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Commencement exercises moved to Timmons Arena

The graduates in the Furman class of 2016 enjoyed their march along the mall and into Paladin Stadium.

Commencement update: Due to inclement weather in the forecast, Furman’s commencement exercises scheduled for Paladin Stadium this evening will be held in Timmons Arena. Commencement begins at 7:30 p.m.

Degree candidates should report to the floor level entrance on the north end of the arena (closest to the football stadium scoreboard) no later than 6:30 PM in preparation for the event.  Before departing for the arena, degree candidates should provide their family and friends with rain tickets.  Seating is limited, so we ask for your patience and cooperation as we prepare for the ceremony.  We expect the main doors for all guest to the venue to open at 6 PM.

The commencement exercises will be streamed live in McAlister Auditorium. Additional details related to streaming this event on any connected device and parking for the arena are available at furman.edu/commencement.

Alexander Stubb, a 1993 Furman University graduate and the former Prime Minister of Finland, will serve as commencement speaker when Furman holds its graduation exercises Saturday, May 6 at 7:30 p.m. in Paladin Stadium.

The public is invited to attend. In case of rain, the ceremony will be moved to Timmons Arena and admittance will be by ticket only.

Furman also selects a graduating senior to address the students, and this year’s speaker is Jack McNeill, a biology major from Bloomington, Minn.

Furman will award approximately 700 undergraduate and graduate degrees during the ceremony, which will be broadcast live via streaming video on the Furman website. The day will include an 11 a.m. baccalaureate service in McAlister Auditorium, a ceremony that is reserved for graduates and their guests and is not open to the public. More information is available at the commencement website.

Stubb, who is currently a member of the Finnish Parliament, will be awarded an honorary Doctor of Philosophy degree during the ceremony.

Stubb has served as Prime Minister, Finance Minister, Foreign Minister, Trade and Europe Minister of Finland.  He was a member of the European Parliament from 2004-2008 and in the national government from 2008-16. He was the Chairman of the National Coalition Party from 2014-16.

Stubb graduated from Furman in 1993 with a degree in political science and was awarded the Bradshaw-Feaster Medal for General Excellence as the top male graduate in the senior class. He holds a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and has a Master’s degree from the College of Europe in Bruges. He also studied at the Sorbonne in Paris.

Stubb lives in Helsinki with his wife and two children.

McNeill was a nationally ranked alpine ski racer in high school and a member of the men’s lacrosse team at Furman. He played two years for the Paladins and served the team as an undergraduate assistant for another two years.  A 2013 graduate of the Blake School in Minneapolis, he is the son of Talla Skogmo and Mark McNeill of Bloomington.

Recent commencement speakers at Furman have included President George W. Bush, former U.S. Secretary of Education Richard Riley, Boston Pops Conductor Keith Lockhart and the late novelist Pat Conroy.

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