Will Copeland, valedictorian for the University of the South’s Class of 2004, urged his classmates to use the “lens” that they acquired as undergraduates to bring analytical rigor to the lives they lead after Sewanee. “We leave behind a life in which the assignments were dictated to us, and embark on one in which the ideas are our own…We will have the freedom to make our own lives,” he said. A four-year letter winner in track and 2004 co-captain, Copeland is the first male athlete to be class valedictorian in 35 years. He is a two-time Academic All-America selection and graduates summa cum laude as a member of Phi Beta Kappa.
At commencement exercises on Sunday, May 16, 315 undergraduates of Sewanee’s College of Arts and Sciences were awarded bachelor’s degree diplomas. This year’s distinguished graduates also include Robin Rotman, Sewanee’s 24th Rhodes Scholar, Kathryn Cummings, winner of a Watson Fellowship, and Jennifer Schneider and OJ Reuter who have received Fulbright Scholarships for the coming year. Baccalaureate services were held in All Saints’ Chapel on May 15. The Rev. Dr. Daniel Matthews, rector of Trinity Church, New York city, was the preacher for that service.
At the School of Theology commencement, on May 14, 48 students were awarded master’s and doctoral degrees. Honorary degrees were presented to Milford Myhre, resident carillonneur at the Bok Sanctuary, and Albert Sidney Gooch, Jr., president of the Kanuga Conference Center. During commencement ceremonies for the College of Arts and Sciences, it was announced that Dr. Charles Perry was named the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of History. The trustees of Kenan Charitable Trust of North Carolina endowed this chair in 1980 to recognize excellence in teaching and scholarship.
Charles Perry joined Sewanee’s faculty in 1974. He was educated at Davidson College and Harvard University, where he earned his A.M. and Ph.D. Professor Perry has taught British and European history at Sewanee since 1974. His main field of research is modern British history, especially its economic and cultural history. His book The Victorian Post Office: The Growth of a Bureaucracy, which explored the role of that department in the nineteenth-century revolution in government and the evolution of a mixed economy in Britain, was published by the Royal Historical Society in 1992. He has also published numerous articles and reviews in American, French and British journals. Shown above, graduates process to commencement. Below is Charles Perry.