. Franklin, a ’63 graduate, was named this year’s recipient of the AU Alumni Achievement Award, an honor presented to an alumnus in recognition of his/her significant achievement in his/her profession or career. From his days as a student at AU, Dick has shown a propensity for leadership and excellence. He served as president of his freshman and sophomore classes as well as president of the Student Government Association. He was also a member of the Columns staff and was recognized as a member of the Denmark Society upon his graduation in 1963.

 

After Anderson, he received his bachelor’s degree in history from Furman University and his master of divinity degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He spent most of the next ten years as a minister to youth at churches in Louisville, Ky., and Atlanta, Ga., before returning to Anderson to serve as vice president and dean for student development from 1974-1988. He would later serve at Gardner-Webb College and finally complete his years of service to the field of higher education at Samford University in Birmingham, Ala. At Samford, Dr. Franklin instituted several innovative programs for students, including a new code of student behavioral expectations and a four year program of student leadership education and development. In recognition of his service, Samford University established the Richard H. Franklin Servant Leader Scholarship upon his retirement in spring 2009.

 

Dick has held leadership positions in many organizations during his career. He served as president of the Southern Association for College Student Affairs (SACSA) in 2004, in addition to many roles for that organization over the years. He is a past president of the Administrative Management Society, Anderson (SC) Chapter; past president of the South Carolina College Personnel Association; past program chair for the Association for Student Development in Southern Baptist Colleges and Universities; and chairmen of many civic and church committees.

 

Todd Price, a 2005 graduate from the evening adult program, was named the first recipient of the AU ACCEL Alumni Achievement Award, an honor presented to an ACCEL alumnus in recognition of his/her significant achievement in his/her profession or career. In 2005 Todd completed his bachelor’s in business administration summa cum laude from AU. He went on to earn his master’s in management from Southern Wesleyan University in 2007. At the time of his studies at AU, Todd was already a financial advisor with Edward Jones Investments; he continues his service with them today. He is currently regional leader for north-central and western South Carolina, advising 400 Anderson families and overseeing 70 financial advisors as well as the growth, health, and leadership development in the Upstate market. In late 2006 Todd was named a principal with the firm’s holding company, the Jones Financial Companies L.L.L.P., one of only 34 individuals chosen that year from more than 33,000 associates to join the firm’s 301 principals.

 

In addition, the community of Anderson also benefits from Todd’s leadership abilities. He is an active member at NewSpring Church and serves on the Alumni Board for Southern Wesleyan University. He has served as president and board chair of the Anderson Sertoma Club and as a board member of the Anderson Christian Business Men’s Committee, YMCA, Anderson Interfaith Ministries, and Haven of Rest. Todd was a volunteer for several years for the “A-Day for Anderson University” community campaign and has been a volunteer for Meals on Wheels and Anderson School District Five’s Legacy Mentor program.

 

The winter commencement was the first Anderson University graduation ceremony to feature a new school song, “The Sounds of Anderson,” recently penned by legendary musician and songwriter Johnny Mann, who has become an ardent Anderson supporter since retiring to the community a few years ago.

 

 

 

Anderson University is a comprehensive university affiliated with the South Carolina Baptist Convention offering bachelors and masters degrees. Anderson is ranked in the Top Tier (top 25) of colleges and universities in the South, and one of “77 Schools to Watch in America, by U. S. News & World Report.  Anderson has also been named one of “Americas 100 Best College Buys,” Located in The Upstate region of South Carolina near the foothills of the Appalachians, Anderson University features a rigorous education in a supportive Christian environment.

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