Appearing before a capacity crowd in the Lee University Conn
Center 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
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
"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
The graduation was the largest December commencement in the
school's history, granting 270 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
Registration for the spring semester will begin Jan. 7, and classes
will resume on Jan. 9, 2013.
PHOTO: Lee President Paul Conn awards Governor Bill
Haslam with the honorary doctorate at the Lee Commencement on
Saturday. (photo by Mike Wesson)