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Furman celebrates beginning of school year with convocation

See award citations and photos from convocation

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Sarah Reese (left) and Lillian Brock Flemming received honorary degrees at Thursday's convocation.
Sarah Reese (left) and Lillian Brock Flemming received honorary degrees at Thursday’s convocation.

Furman University has a lot to celebrate during the 2014-15 school year.

It is the inaugural year for Elizabeth Davis, Furman’s 12th president, and it also marks the 50th anniversary of desegregation at the university, which will be commemorated throughout the year with a number of major events.

Furman’s school year officially began Thursday when Davis, who began her presidency on July 1, delivered the address at the university’s fall convocation and the first two African American women to attend and graduate from Furman were awarded honorary degrees.

Lillian Brock Flemming ’71 and Sarah Reese ’71 were awarded Honorary Doctor of Humanities degrees. Brock Flemming is the Professional Employment Recruiter for Greenville County Schools and a member of Greenville City Council. Reese, who teaches music at Pendleton High School, performed around the world during an outstanding career as an opera singer.

Those were not the only major honors the university awarded Thursday. Carl Kohrt ’65, who served as Furman’s interim president in 2013-14, and his wife, Lynne, received the Bell Tower Award.  April Baker ’85, pastor of Glendale Baptist Church in Nashville, Tenn., received the Richard Furman Baptist Heritage Award.

The university also recognized five members of the senior class who were named Furman Fellows for the current academic year.  They are Cassie Chee of Clarksburg, N.J., Luke Christie of Due West, Kris Hajny of Mooresville, N.C., Orlin Sergev of Charleston, and Emily Vontsolos of Winston-Salem, N.C.

For more information, contact the Furman News and Media Relations office at 864-294-3107.

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