Lee University will welcome Vanderbilt’s Dr. Jeffrey Conn to deliver the address at Lee’s winter commencement ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 16.
“It is a particular pleasure to welcome one of our own alums back to campus as our commencement speaker,” said Lee president Paul Conn, “and for someone whose career has been as distinguished as Jeff’s is especially enjoyable.”
Dr. Conn has been at the Vanderbilt School of Medicine since 2003, where he serves as the founding director of the Vanderbilt Center for Neuroscience Drug Discovery. He is also the Lee E. Limbird Professor of Pharmacology at Vanderbilt University. His research focuses on treatment strategies for schizophrenia, Parkinson’s disease, and other brain disorders.
Dr. Conn, a 1981 graduate of Lee, received his PhD in pharmacology from Vanderbilt and completed postdoctoral studies at Yale University. In 2008, he received the Lee University Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award.
Dr. Conn has also served for 10 years as a professor at Emory University, leaving the academic community for several years to become head of the Department of Neuroscience at pharmaceutical giant Merck and Co.
He has served in editorial positions with multiple international journals, along with serving on scientific advisory boards of different foundations and companies. He was recently awarded the 2017 Excellence in Academic Research Award by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.
Dr. Conn is married to Dr. Anita Ball Conn, who is also a Lee grad, as are their son Jordan and daughter Liz.
Lee’s winter commencement is one of three graduation ceremonies held each year at the university, the others being held in the spring and summer. The winter ceremony combines the music and decorations of the Christmas season with traditional commencement activities. More than 290 graduates will receives degrees in the Saturday morning ceremony, and the Lee University Chorale will provide music.
Prior to the Saturday commencement, which starts at 10:30 a.m., a commissioning ceremony will be held Friday, Dec. 15, at 6:30 p.m. The commissioning service is a special occasion for students and their families to reflect on their experiences at the university. During the event, six student speakers will share brief stories about their time at Lee, and each graduate is presented with a personalized Bible in a traditional walk across the stage. Both services will be held in the Conn Center.
A hooding ceremony for recipients of master’s and education specialist degrees will take place Friday, Dec. 15, at 4:30 p.m. in the Lee Chapel.
The hooding, commissioning, and commencement ceremonies are ticketed events.
For those wishing to view any of the events, live streaming will be available at http://www.leeuniversity.edu/video/.
For more information about commencement exercises, contact the Academic Events Office at 614-8117 or visit http://www.leeuniversity.edu/academics/graduation-info/.