SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Wofford College will conduct its 163rd annual Commencement Exercises at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, May 21, on the lawn of Main Building. J. Harold Chandler, a 1971 Wofford graduate and chairman, president and CEO of Spartanburg-based Milliken & Co., will be the guest speaker and will receive an honorary degree. Two others also will receive honorary degrees.

Some 380 graduates will receive their degrees, and in addition to Chandler, honorary degrees will be awarded to South Carolina poet Nikky Finney and Spartanburg philanthropist Susan Phifer (Susu) Johnson. (Full biographies of the honorees are available at Photographs are available on request.)

The college also will present 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 also will be presented to faculty members.

The Commencement Exercises will be live streamed at

Commencement activities will take place throughout the weekend, including a Baccalaureate Service at 5 p.m. Saturday, May 20, also on the lawn of Main Building.

(The rain location for both the Baccalaureate Service and Commencement will be Benjamin Johnson Arena.)

Here is the schedule for Commencement weekend:

Friday, May 19
Southern Guards Battalion Spring Commissioning Ceremony
2 p.m., Leonard Auditorium, Main Building

The Southern Guards Battalion will continue the time-honored tradition of commissioning its graduating cadets to the rank of second lieutenant in the United States Army, Army Reserve and National Guard. The featured speaker will be Maj. Gen. Bruce T. Crawford, the 14th commander of the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM). A native of Columbia, S.C., Crawford was commissioned in 1986 after graduating as a Distinguished Military Graduate with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering through South Carolina State University’s ROTC program. He holds master’s degrees from Central Michigan University and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. He has served in a variety of leadership positions at tactical, operational and strategic levels. He has received numerous awards and decorations, including the Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit and the Bronze Start Medal. A reception will follow in the Anna Todd Wofford Center in Andrews Field House.

Saturday, May 20
Baccalaureate Service
5 p.m., lawn of Main Building

This special service for graduating seniors and their families, conducted by the Rev. Dr. Ron Robinson, Perkins-Prothro Chaplain and professor of religion, will be followed by a reception on the lawn. In the event of rain, the ceremony will be held in Benjamin Johnson Arena in the Campus Life Building.

Sunday, May 21
Commencement Exercises
9:30 a.m., lawn of Main Building

The 2017 Commencement Exercises will be held for Wofford’s Class of 2017. Members of the Class of 1967 will be honored guests. Honorary degrees, special recognitions and awards will be presented along with graduates’ diplomas. The featured speaker will be J. Harold Chandler, a 1971 Wofford graduate and chairman, president and CEO of Spartanburg-based Milliken & Co.

Immediately following the Commencement Exercises
Lemonade on the Lawn

Lemonade and water will be available at this reception for families and friends to gather and congratulation their 2017 graduates. Front lawn of the Roger Milliken Science Center and Burwell Building.