Governor Haslam To Speak To Lee Graduates, Receive Doctorate Saturday

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Lee University will award Governor Bill Haslam an honorary doctorate when he delivers their winter commencement address on the Cleveland campus this weekend, officials announced Thursday. 

“We are honored that the governor is taking time to come and speak to our graduates,” said Lee President Paul Conn, “and we feel it’s the perfect opportunity to recognize the governor’s many years of exceptional service in public life. We are glad he has agreed to accept this degree, a Doctor of Laws, as part of Saturday’s ceremony.” 

Dr. Conn explained that the Doctor of Laws degree is the honorary degree most commonly given to recognize accomplishment in government.  It is the first time Lee has given such a degree to an elected official, and only the thirteenth honorary degree the school has awarded in the past 25 years.

Saturday’s commencement ceremony at Lee is the first of three graduations during the school year.  The university will confer bachelors and masters degrees to 275 graduates, a record number for the December graduation.  “It’s shaping up to be a big day,” Conn continued, “a major milestone for a lot of students and their families.  We are grateful Governor Haslam will be here to be a part of that moment. 

“Lee University places a strong emphasis on serving others.  Our graduates this weekend have been taught the importance of service since they arrived on campus as freshmen.  It makes sense for us to bestow an honor like this on such an exemplary public servant as Governor Haslam.”

In addition to Governor Haslam’s commencement address, the graduates and their guests will hear music by the Lee University Chorale.  A full house is expected in the 1800-seat Conn Center, and the 500-seat Dixon Center next door will be linked via widescreen video.  In addition, the ceremony is being live-streamed on the university website, www.leeuniversity.edu/video.

“We know Governor Haslam will provide our graduates with a wonderful example of a successful businessman who left private business to serve the public in government leadership,” Dr. Conn said.  “We are complimented that he would come to participate in our commencement, of course, but we also believe he can offer an important challenge to our graduates, whatever their political affiliation.”

Governor Haslam, who was elected to be Tennessee’s governor in 2010, is a native of Knoxville. He graduated from Emory University as a history major in 1980.  Working in his family business, Pilot Corporation, he eventually became president of that company.  He was elected mayor of Knoxville in 2003 and served in that office until his run for the governorship.

Governor Haslam and his wife Crissy have two daughters and a son. They are members of the Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, where he served as an elder for 22 years.


Graves Installed As 7th GPS Head

"My name is Autumn Joy Adkins Graves, and I am the seventh head of Girls Preparatory School in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and I proudly proclaim – I will lead like a girl!"  With those words at the conclusion of her installation as GPS’s Head of School, the audience of friends, family, faculty, trustees, parents, alumnae, and students rose to their feet and offered their heartfelt ... (click for more)

Dalton State Magazine: A Glimpse Into Campus Life

Jacob Southern turned to two things to help him cope with struggles growing up: fishing and God. After becoming a student at Dalton State, he added conservation biology to that list.    Set to graduate in December, mr. Southern is making great strides in undergraduate research, all while finding himself as a young adult. His story is told in the latest edition of the ... (click for more)

Bradley, 24, Charged In Death Of Boy, 3; Child Had Numerous Injuries After Left With Boyfriend; Mother Was In Workhouse

Justin Dale Bradley has been charged with criminal homicide in the death of a three-year-old child, who was rushed to the hospital on Wednesday and later died. Police said Dakota James Arndt had numerous injuries over his body. Authorities said Bradley, 24, is the boyfriend of the child's mother, Brianna Kwekel, who was in the Workhouse at the time. Ms. Kwekel was serving 48 ... (click for more)

Helen Burns Sharp Asks Recovery Of Legal Fees In Successful Black Creek TIF Lawsuit

Helen Burns Sharp, citizen activist who sued to try to stop a $9 million Black Creek Tax Increment Financing (TIF) and won, is seeking to have her legal expenses paid by the city and the developers. Ms. Sharp said in a court filing that her legal bills to attorney John Konvalinka are $74,427 thus far. Chancellor Frank Brown ruled in favor of Ms. Sharp, saying the Sunshine ... (click for more)

Decimating The Chattanooga Public Library

Corinne Hill claims that the library is just undergoing a normal weeding process for eliminating books.  She has bragged that she's responsible for the elimination of over 100,000 books - with more to go. "Normal" weeding is not rampant throwing away.  Yes, books go to the Friends for their sale - where they get $2 for a $75 book and thousands wind up being recycled ... (click for more)

The Many Lessons I Learned From Helen McDonald Exum

Helen McDonald Exum was my friend and mentor. As I think of her passing I can only imagine the celebration that is happening in heaven as the news of her arrival is being told. I am sure that there is a party that not only has she organized but that there is not a detail that has been left to chance. I am sure that it is the grandest of events, for you see, she has been planing ... (click for more)