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Former Wofford president, author to speak at May 19 MUSC commencement

Jeff Watkins | watkinsj@musc.edu | May 5, 2017

Benjamin Dunlap
Photos provided
Wofford College President Emeritus Dr. Benjamin B. Dunlap will speak at MUSC's 188th Commencement May 19.

Wofford College President Emeritus Benjamin Dunlap, Ph.D., will deliver the commencement address to graduates of the Medical University of South Carolina on May 19, 2017.

Approximately 625 graduates will receive degrees from the Medical University of South Carolina’s six colleges during the ceremony scheduled for 9 a.m. at the Horseshoe on the MUSC campus.

Dunlap served as Wofford’s president from 2000 to 2013, during which time the college maintained a reputation as one of the leading liberal arts colleges in the South. Prior to his position as president, he served on the Wofford faculty as Chapman Family Professor in the Humanities.

A native of Columbia, South Carolina, Dunlap graduated summa cum laude from Sewanee: The University of the South and attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. He continued his graduate studies at Harvard University, earning a doctorate in English language and literature. Dunlap served on the Harvard faculty before returning to his hometown to join the faculty of the University of South Carolina, where he was cited as USC Teacher of the Year and received the Russell Award for Distinguished Scholarship.


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Deeply versed in the humanities, Dunlap’s interests are widespread and diverse, ranging from literature, intellectual history, Asian studies, film history and criticism to fiction writing and the fine arts. He is a popular lecturer, and was named one of “Fifty Remarkable People” at the 2007 TED Conference in Monterrey, California, along with former President Bill Clinton, NBA Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul Jabbar and award-winning singer-songwriter Paul Simon. Dunlap has been affiliated with the Aspen Institute since 1985 and has served as moderator for many of the nonprofit organization’s seminars on leadership.

Dunlap is a prolific author and is an award-winning contributor to more than a hundred programs and series, primarily for public television. He also performed for the Columbia City Ballet for 4 ½ years. He will receive an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.

S.C. State Sen. John Matthews Jr. of Orangeburg and Timothy Keating, senior vice president of government operations for The Boeing Company, also will receive honorary degrees of Doctor of Humane Letters.

Pamela Cipriano, Ph.D., RN, president of the American Nurses Association and a former administrator for MUSC, will receive an honorary degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa.