Anderson University celebrates 2018 graduating class

Record number of students officially become alumni

Thousands gathered on the Anderson University Alumni Lawn as a record number of graduates participated in 2018 commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 12.

The total included about 450 receiving undergraduate degrees, with another 92 receiving master’s degrees and one earning a doctorate graduate. The commencement ceremony featured guest speaker Rep. Brian White of Anderson District 6.

“This signifies a once-in-a-lifetime moment,” AU president Evans P. Whitaker said to the gathered crowd. “Focus on this rare, rich and exceedingly beautiful moment. This is a celebration to remember for the rest of your lives.”

The 2018 graduates included 26 students completing the AU Honors Program — another record — and four receiving a post-master Psychiatric Mental Nurse Practitioner Certificate, the first in school history.

The graduates included AU director of campus safety Jim Kines, who completed his master’s degree in criminal justice and will join the AU faculty after retiring this summer. (Read more about Kines’ story here: <>.)

“There are things in our lives that change us in many ways,” Rep. White said. “You’ve had a lot of experiences, a lot of changes, already in your lives. There so many who have helped you along the way. Pay it forward.”

The ceremony capped a 2017-2018 school year that not only saw a record number of graduates, but also a total student body population that, at roughly 3,500, was the highest in school history. AU is the fastest growing and second largest private university in South Carolina; since 2002, enrollment has grown 114 percent.