Shorter University

Shorter University will hold its 2021 Commencement ceremonies on Thursday, May 6.

Barry Hurley, a banker and attorney, will speak at the 10 a.m. ceremony, for graduates from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, the School of Education, and the School of Fine and Performing Arts.

Worship Pastor Cliff Duren will be the featured speaker at the 2 p.m. ceremony, for graduates from the Ledbetter College of Business and Brady School of Nursing.

Tickets are required for both ceremonies, and the capacity is limited due to COVID-19 protocols. Masks are required for entry, and social distancing is encouraged.

“We are looking forward to celebrating this important milestone in our graduates’ lives and are excited to welcome two great friends of our institution as our featured speakers,” said Shorter President Don Dowless. “Both Barry Hurley and Cliff Duren use their talents and abilities to bring honor and glory to the Lord Jesus Christ. Their words will be an encouragement and a blessing to our graduates.”

A former Shorter board member, Hurley serves as chairman, legal counsel, CEO and CFO of Southeast First National Bank in Chattooga County, Georgia, and Bay County, Florida.

Hurley is also in the real estate development business with his family and chairs the Summerville Downtown Development Authority. He is part of the Committee of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s Project REACh in Washington, D.C.; and serves on the General Counsel Committee of the D.C.-based American Association of Bank Directors.

Duren serves as Worship Pastor at First Baptist Church in Woodstock, and is a talented arranger of music. His compositions have earned him numerous Dove Awards. He and his wife, April, are Shorter graduates.

Duren became a Christian at age 17 and soon after pursued a Music Education degree from Shorter University and a Master’s degree in Church Music from Lee University. In 2014, Duren released his first instrumental record, “Tune My Heart: Hymns of Worship Featuring Piano and Orchestra. In 2016, he released a follow-up record, “Tune My Heart: Christmas.”

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