In 2004, Southwestern's faculty and trustees determined that Florence should have received a master's degree, but was awarded a diploma instead.
Because he is black.
That year, SWBTS president Paige Patterson invited him back to the campus to receive his master's degree.
Last month's Baptist Press article on that commencement ceremony includes this report of Patterson's words:
When the Southern Baptist Convention began in 1845, Patterson said, its founders had many things right. "But they made one tragic mistake. With regard to race, our convention took a very sad position that was unbiblical, ungodly and un-Christian in every way," Patterson said during the commencement. "It is one thing to make a bad mistake. It's another thing to never come to the point where you say, 'We were wrong.'" [emphasis mine]