HARROGATE, Tenn. -Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) President B. James Dawson conferred the degrees of 370 students on Saturday. Family and friends of over 300 students participated in the commencement ceremony held in the Tex Turner Arena.
During the ceremony, Dawson presented a trio of awards to members of the LMU community. LMU’s prestigious Houston Award for Excellence in Teaching was awarded to Dr. Michael Seaman, LMU-DeBusk College of Medicine associate professor of emergency medicine and family medicine. The award recognizes achievement characterized by clear, abundant and persistent demonstration of high standards of teaching that contribute to the development of the LMU community. Seaman, who is also LMU-DCOM’s simulation lab director, was nominated by past Huston Award winner Howard S. Teitelbaum, LMU-DCOM professor of preventative medicine and chair of preventative and community medicine, who, along with several students, provided nominating materials.
LMU is one of approximately 60 colleges and universities in the United States to have the privilege of awarding the Algernon Sydney Sullivan and Mary Mildred Sullivan Awards. The awards are given to recognize individuals whose “nobility of character” and dedication to service sets them apart as examples for others. The Mary Mildred Sullivan Award was bestowed on Ann Shumate Bowling, of Tazewell, Tenn., for her work as a driving force for animal welfare in Claiborne County. The Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award went to Mission of Hope Executive Director Emmette Thompson, of Knoxville, for his tireless work to provide food, clothing, toys, school supplies and much more to the impoverished children and families of Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia.
Executive Director of the Northeast Texas Consortium of Colleges and Universities Mickey Slimp addressed the graduates. Slimp leads a collaborative of 16 college and university sites based at a University of Texas Health Science campus. His career got underway at the Tri-Cities WJHL television station. He has since gone on to produce award winning video and multimedia programs through the PBS Adult Learning Service, Texas STARlink and various colleges.
LMU undergraduate valedictorian Jacob Carver delivered a student response during the ceremony. Carver, of Oneida, Tenn., earned a bachelor of science in interdisciplinary studies in human learning and development. He will continue his education at LMU next year, pursuing a master’s in counseling. Among Carver’s many accomplishments as a student is the fact that he has never missed a class in his entire educational career.
Carver used acceptance as a theme in his speech. He stated, “We have to all accept the way we are. You must be determined and accept yourself 100%. When you can do that, you will be amaze at the success that will come your way. Once again, ‘Happiness can exist only in acceptance.’ I hope that all of you find happiness.”