Southern Wesleyan prepares for spring graduation
The speaker for the graduation ceremonies will be Dr. David Spittal, president of Southern Wesleyan University. He has served as president of Southern Wesleyan University since 1994 and upon retirement in June, will complete 17 years of service. During his tenure, the university has experienced significant growth and development.
Dr. Charles Joiner, chairman of the university’s board of trustees, said Dr. Spittal has made great strides in expanding Southern Wesleyan during his years of leadership.
“As university president, Dr. Spittal has guided Southern Wesleyan into an era of financial security and increased enrollment. Our campus in Central is a testimony to his leadership, with new structures, expanded property and space for more students,” Dr. Joiner said. “Dr. Spittal has strengthened the university’s relationship with the community by prioritizing buildings like the University Dining Commons and Newton Hobson Chapel and Fine Arts Center and welcoming community groups to use these buildings.”
Dr. Spittal has been an educator throughout his career, with 24 years of service to Wesleyan higher education and 12 years as superintendent of schools in Indiana.
He is a graduate of Ball State University, Muncie, Ind. He began his career by teaching secondary music and fine arts, then launched his administrative career in 1975.
After his retirement, Dr. Spittal and his wife, Donna, look forward to living closer to their children and grandchildren in Illinois. They plan to travel and spend time with family and friends.
The university is in the process of a nationwide search for a new university president.
The May 2011 Graduation Exercises of Southern Wesleyan University will be held in Newton Hobson Chapel and Fine Arts Center on the Southern Wesleyan University campus in Central, S.C.
Students graduating from the university’s traditional program will participate in the ceremony on Thursday, May 5, at 3 p.m.
There will be two separate graduation ceremonies on Saturday, May 7, for students graduating from the university’s Adult and Graduate Studies programs. The 10 a.m. ceremony on May 7 is for students earning associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees and master’s degrees from the Central, Greenville, Greenwood and Spartanburg locations. The 3 p.m. ceremony on May 7 is for students earning associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees and master’s degrees from the Columbia, Charleston and North Augusta locations.
The university expects to confer approximately 300 degrees, according to Registrar Rock McCaskill. For details, call Southern Wesleyan University’s Academic Records Department at (864) 644-5530. Tickets, issued through the university, are required for those attending the ceremonies on May 7. For guests without tickets, overflow seating is available, which will allow guests without tickets to view the ceremony via a closed circuit broadcast. Details are available at http://www.swu.edu/academics/academic_records/graduation.htm.
Other end-of-semester events at Southern Wesleyan University include Baccalaureate Chapel on May 5 at 10 a.m. in Newton Hobson Chapel and Fine Arts Center.
The baccalaureate sermon will be delivered by Dr. Roger Parrot, president of Belhaven University in Jackson, Miss., since 1995.
Dr. Parrott is a third-generation college president and one of America’s youngest college presidents – first elected at age 34.
Since he has been at Belhaven University, enrollment has tripled; he has built a number of major buildings and added many broader academic programs. Belhaven has 3,500 students on three campuses.
Dr. Parrott earned his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland in Higher Education Administration.
He and his wife, MaryLou, have two children.
The university’s Baccalaureate Chapel includes a “Ceremony of the Servants” and a challenge for graduates of the university to find ways to serve the needs of people throughout the world.
Southern Wesleyan University prepares students for leadership and graduate study in such fields as religion, education, music, business, medicine, law and a variety of civic and social service professions. Southern Wesleyan offers 42 degree programs in the areas of business, education and ministry. The university’s main campus is in Central and there are regional learning centers across South Carolina, in locations such as Greenville, Columbia, Charleston and North Augusta. Classes are also offered in Spartanburg and Greenwood. For details, go to www.swu.edu.