he University of the South's 2011-12 academic year comes to a close May 11, 12 and 13 with three ceremonies marking graduation weekend at Sewanee. Commencement and Baccalaureate ceremonies will be held for students from the College of Arts and Sciences, School of Theology, and School of Letters.
Commencement for conferring of degrees for 2011 graduates of the School of Theology will be held in All Saints’ Chapel on Friday, May 11. The Baccalaureate Service will be held Saturday, May 12, in All Saints’ Chapel, and also will be shown on closed-circuit TV in Guerry and Blackman Auditoriums. Former Secretary of State James A. Baker, III will give the Baccalaureate Address.
Commencement ceremonies for the College and School of Letters will be held Sunday, May 13. Tickets are required for College commencement seating in All Saints’ Chapel and McClurg Hall; however, the ceremony also will be shown on closed-circuit TV in Guerry and Blackman Auditoriums (no ticket required).
Honorary degrees will be presented to Baker and Rafael “Ray” Suarez, Jr. during baccalaureate ceremonies. More information about the honorary degree recipients follows:
- James A. Baker, III has a record of public service that began in 1975 as undersecretary of commerce to President Gerald Ford and concluded with his service as White House chief of staff and senior counselor to President George H.W. Bush in 1992 and 1993. He served as secretary of state under President George H.W. Bush, traveling to 90 foreign countries to address the challenges of the post–Cold War era. After leaving government service, Baker served as the envoy of U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, co-chair of the Federal Commission on Election Reform, and co-chair of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1991. Baker is a long-time member and vestryman of St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston, and currently serves as Special Counsel to the Vestry.
- Rafael “Ray” Suarez Jr. is a broadcast journalist and writer with more than 30 years of experience as a correspondent and program host on both radio and television. Since 1999, he has been a senior correspondent for “PBS NewsHour,” where he is the lead correspondent on global health issues. He has reported on some of the world’s most threatening health crises in addition to covering politics and other national and international stories. He is the author most recently of a book examining the tightening relationship between religion and politics in America, The Holy Vote: The Politics of Faith in America. His career includes stints at CNN, ABC, and NPR as well as PBS. In 2010, Suarez was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.