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Frances Ligler, a 1972 Furman University graduate and the Lampe Distinguished Professor in the UNC/NC State Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering, will serve as commencement speaker when Furman holds its graduation exercises Saturday, May 5 at 7:30 p.m. in Paladin Stadium.
Ligler will also be awarded an honorary Doctor of Science degree during the ceremony.
Furman also selects a graduating senior to address the students, and this year’s speaker is Lexie Harvey, a politics and international affairs major from Brentwood, Tennessee.
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 will award approximately 625 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.
Prior to joining the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University faculty in 2013, Ligler worked 27 years at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C., where she served as the Navy’s senior scientist for biosensors and biomaterials. A pioneer and world leader in the fields of biosensors and microfluidics, she was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2017.
Ligler was awarded the Presidential Rank of Distinguished Senior Professional by President Bush in 2003, and, in 2012, received the Presidential Rank of Meritorious Senior Professional from President Obama. She has more than 400 publications and patents, and was named the North Carolina State University Innovator of the Year for 2017-18.
Ligler graduated from Furman in 1972 with a degree in biology and chemistry, and received D.Phil. and D.Sc. degrees from Oxford University. She has been honored with Furman’s top alumni awards, and she also received an honorary doctorate from the Agricultural University of Athens in Greece.
A Dean’s List student at Furman, Harvey served as student director of the Shucker Leadership Institute and as president of Omicron Delta Kappa. She was also a member of the leadership team for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, a Furman TEDx conference speaker and a recipient of the American Legion Medal. She is the daughter of Mindy and Tim Harvey of Brentwood.
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