Students studying outside the library

154th Commencement ceremony held

Commencement 1

Three receive honorary degrees; other awards presented

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Wofford College conducted its 154th Commencement Exercises on Sunday, May 18, conferring approximately 270 degrees, along with presenting three honorary degrees.

During the ceremony, Dr. David S. Wood, dean of the college, announced that friends of Dr. Dan B. Maultsby, retired dean of the college, have donated more than $100,000 for an endowed scholarship fund in his name.  Maultsby also received an honorary degree.  (Read full release on Dan Maultsby Endowed Scholarship Fund.) 

The college also presented the prestigious Algernon Sydney Sullivan and Mary Mildred Sullivan Awards to two students and two non-students.  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.

Members of the Class of 1958 participated in the weekend’s activities, including a class reunion and participating in the processional and other events surrounding the Commencement Exercises.


Claudia Mary Ann Winkler, the graduating senior with the highest GPA, was recognized as the Honor Graduate.  .  She received degrees in economics, history and German.  Recently, she was awarded a prestigious Fulbright Program grant to be a teaching assistant in Germany.  A member of Phi Beta Kappa, she is a  native of Joplin, Mo., a graduate of North Augusta High School in North Augusta, S.C., and the daughter of Mario and Astrid Winkler of North Augusta.  Winkler is a South Carolina Palmetto Fellow and an Anna Todd Wofford Scholar, and earned the Paula Binovec Scholarship and the Liberty Corporation Scholarship.  She is a member of Delta Delta Delta sorority and is president of the Wofford Panhellenic Council.  She is president of Delta Phi Alpha honorary German society and is active in Wofford Theatre and is a member of Alpha Psi Omega honorary socient for actors.  She has been on the staffs of the Bohemian and the Old Gold & Black, and served as a cabinet member for Twin Towers and member of the Campus Relations Committee.  While studying in Germany, she won third place in the S.C. Press Association News Contest for articles from abroad.  She was a junior marshal in 2007.


Thomas TillerReceiving the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Awards were Dr. Thomas L. Tiller, Class of 1959, of Greenville, S.C., and Mark Lawson Reynolds, a graduating senior from Marietta, Ga.; and receiving the Mary Mildred Sullivan Awards were Dr. Phyllis Horne Crain, Class of 1979, of Crossnore, N.C., and Kimberly Renae Smith, a graduating senior from Newberry, S.C.

Tiller, a 1963 graduate of the Medical University of South Carolina, is a retired physician after more than 40 years of practice in Greenville, specializing in pediatric immunology and allergies.  He has been an active, involved and generous alumnus of Wofford, supporting alumni activities in Greenville, counseling prospective students, and teaching courses and Interim projects on campus.  He also has consulted with faculty in the biology department.  He is a noted environmentalist and is active in Christ Church Episcopal in Greenville.  Tiller has been on numerous medical mission trips and is an associate of medical missionary Dr. Paul Farmer, who spoke at Wofford and received the Sandor Teszler Award for Courage and Service to Humankind and an honorary degree in 2007.Mark Reynolds

Reynolds, son of Randal and Anne Reynolds of Marietta, is receiving degrees in Spanish and finance.  He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Blue Key Honor Society and was selected to participate in the 2007-08 Presidential Seminar.  He has served as a resident assistant since the second semester of his freshman year.  Treasurer of The Dog Pack and a member of Campus Civitan Club and the Ultimate Frisbee team, Reynolds has studied abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Guanajuato, Mexico.  He is a dean’s list student, at times achieving a 4.0 grade point average for the semester.  He was a recipient of the Charles E. Daniel Endowed Scholarship and a Benjamin Wofford Scholarship. 

Phyllis CrainCrain, who graduated magna cum laude with a degree in psychology and as a certified teacher from Wofford, is a native of Tryon, N.C.  She earned the M.Ed. degree from Converse College in 1980 and her Ed.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1990.  She has had a long and varied career in education, first as a 6th-grade teacher in Landrum, where she was District One Teacher of the Year twice; and later as an administrator in District One, serving as coordinator for instruction and assistant superintendent.  She then was superintendent in Rutherford County, N.C.  Since 1999, Crain has been executive director of the Crossnore School in Crossnore, N.C.  The school, which is nearly 100 years old, is a home for children from families in crisis, often suffering from abuse.

Smith, a psychology major with a concentration in neuroscience, is the daughter of Michael Smith and Mary Ann Hayes of Newberry.  Kimberly SmithShe has been named to the Wofford Dean’s List and the National Dean’s List each semester she has attended Wofford and was nominated for the USA All Academic Team.  She is president of Blue Key Honor Society and the Psychology Kingdom and is Wofford’s reigning Homecoming Queen.  Having served on Orientation Staff and as a Wofford Ambassador, Smith has been active in various other campus organizations, such as Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Dance Team, Goldtones, and is a residential peer mentor.  She received a competitive grant from the S.C. Independent Colleges and Universities to carry out research in psychology as part of Wofford’s Community of Scholars program, and has presented her research at national conferences.  She was selected to participate in this year’s Presidential Seminar.

Wofford College is one of about 50 colleges and universities, most of them in the South, authorized to present the Algernon Sydney Sullivan and Mary Mildred Sullivan Awards.  The recipients, a graduating senior and a non-student of each gender, are named and the awards presented annually during spring commencement ceremonies.

Algernon Sydney Sullivan, born in Indiana in 1826, rose to success in New York City as a respected lawyer and a man who “reached out both hands in constant helpfulness” to others. The award bearing his name was established in 1925 by a Sullivan Memorial Committee and the New York Southern Society, which Sullivan had served as its first president. The award seeks to perpetuate the excellence of character and humanitarian service of Sullivan by recognizing and honoring such qualities in others.

The Mary Mildred Sullivan Award was created in 1940 by the New York chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy to honor those who demonstrate the “spirit of helpfulness and an awareness of the beauty and value of the intangible elements of life.” 


Doug Rayner 2Dr. Doug Rayner, professor of biology, received the Roger Milliken Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Science.  Dr. Byron McCane, Albert C. Outler Professor and chair of the department of religion, received the Philip Covington Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Rayner teaches courses in botany, ecology and evolution.  A native of Berlin, N.H., he holds a Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina.  He has worked as a botanist and inventory coordinator for the Heritage Trust Program of the South Carolina Wildlife and Marine Resources Department and has served on the board of the Nature Conservancy of South Carolina.  He is co-author of “A Guide to the Wildflowers of South Carolina” (University of South Carolina Press, 2001).

McCane is considered one of the foremost experts in the burial customs of early Christianity and is the author of “Roll Back the Stone: Death and Burial in the World of Jesus” (Trinity Press International, 2003).  He has been used as a source for a variety of national television programs, including one in 2005 on the National Geographic Channel and in 2003 on the History Channel.  McCane is a graduate of the University of Illinois and received his master of divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and his master of theology from Duke Divinity School.  He received his Ph.D. from Duke University.Byron McCane

The Roger Milliken Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Science, funded by a $1 million endowment, provides a $50,000 prize – an annual award of $5,000 for up to 10 years – for use in pursuing professional development. The recipient must remain on the Wofford faculty to continue receiving the annual disbursement.

The award recognizes outstanding performance in the teaching of science. Full-time faculty in all science disciplines – biology, chemistry, computer science, geology, mathematics, physics and psychology – are eligible. The recipient is selected by a three-person, off-campus committee composed of business and professional leaders in science from a list of nominees developed and approved by the dean of the college. 

Milliken, chairman and CEO of Milliken & Company, based in Spartanburg, S.C., is on the board of trustees of Wofford and has been involved in numerous planning and building projects on campus through his long relationship with the college.

Science is a part of every student’s program at Wofford, and about 30 percent of the degrees awarded are to students majoring in one of the sciences. Wofford’s science programs and professors have been recognized nationally and internationally for innovation and excellence. The college has a well-respected pre-medical program, and many of Wofford’s graduates enter the healthcare fields. More than 1,200 of the college’s more than 12,000 living alumni are involved in medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine and other healthcare fields. Professors and students are involved in research both at Wofford and other institutions, and have made national and international presentations.

The Philip Covington Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Humanities and Social Sciences is named in honor of Philip Stanhope Sheffield Covington, a beloved academic dean of Wofford College who served from 1953 to 1969.  A graduate of Emory University, he joined the Wofford faculty in 1947 after earning a master’s degree at Duke University and teaching in public schools in Charleston, S.C.  He was dean of students from 1950 to 1953 and served as acting president in 1957-58.  In 1970, ill health forced him to give up his administrative duties, but he remained active as a professor of English until his retirement from the college in 1976.  Wofford honored him with a doctor of literature degree in 1959, and with the title of dean emeritus.  “Philip Covington was widely recognized in academic circles as a creative and brilliant teacher as well as a speaker of unusual ability,” said his long-time friend and colleague, dean of students emeritus the late S. Frank Logan (Wofford Class of 1941).  Covington was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Blue Key National Honor Society, Sigma Chi and Sigma Delta Psi.

The Covington Award winner, selected by the president and academic dean of the college, receives $5,000 per year for three years; one recipient will be named each year.  The money may be used at the recipient’s discretion for travel, study or other professional development.


Kang and JohnsonReceiving honorary degrees were Dr. Andrew Kang, George Dean Johnson Jr. and Dr. Dan Maultsby(Full biographies and downloadable high-resolution (300 dpi) headshots are available online in the Wofford Newsroom.) 

Kang, a 1957 graduate, is director of the Center of Excellence for Diseases of Connective Tissues in Memphis.  He is one of the most distinguished and recognized Wofford alumni to enter the field of medicine.  He is best known for his research in rheumatoid arthritis, and the development of an animal model for the study of the disease that is now used worldwide to test new medications for the treatment of the disease in humans.

Johnson, a 1964 graduate, founded Johnson Development Associates Inc., a Spartanburg-based commercial, industrial and apartment developer, and today serves as chairman of the board of the firm.

Maultsby, who graduated in 1961, retired last fall as senior vice president for academic affairs and dean of Wofford College after 27 years at the college.Dan Maultsby











Mentor's Reading List, distributed at the Baccalaureate Service held Saturday, May 17. 

MEDIA: For high-resolution (300 dpi) photos, click on the thumbnails below, then right-click and save to your computer.

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