Governor Haslam Addresses Lee Grads, Receives Honorary Doctorate

Monday, December 17, 2012
Lee President Paul Conn awards Governor Bill Haslam with the honorary doctorate at the Lee Commencement on Saturday.
Lee President Paul Conn awards Governor Bill Haslam with the honorary doctorate at the Lee Commencement on Saturday.
- photo by Mike Wesson

Appearing before a capacity crowd in the Lee University auditorium Saturday, Governor Bill Haslam accepted an honorary doctorate from college officials, then challenged graduates to “live a life of faith” in a colorful winter commencement ceremony.  

In his address to the group, Governor Bill Haslam urged graduates to consider what it means to graduate from a Christ-centered school and offered seven suggestions to the graduates as they move into the next phase of life.

The university also took this opportunity to confer its highest honor, an honorary Doctor of Laws degree, to the governor during the ceremony. 

“His example reminds us that the best life is the one which is pursued with energy and excellence, for the good not of oneself but for the good of others,” said Lee President Paul Conn, in his citation.

The graduation was the largest December commencement in the school’s history, granting 274 bachelor’s and master’s degrees.  This is one of three graduation weekends at Lee each year; commencements are also held in May and July. 

Well-wishers and guests filled the school’s Dixon Center and Squires Recital Hall, watching the festivities on-screen; an estimated 2400 guests were in attendance. The event was also streamed live over the university’s website.

Saturday’s ceremony was preceded by a hooding for students earning master's degrees and a Commissioning Service on Friday night, which featured six student speakers sharing their experiences at Lee. 

Lee University is the largest private institution in East Tennessee, enrolling 4,400 students on its Cleveland campus.


Cleveland State Hosted Last Of Its STEM Camps For The Summer

Cleveland State Community College’s Continuing Education Department hosted the last of its summer enrichment STEM camps this week. Camps included Musical Theater, Pastry Arts and Scratch Baking Science. Participants of the Musical Theater Camp put together a musical, while Scratch Baking Science participants learned the science of dough rising and fermentation and made ... (click for more)

Cleveland State Helps Barroso Land Dream Job

How bad do you want it? This is a question that CSCC student Carlos Barroso was once asked by Evangelist T.D. Jakes at a men’s conference shortly before enrolling at CSCC and now, it’s the motto Barroso lives by. At the time, he was unsure what the question meant, but after a little soul searching, he understood exactly what he needed to do in order to achieve his goals. ... (click for more)

Man, 28, Shot And Killed In East Chattanooga

A 28-year-old man was shot and killed in East Chattanooga early Friday morning. The victim was identified as Jeremy Clark, a brother of House candidate Dennis Clark. Dennis Clark said, "Jeremy, a beloved son, my younger brother and dear friend to many, was taken from us too soon. The pain from our sudden and tragic loss is Indescribable. He was a compassionate and fun-loving ... (click for more)

Michael Ford Sentenced To More Than 13 Years In Prison On Drug Charges

Michael Shawn Ford has been sentenced to 13 and a half years in prison on drug charges. On April 20, 2105, Ford was arrested at his house in East Ridge. Police found him hiding in the closet with a laundry bag which contained a loaded pistol and 7.9 grams of crystal meth. Officers said that two backpacks were found in the same bedroom, one with 257.3 grams of crystal meth ... (click for more)

Olympic Events On The Ocoee River Made History – But It Wasn’t Easy

It started with a simple “what if” question while Atlanta officials were working on a bid to host the 1996 Summer Olympic Games.  A group of amateur kayakers from the city began asking themselves: “What if Atlanta’s bid is successful? Then where would the Olympic whitewater canoe and kayak races be held?”  To some of the members of that group, the answer was obvious. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Don’t Kick A Man’s Neck

From the minute my brothers and I each became cognizant, my dad started teaching us the rules of becoming a man. Dad was from deep in Mississippi and he’d been taught a lot of life’s secrets from his father. These lessons have been passed for generations and, the older I have become, I’m convinced a lot of them were borne from The Sermon on the Mount. Our favorite, back in the ... (click for more)