More than 300 graduates are expected to cross the stage and receive their degrees on Wednesday, May 15, during Lander University’s 159th commencement.
The ceremony begins at 11 a.m. in Finis Horne Arena. Delivering the keynote address will be third-term State Treasurer Curtis M. Loftis, Jr. Known as South Carolina’s “private banker,” Loftis manages, invests and retains custody of more than $40 billion in public funds.
Since first taking office in 2010, Treasurer Loftis has become nationally known for championing public pension reform. His leadership has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Bloomberg, Institutional Investor and Bond Buyer.
Loftis has earned a reputation from the South Carolina Association of Taxpayers as being a “friend of the taxpayer.” In the past nine years, he has returned $158 million in unclaimed funds to South Carolinians – more than all previous state treasurers combined. He has overseen significant growth in the state’s Future Scholar 529 College Savings Plan, with more than 157,000 accounts and total assets under management of $3.6 billion. Additionally, Loftis administers the South Carolina ABLE Savings Program, providing eligible individuals with disabilities the opportunity to open tax-advantaged accounts to save for their future.
Loftis is chair of the State Board of Financial Institutions and serves as vice chairman of the State Fiscal Accountability Authority, South Carolina Education Authority and the South Carolina Tobacco Authority. He also serves on the executive board of the College Savings Plans Network and recently held leadership positions with the National Association of State Treasurers and the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators.
All commencement guests entering the arena will be required to have a ticket, and Lander officials expect a large crowd for the ceremony. Doors to Horne Arena will be closed 15 minutes prior to the start of the event, and guests are encouraged to arrive early to allow time for parking, security checks, and to avoid standing in long lines.
Security measures will be in place and include metal detectors at both main entrances. A clear bag policy will be in effect, and no balloons, posters, bookbags or large packages will be allowed inside the arena. All items brought into the arena are subject to search.
Late arrivers or guests without tickets will be directed to watch a live stream of the ceremony on closed-circuit TV in the Abney Cultural Center Auditorium.
All graduates and their families are invited to purchase tickets to the jazz brunch immediately following the ceremony in the Grier Student Center. Tickets are available through May 6 in the Bearcat Shop bookstore or online at www.bearcatshop.com.