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.


BlueCross BlueShield Of Tennessee Foundation To Endow WGU Tennessee Scholarship

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Trust (BlueCross) will endow $10,000 in scholarship funds to  WGU Tennessee , the state-endorsed, nonprofit online university launched last summer as part of Governor Bill Haslam’s “Drive to 55” initiative, officials announced on Tuesday. “There’s a gap in the health care industry when it comes to medical analytics and nursing ... (click for more)

New Class Of Young Leaders Begins 8-Month Program In Cleveland

The Youth Leadership class of 2014-15 began a new year of developing their leadership skills by attending a daylong leadership retreat recently. The students are taking part in the 13 th year of this important workforce development program of the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce. The class consists of 26 high school juniors and seniors selected a few months ago through ... (click for more)

City, County Pull The Plug On Downtown Shooting Range

City and county officials have decided to keep the police firing range at Moccasin Bend rather than building an expensive new indoor facility at the former Farmers Market property. County Mayor Jim Coppinger said Sheriff Jim Hammond and new Police Chief Fred Fletcher met recently and decided to "pull the plug" on the project. He said officers felt that the Moccasin Bend range ... (click for more)

Reception Honors County's 2nd-Longest Serving Employee

General Sessions Court Judge Clarence Shattuck, at a County Courthouse reception, asked anyone who was working at the courthouse in 1966 to raise their hand. Only Circuit Court Clerk Paula Thompson was able to do so. Judge Shattuck said he believes only Edna Camp of the Criminal Court clerk's office, has been at the courthouse longer. Ms. Thompson did not seek re-election, ... (click for more)

Vote No On Health Insurance Changes Affecting County Teachers

Our Hamilton County School Board will vote on insurance changes effecting both active employees and retirees, who are not on Medicare at this time.  HCEA strongly objects to changes being made at this time and urges a “No” vote.  Insurance had been frozen three years by negotiations.  Since the Educators Professional Negotiations Act was nullified by the 2011 Legislature, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Al Sharpton’s Wise Remarks

I’ll admit I paid little more than scant attention to the Monday funeral of Michael Brown, the 18-year-old who was shot and killed by police bullets in Ferguson, Mo., after he allegedly was involved in strong-armed robbery. There are too many tawdry details and, in my way of thinking, there is nothing under God’s sun, absolutely nothing, that gives others the right to riot, burn ... (click for more)