Home > Newsroom

Wofford confers degrees to 270 graduates

Monday, May 21, 2007

Dr. Benjamin B. Dunlap's Commencement 2007 address
Perkins-Prothro Chaplain Dr. Ron Robinson's Baccalaureate Address and Baccalaureate Blessing of the Graduates 

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Wofford College conducted its 153rd Commencement Exercises on Sunday, May 20, conferring 270 degrees, along with two honorary degrees.

The college also presented the prestigious Algernon Sydney Sullivan and Mary Mildred Sullivan Awards to two students and two non-students, and the Roger Milliken Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Science and the Philip Covington Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Humanities and Social Sciences were presented to faculty members.

Commencement activities took place throughout the weekend, including the Southern Guards Battalion ROTC Commissioning Ceremony and the Baccalaureate Service on Saturday.

Members of the Class of 1957 participated in the weekend’s activities, including a class reunion and participating in the processional and other events surrounding the Commencement Exercises.

Lauren Bayne '07Graduating senior Lauren Bayne of Simpsonville, S.C., was the honor graduate, recognizing her as the graduate with the highest GPA.  Bayne recently received the Charles F. Nesbitt Award, the departmental award for religion, and the Currie B. Spivey Award for volunteerism.  A psychology and religion major, she is the director of the Micah 6 service project and member of Phi Beta Kappa, Wesley Fellowship, Psychology Kingdom and Kappa Alpha Theta social sorority.  She is the daughter of Tommy and Jean Bayne of Simpsonville.  Dr. Angela Shiflet 

Dr. Angela Shiflet, chair and Dr. and Mrs. Larry Hearn McCalla Professor of computer science and chair of the department, received the Roger Milliken Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Science.  Dr. Deno Trakas, professor of English and coordinator of the Creative Writing Program, received the Philip Covington Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Last fall, Shiflet was selected by the Krell Institute as a winner of its Undergraduate Computational Engineering and Sciences award for the publication of “Introduction to Computational Science: Modeling and Simulation for the Sciences,” co-authored by her husband and colleague, Dr. George Shiflet, chair and Dr. and Mrs. Larry Hearn McCalla professor of biology at Wofford.  Angela Shiflet is a graduate of Furman University and received master’s degrees from Clemson University and the University of South Carolina, and her Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University.

Dr. Deno TrakasTrakas, a graduate of Eckerd College, received his master’s degree from the University of Tulsa and Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina.  He is director of the Wofford Writing Center.  He has published fiction and poetry in magazines such as The Denver Quarterly and The Oxford American and two chapbooks, “The Shuffle of Wings” and “Human & Puny.”

Receiving honorary degrees were U.S. District Court Judge Matthew James Perry Jr. and alumnus Dr. Allen H. Stokes Jr., retired director of the Caroliniana Library at the University of South Carolina.Matthew Perry Allen Stokes 

A native of Columbia, S.C., Perry is one of the most esteemed and significant citizens of South Carolina of the past 100 years.  He has served as one of the nation’s most distinguished civil rights attorneys, as a member of the U. S. Court of Military Appeals, and as a Federal District Judge for the District of South Carolina.

Stokes is one of the most unsung of distinguished graduates of Wofford College.  A native of Spartanburg and a graduate of the public schools here, Stokes entered Wofford in 1960, completing the bachelor of arts degree in 1964 as a member of Phi Beta Kappa.  While director of the Caroliniana Library, Stokes oversaw the computerization of its collections; the move of the University Archives to the library in 1991; the creation of its Modern Political Collections; the obtaining of numerous grants from outside sources to process and preserve collections; the growth of the Caroliniana Society, the patron organization of the library; extensive physical renovations; and the addition of new facilities. 

Pat Worrell '64Toccoa SwitzerReceiving the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Awards were Dr. Henry Patterson (Pat) Worrell, Class of 1964, of Marion, S.C., and Brian Lanning Fast of Union, S.C., and receiving the Mary Mildred Sullivan Awards were Toccoa Wise Switzer of Union, S.C., and Katherine Elizabeth (Katie) Ruthsatz of Anderson, S.C.

Worrell, a dentist and civic leader in Marion, and his wife, Hallett, have been active supporters of Wofford for more than 40 years, providing scholarship funding, encouraging students to attend Wofford, interviewing scholars, visiting high schools and mentoring Wofford students.  Both of his children, Laura Worrell Hutto and Reed Worrell are Wofford graduates, Class of 1991 and 1995, respectively; Laura’s husband, Scott Hutto, also is a 1991 graduate.

Fast, a finance major, also received the “Heart of the Terrier” Leadership Award.  He is a Benjamin Wofford Scholar and a participant in the President Seminar.  He was president of the study body in 2006-07.  He is the son of Garry Fast of Summerville, S.C., and Kim Fast of Union.

Mrs. Switzer, a graduate of Stephens College and Ohio State University, is a former member of the Wofford College Board of Trustees (1990-2002).  She has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to Wofford through her gifts and service to the college through the years.  Her father-in-law, Paul K. Switzer (Class of 1907); her first husband, James Layton Switzer Sr. (Class of 1938); sons, Paul Switzer (Class of 1977) and James Layton Jr. (Class of 1980) and granddaughter, Elizabeth (Lizzie) (Class of 2007) all are Wofford alumni.  She and her son Jim have encouraged broad family support of many Wofford initiatives, from scholarships to athletic facilities.

Mrs. Switzer also has been a leader in the Union community.Brian Fast '07 Katie Ruthsatz '07 

Ruthsatz, a chemistry major, recently received the “Heart of a Terrier” Leadership Award at Wofford’s Honors Day convocation.  She co-chaired the Wofford Activities Council and is a member of Zeta Tau Alpha social sorority, Alpha Phi Omega and the Success Initiative.  She is the daughter of Michael and Debbie Ruthsatz of Anderson.

Reporters/Editors: A high-resolution photo is available at www.wofford.edu/newsroom/newsimages.aspx.