​University Commencement Weekend Events, May 11-13

The University of the South’s 2017-18 academic year comes to a close May 11, 12, and 13 with three ceremonies marking graduation weekend on the Mountain. Commencement and Baccalaureate ceremonies will be held for students from the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Letters, and the School of Theology. Honorary degrees will be presented during the School of Theology Commencement and during the Baccalaureate ceremony. Both Commencement ceremonies and the Baccalaureate service will be live-streamed for those unable to attend.

The School of Theology will graduate 29 students and confer three honorary degrees on Friday, May 11, in All Saints’ Chapel. The service will begin at 10 a.m. A luncheon for students and their families will follow in McClurg Dining Hall.
Episcopal priest, author, and historian of American religion Randall Balmer and Richard Heitzenrater, the William Kellon Quick Professor Emeritus of Church History and Wesley Studies at Duke Divinity School will receive honorary degrees. The Rt. Rev. David Mitchell Reed, bishop of the Diocese of West Texas (one of the University’s owning dioceses), will also receive an honorary degree. Balmer will preach during the service.
A book signing with Balmer and Heitzenrater will be held at 2:30 p.m., Friday, May 11, in Convocation Hall. Balmer’s books include “Evangelicalism in America” and “Redeemer: The Life of Jimmy Carter,” and “Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory: A Journey into the Evangelical Subculture in America.” Heitzenrater’s books include “Wesley and the People Called Methodists” and “An Exact Likeness: The Portraits of John Wesley.”
Prior to commencement, the School of Theology recognizes the various honors, prizes, and awards previously given to members of the graduating class. Included in the presentation are awards to outstanding members of the class in several areas of study. The School’s faculty votes on the recipients each year. This year, the School of Theology Prize in Biblical Studies was awarded to Jeremy Lloyd Carlson; the Prize in Theology and Ethics was awarded to Ryan Daniel Currie; the Prize in Historical Studies was awarded to Melanie Gibson Rowell; and the Urban T. Holmes Prize in Preaching was awarded to Lisa Marie Meirow.
Jamaican journalist, playwright, and director Barbara Goodison Gloudon; David Lodge, C’79, Rhodes Scholar and now the Francis J. DiSalvo Director of Cornell University’s Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future; and Condoleezza Rice, U.S. Secretary of State from 2005 to 2009 and a professor at Stanford University, will receive honorary degrees during the Baccalaureate service Saturday, May 12. Rice will give the Baccalaureate address. The University asks community members and friends of the University to understand that guest seating for the Baccalaureate service must go first to the family members of our graduates. Others are invited to watch the service as it is live-streamed, either online or at other locations on campus. More information about each recipient is below.
On Sunday, May 13, a Convocation for Conferring of Degrees will be held at 10 a.m. in All Saints’ Chapel and the Quad for the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Letters (tickets required). More than 400 students will graduate from the College, and 11 will receive master’s degrees from the School of Letters. A luncheon honoring the Class of 2018 graduates will follow.
Barbara Goodison Gloudon is an award-winning Jamaican journalist, author, and playwright. She has worked as a features editor, columnist, editor, and reporter at both The Gleaner and The Jamaica Star newspapers. Gloudon hosted a radio talk show, Hotline, that provided commentary on cultural and social issues. In the 1990s, she became the chair of the Little Theatre Movement. She has been honored with the Order of Jamaica; the 2006 Gleaner Honour; as a fellow of the Institute of Jamaica; and membership in the Jamaican Press Association Hall of Fame.
David M. Lodge, C’79, and a Rhodes Scholar, is an internationally recognized conservation biologist, the president of the Ecological Society of America, and the founder of the University of Notre Dame Environmental Change Initiative. He is the Francis J. DiSalvo Director of Cornell University’s Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future. Lodge has a history of collaborating with economists, historians, theologians, and corporations to put research innovations into practice. He has served on the NOAA Science Advisory Board and as a Jefferson Science Fellow at the U.S. Department of State.
Condoleezza Rice is the Denning Professor in Global Business and the Economy at the Stanford Graduate School of Business; the Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution; and a professor of political science at Stanford University. Rice was the second woman and first African American woman to hold the post of U.S. secretary of state. On the faculty at Stanford since 1981, she also served as President George W. Bush’s national security advisor, and on President George H.W. Bush’s National Security Council staff. Since 2009, she has served as a founding partner at RiceHadleyGates, a strategic consulting firm. In 2013, Rice was appointed to the College Football Playoff Committee.