CENTRAL — Southern Wesleyan University graduates, their family members and friends will gather at the university’s campus in Central Friday, May 4, for two commencement ceremonies.
The speaker will be Ben Davis, who has served as the Third Congressional District Commissioner of the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) and was recently named chairman of the SCDOT Commission. He also has served as mayor and a councilman for Fountain Inn. Prior to that, Davis served as vice president for business and development, then CEO at Connie Maxwell Children’s Home in Greenwood. Prior to that, Davis was in the mass communications field, owning and operating radio stations WFIS in Fountain Inn and WCKM in Winnsboro and also the Tribune-Times newspaper.
Davis has also served as president of the South Carolina Broadcasters Association and served on the board of the South Carolina Press Association. He has served on the board of directors for Greenville Technical College and on the advisory board of North Greenville University. Davis was a long-time member of the Clyde Dupin Ministries Board and currently serves on the Rick Webb Family Ministries Board. An ordained minister, Davis has spoken in churches throughout the state.
Davis received the Order of the Palmetto, considered the state’s highest civilian honor, presented by the Governor’s Office.
According to Regina Bolding Harned, the university’s associate registrar, 223 degrees will be awarded to May graduates.
On Friday, May 4, students graduating from the university’s on-campus program will participate in a ceremony at 10 a.m. and students graduating from the university’s SWU Online programs will participate in a ceremony at 3 p.m. Both graduation ceremonies will be held in Newton Hobson Chapel and Fine Arts Center on the Southern Wesleyan University campus in Central.
There will be a Baccalaureate service on Thursday, May 3, with Dr. Bob Black as the speaker. Black is a 1967 graduate of Southern Wesleyan when it was known as Central Wesleyan College, and he went on to earn an M.Div. degree from Asbury Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. in Church History from Union Theological Seminary. He returned to his alma mater in 1986 to join the Religion faculty. For 10 of those years he served as chair of the division. B
lack has been a contributor to several reference works in his field and to “Reformers and Revivalists,” a denominational history of The Wesleyan Church. As Southern Wesleyan marked its Centennial year in 2006, he published “How Firm a Foundation,” a history of the university. He has also served on the General Board of The Wesleyan Church.
Black is retiring from Southern Wesleyan at the end of this academic year.