The University of the South's 2011-12 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. Two honorary degrees will be presented during The School of Theology Commencement, and two during the Baccalaureate ceremony.
Honorary degrees will be presented to Dr. Diarmaid MacCulloch, the Rev. Dr. Carl Daw Jr., and the Rt. Rev. Terry Allen White at the May 11 School of Theology commencement. MacCulloch will also give a lecture on Christian history at 8 p.m. Thursday, May 10, in St. Luke's Chapel. Rafael “Ray” Suarez Jr. and James A. Baker III will receive honorary degrees during the May 12 Baccalaureate ceremony. Baker will give the Baccalaureate address. More information about the honorary degree recipients is below.
A Convocation for the Conferring of Degrees will be held in All Saints’ Chapel at 10 a.m. Friday, May 11, to recognize the students who have completed their studies at The School of Theology. The Very Rev. William S. Stafford, Dean of The School of Theology, will preach. A luncheon in McClurg Hall honoring the Class of 2012 seminary graduates, their guests, families, faculty, and staff will follow the service.
Saturday, May 12, the University Baccalaureate Service will begin at 10 a.m. in All Saints’ Chapel. The service will be shown on closed-circuit TV in Guerry and Blackman auditoriums. Former secretary of state James A. Baker III (also the grandfather of Mary-Stuart Baker, C’12) will give the Baccalaureate address. On Sunday, May 13, a Convocation for Conferring of Degrees will be held at 10 a.m. in All Saints’ Chapel (tickets required) for the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Letters. The Convocation will be shown on closed-circuit TV in McClurg Dining Hall and in Guerry and Blackman auditoriums. A luncheon honoring the Class of 2012 graduates will follow.
If you can't be on the Mountain for the events, you can watch online at 10 a.m. (Central) Friday, Saturday, and Sunday mornings.
More information and the full weekend schedule can be found here. In addition to the Baccalaureate and Commencement ceremonies, events often include carillon tours, parties, an arts & crafts fair, and more. The schedule will be updated as Commencement week draws closer.
Honorary degree recipients during Baccalaureate
James A. Baker III (left) 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. Baker led presidential campaigns for Presidents Ford, Reagan, and Bush and held senior government positions under the same three U.S. presidents. Baker served as secretary of the treasury and chief of staff under President Ronald Reagan. He was secretary of state under President George H.W. Bush, traveling to 90 foreign countries to address the challenges of the post–Cold War era. Since leaving government service, Baker has served as the personal envoy of U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan; special envoy for President George W. Bush on the issue of Iraqi debt; co-chair of the Federal Commission on Election Reform; and co-chair of the Iraq Study Group, a bipartisan panel examining new approaches to Iraq. Baker is a lifelong Episcopalian and long-time member of St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston, where he currently serves as Special Counsel to the Vestry. He is honorary chairman of the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University. Baker’s memoir—Work Hard, Study . . . and Keep Out of Politics! Adventures and Lessons from an Unexpected Public Life—was published in 2006.
Baker was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1991 and has received many other awards for public service, including Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson Award, the American Institute for Public Service's Jefferson Award, and Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government Award.
Rafael “Ray” Suarez Jr. (left) 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, Suarez has been a senior correspondent for “PBS NewsHour,” based in Washington, D.C. He currently hosts the monthly radio program “America Abroad” for Public Radio International, and the nationally broadcast weekly political program, “Need to Know” for PBS. He was host of the nationwide call-in news program “Talk of the Nation” from 1993 to 1999, and before that, he spent seven years covering local, national, and international stories for WMAQ-TV in Chicago. 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, and is currently at work on the companion volume to a coming PBS documentary series chronicling the history of Latinos in America.
Suarez has received many awards and honors, including two NPR duPont-Columbia Silver Baton Awards and the 1996 Ruben Salazar Award from the National Council of La Raza. In 2010, Suarez was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.
Honorary degree recipients during School of Theology Commencement
Author and Oxford professor of Church history Dr. Diarmaid MacCulloch, past executive director of The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada and adjunct professor of hymnology at Boston University School of Theology the Rev. Dr. Carl Daw Jr., and Bishop of the Diocese of Kentucky the Rt. Rev. Terry Allen White will receive honorary degrees during the May 11 School of Theology commencement. Read more about them here.