Sunday, May 06, 2007

Smailovic and Graduation

Bill Moran, formerly provost at Francis Marion College/University, gave yesterday's commencement address and received an honorary degree for his past service to FMU and to the cause of higher education in South Carolina. He left our campus to become President of Lander University and retired from there several years ago. He spoke to the graduates about the cellist Vedran Smailovic, who persisted in playing his cello in Sarajevo surrounded by destruction and danger--the one small thing he could do to pay tribute to the innocent dead and to bring some light to the living. He used his talent in the best way he could. Moran's message to the graduates was to take Smailovic's courage and dedication to heart. Make the best possible use of your own abilities, however modest. Bill is an absolutely admirable man. He was fair and firm as a provost, and he never forgot his roots in the English Department. He taught a course each semester, sometimes a freshman comp. course. He has returned to FMU frequently on various occasions. In 2005 and 2006, he attended the lecture series given his name: the Moran Lectures--an annual spring opportunity for one retiring or recently retired member of the faculty to address students and colleagues.

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