The Graduate School celebrated the Royster Society of Fellows’ 20th Anniversary on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, with a special reception and dinner honoring Mrs. Thomas Royster. The fellows and alumni also attended a welcome reception, as well as professional development opportunities organized by the fellows.

Chancellor Emeritus Paul Hardin met with Mrs. Royster before the reception. More than 230 Royster fellows and alumni and friends of graduate education attended the dinner.

Speakers during the dinner included Steve Matson, dean of The Graduate School; Linda A. Dykstra, former dean of The Graduate School; Marsha Collins, the Caroline H. and Thomas S. Royster Distinguished professor for graduate education; Douglas Shadle, Royster alumnus and assistant professor of musicology at Vanderbilt University; and Madelyn Percy, Royster fellow and doctoral student in geological sciences. All shared gratitude, from different perspectives, for Dr. Thomas S. and Mrs. Royster and their extraordinary commitment to graduate students at Carolina. Mrs. Royster gave remarks and received a standing ovation directly afterward.

Carol and Edward Smithwick were also honored for the dissertation fellowship they endowed within the Royster Society. Thirteen doctoral students have received the Carol and Edward Smithwick Dissertation Fellowship since 2005.