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.


Student Design Wins ‘Moc My Ride’ Contest

Be on the lookout on campus or in downtown Chattanooga for bikes wrapped with a design of UTC colors with the Chattanooga skyline. UTC student Mikey Clavin’s design was chosen in the first ‘Moc My Ride’ contest, a partnership between Bike Chattanooga and UTC Athletics. The ‘Moc My Ride’ contest was an open competition inviting UTC students to create a unique bike design to be ... (click for more)

UTC Computer Science, Electrical Engineering Students Participated In Maker Faire

Dr. Craig Tanis and a group of UTC computer science and electrical engineering students took the blue and gold to Maker Faire in Chattanooga, described as “the Greatest Show (and Tell) on earth.”  Families were invited to First Tennessee Pavilion where people showed what they have made and shared what they learned. Dr. Tanis, who teaches Video Game Development in the College ... (click for more)

Jo Ann Cronan Charged With Bribing Voters In Polk County; Similar Probe Underway In Monroe County

A Polk County woman has been charged with bribing voters. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation began an investigation on July 24 into allegations of illegal activities related to the August general election in Polk County. The investigation was commenced at the request of District Attorney General Stephen Crump. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, along with Calvin Rockholt, ... (click for more)

Westfield Charged In Burning, Torture Of Kitten At Cleveland

An arrest has been made in the case of a kitten who was burned and tortured in Cleveland, Tn. At 12:50 p.m. on Tuesday, Gary A. Westfield, 31, of Cleveland, was placed in custody on a warrant obtained by Lt. Robert Harbison and Detective Matt Jenkins of the Criminal Investigations Division. Westfield was charged with aggravated cruelty to animals, which is a Class E felony. ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Has Lost Its Most Popular Citizen - Luther Masingill

Chattanooga has lost its most popular citizen – Luther Masingill. Although we are saddened we cherish the memories.  All of us have a Luther story.  Mine is the first time I met Luther.  This was before TV and all of Chattanooga listened to Luther on the radio.  I was 12-years-old.  Some of my buddies and I had gone to the State Theater in downtown ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: An Election Day Fable

Every day I am peppered with emails that friends send to me from across the country so I am unsure of where the fable you are about to read originated. But with early voting for the November general election now in full swing, I think everyone who will -- or will not -- take part in freedom’s greatest privilege should read this story because I believe there is a great lesson contained ... (click for more)