President George W. Bush to Speak at Furman University Commencement, May 31

April 10, 2008

GREENVILLE, SC — April 10, 2008 – President George W. Bush will serve as commencement speaker when Furman University holds its graduation exercises Saturday, May 31 at 7:30 p.m. in Paladin Stadium.

The White House announced today that President Bush will speak at three commencement exercises this spring.  The other two are at Greensburg High School in Kansas and the U.S. Air Force Academy.

Furman will award approximately 650 degrees at commencement.  As has been the case in recent history, a graduating senior will also speak at the exercises.

Furman has never had a sitting president visit the campus in its 182-year history. 

The opportunity for President Bush to speak at commencement arose when the South Carolina Governor’s office contacted the university about that possibility.  Furman president David E. Shi met with the senior class leadership, and they were unanimous in their endorsement of the university issuing a formal invitation to the President.

Governor Mark Sanford is a 1983 Furman graduate, and he was the university’s commencement speaker in 2001.

“Mark was remembering his alma mater in this instance, and he was instrumental in bringing the President to Furman,” Shi said.

The university will provide details in the coming weeks about the policy for attending Furman’s 2008 commencement. 

For more information, contact Furman’s News and Media Relations office at 864-294-3107.