Professor giving a lecture to students in old main

Wofford president receives honorary degree at Sewanee

January 19, 2006

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Wofford College President Benjamin B. Dunlap received an honorary degree from his alma mater, the University of the South (Sewanee), on Tuesday, Jan. 24. He delivered the keynote speech at the event, the opening convocation for the Easter semester. The event was held at 12:30 p.m. in all Saints’ Chapel on that campus.

Dunlap, a 1959 graduate of the University of the South with summa cum laude honors, has been president of Wofford since July 2000, becoming only the 10th chief executive in the 150-year history of the Phi Beta Kappa liberal arts college.

Dunlap also recently delivered the keynote address at the re-dedication of the statue of Revolutionary War hero Gen. Daniel Morgan in downtown Spartanburg. A full version of that speech is available online at

A native of Columbia, S.C., Dunlap was a varsity athlete at the University of the South. He also attended Oxford University as a Rhodes scholar and Harvard University as a graduate student in English language and literature. He received his Ph.D. in 1967.

Before coming to Wofford, Dunlap held faculty appointments at both Harvard and the University of South Carolina. While at USC, he won numerous awards for teaching and scholarship--including, among others, the Russell Award for Distinguished Scholarship (1980), the University of South Carolina Teacher of the Year Award (1974), the Outstanding Teacher of English Award (1974), the South Carolina College Outstanding Professor Award (1984) and the Mortarboard Excellence in Teaching Award (1991).

For seven years before being elected president at Wofford, he was the Chapman Family Professor of Humanities. In addition to cross-disciplinary courses, Dunlap’s teaching fields include Asian Studies, European literature and creative writing (“Advanced Fiction Writing,” in which students write novels and novellas). He continues to team-teach the Wofford College Presidential Seminar, which is a capstone offering for the outstanding majors in most of Wofford’s academic departments.

Dunlap has taught and lectured widely in Europe, India, Thailand and Japan, serving twice as Senior Fulbright Lecturer. He has been a frequent consultant for networks, institutions and endowments in the United States and abroad and served as chairman of the CIES Selection Committee for Fulbright grants to East Asia and the Pacific: Southeast Asia. In 1984-85, he was the winner of an inaugural US-Japan Leadership Fellowship, awarded by the Japan Society of New York and Tokyo. Since 1985, he has moderated executive, CEO, and faculty seminars for the Aspen Institute in Colorado and at Wye Woods, MD, as well as for other national and international organizations and corporations. He has been extensively involved in the development of the Henry Crown Fellowship at Aspen, and recently, in cooperation with Liberty Corp. CEO Hayne Hipp of Greenville, S.C., he brought a similar program called the Liberty Fellowship to South Carolina and the Wofford campus.

Dunlap’s many publications include poems, essays, anthologies, guides and opera libretti. As a writer-producer for public television, Dunlap has been responsible for more than 200 programs. His 19-part series, The Renaissance has been adopted for use by more than 100 colleges and universities. Among Dunlap's many awards for work in film and television are a national EMMY Award Nomination, two CINE Golden Eagle Awards, a First Place Award in the Samuel G. Engel International Film & Television Drama Competition and a Parents’ Choice Award.