USC Upstate News

USC Upstate Plans For May Commencement

04- 28- 2009

Spartanburg, S.C. - Seven hundred students will receive their diplomas when the University of South Carolina Upstate holds its May Commencement on Tuesday, May 5 at 7:00 p.m. on the Quad behind the Administration Building.

May Graduation“Each year our graduating class continues to increase in both size and quality,” said Dr. John C. Stockwell, chancellor of USC Upstate. “With nearly 80 percent of our graduates remaining in the Upstate, this will have a positive impact on the labor force.”

Dr. Amy-Jill Levine will deliver the commencement address. She is the current E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Professor New Testament Studies at Vanderbilt University Divinity School, Department of Religious Studies, and Graduate Department of Religion.  Levine was graduated Magna cum Laude from Smith College in 1978 with a degree in English and Religion. She earned a M.A. from Duke University in 1981 and a Ph.D. from Duke in 1984.  She has been awarded two honorary degrees: a Doctor of Divinity degree from the University of Richmond and a Doctor of Humane Letters from the Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest.

Levine has published extensively on the New Testament, including The Misunderstood Jew: The Church and the Scandal of the Jewish Jesus (Harper San Francisco); the edited collection, The Historical Jesus in Context (Princeton Univ. Press), and the fourteen volume Feminist Companions to the New Testament and Early Christian Writings. She has recorded “Introduction to the Old Testament,” “Great Figures of the Old Testament,” and Great Figures of the New Testament” for the Teaching Company’s “great lectures” series.  She describes herself as a Yankee Jewish feminist who teaches in a predominantly Protestant Divinity School in the buckle of the Bible Belt. 

Levine and her husband, Jay Geller, have a daughter, Sarah Elizabeth Geller, who graduated from Purdue last May and works for the Marriott corporation. They also have a son, Alexander David Geller.

The University of South Carolina Upstate, a coeducational, public, comprehensive metropolitan institution, is located conveniently along the thriving economic I-85 corridor between Atlanta and Charlotte. It has a current student enrollment of 5,000 and an alumni base of 16,500. As a senior comprehensive public institution of the University of South Carolina, the University’s primary responsibilities are to offer baccalaureate education to the citizens of the upstate of South Carolina and to offer selected master’s degrees in response to regional demand.

For more information regarding the May Commencement, please contact Frances Krydynski at (864) 503-5221 or visit