Presbyterian College officially began its 139th academic year on Tuesday, Aug. 21, welcoming new and returning students during Opening Convocation.
PC President Bob Staton ’68, and Board of Trustees Chairman Elwood G. Lassiter III ’69, welcomed the class of 2022 and recognized the class of 2019, who were dressed in cap and gown for the first time.
President Staton urged seniors to get the most out of this year while enjoying their last year of college. He told freshmen the day marked the start of a four-year journey that will afford them the opportunity to challenge themselves to learn and grown and develop new relationships that will last a lifetime.
“We, the members of the faculty and staff at PC, are excited and committed to working with each of you as we start this 139th academic year,” President Staton said. “My hope is that each of us leave here today committed to making this an outstanding year.”
Realizing our Promise
Dr. Donald R. Raber II, provost, provided the address, “Promises.”
“The promises we all make, each and every day, define who we are, clarify what we do, and provide a purpose for the future we have in store,” he said.
Raber spoke on The Promise of PC, the strategic plan adopted by the Leadership Team and Board of Trustees in 2017. He also reminded students of a promise they would make during convocation as new faculty, staff and students continued the PC tradition of signing the Honor Code.
“Students, starting today, make some promises to yourselves: whether you have one semester left on campus or eight more to go, promise yourself that you will make the most of your time and use all the resources available to you here at PC to the best you can be at whatever you want to be,” Raber said.
“You will sometimes hear this described as the ‘PC Family,’ and you are a valuable member of that family: Don’t hesitate to connect with others.”
President Staton and the Rev. Jeri Parris Perkins ’81, pastor at First Presbyterian Church of Clinton, presented the Martha Anne Green Award to Clinton resident Susan Tallman.
The Martha Anne Green Service to Church and College Award was established by both the First Presbyterian Church of Clinton and Presbyterian College to recognize the contributions of Martha Anne Green to two communities — her college and her church.
Tallman was recognized for her service to the church, the College, and agencies and nonprofit organizations across Laurens County.
Tallman shared her connection with Green, and also told students they have a “gift” at PC in the College’s motto: Dum Vivimus Servimus or “While we live, we serve.”
“I think it’s incredible that the institution is instilling that,” she said. “It’s really amazing, and it gives me hope that y’all are going to learn that for four years.”
Three student awards were also presented at the ceremony: the Freshman Academic Award, the Fraser Bible Award and the Hay Religion Award.
The Freshman Academic Award was presented to Gracen Elizabeth Cabiness, John Harold Dover, Jonas David Ha and Sara Rylee White. The award is presented annually to first-year students in the previous year’s class who achieved a 4.0 GPA in all coursework completed in their first year at PC.
The Fraser Bible Award recipient was Preston Kathlyn Robinette. The Department of Religion and Philosophy presents the award to a member of last year’s freshman class who is of exemplary character and who earned the highest average grade in Bible for the year.
The Hay Religion Award was presented to Lindsey Kristen Odom. The Department of Religion and Philosophy presents the award to the student who has the highest grade point average in four semesters of religion and/or philosophy taken during their first two years at PC.