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King University News :: Anticipation Builds as King University Spring Commencement Approaches May 3

BRISTOL, Tenn., April 22, 2014– King University will celebrate Spring Commencement exercises at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 3, 2014, on the campus Oval. The scheduled keynote speaker is Dr. Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.  

King will award diplomas to 390 students who have completed undergraduate, graduate, and professional studies degrees. Special honors will include remembrance of King faculty and students, the Distinguished Faculty Award, M. Jeffrey Byrd Distinguished Service Award, Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award, and R.T.L. Liston Award for Academic Excellence.

Dr. Plantinga is the emeritus president and Charles W. Colson professor of Theology at Calvin Theological Seminary and Senior Research Fellow for the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich. He studied at Calvin College, Yale University, Calvin Theological Seminary, and Princeton Theological Seminary. He has also been a visiting scholar at St. Edmund's College, University of Cambridge. In the academic year 1999-2000, under the provisions of a Christian Faith and Life grant from the Louisville Institute, Dr. Plantinga was a resident member of the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton. He was ordained in the Christian Reformed Church in North America in 1971.

Formerly the pastor of the Webster (New York) Christian Reformed Church, Dr. Plantinga was professor of Systematic Theology at Calvin Theological Seminary from 1979 to 1996. In the summer of 1996, he became the first-ever dean of the Chapel at Calvin College. In Jan. 2002, he became the sixth president of Calvin Theological Seminary. He stepped aside from the presidency July 31, 2011, to devote a sabbatical year to speaking, preaching, and writing. On Aug. 1, 2012, he became senior research fellow at the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, Calvin College.

He is a former editor of the Calvin Theological Journal, and is now a member of the Board of Editors of Books Culture, of the Board of Governors of First Things, and of the evangelical team within Evangelicals and Catholics Together. He has authored six books, co-author of one, and co-editor of two in addition to publishing more than 230 published articles, essays, and reviews.

King anticipates more than 4,000 people for Commencement on Saturday, May 03. To better accommodate faculty, staff, students, graduates, and guests, parking on campus will be first come first serve. Additionally, to ensure everyone is directed to the best possible parking, all gates except the Carmack Entrance on East State Street/King College Road across from the fire department will be closed. Signs posted at each entrance will direct guests to the Carmack gate.

Complimentary shuttle service will be provided to and from the Oval with pick-up/drop-off locations at the baseball field, soccer field, and tennis court parking areas. Shuttle service will begin at 8 a.m. and run every 5–10 minutes before and after the ceremony.

Handicap parking is available to individuals with government-issued handicapped parking placards.

Special needs parking permits for anyone who is mobility impaired and does not have a state handicap placard are available at Please note that special needs parking permits are issued by King University Security Department and are only valid for the May 03, 2014 Commencement ceremony. For additional parking related questions please visit

The Commencement ceremony will take place rain or shine. Guests are asked to not utilize umbrellas when seated. Rain parkas are recommended.


King University is a Presbyterian, doctoral-level comprehensive university. Founded in 1867 as King College, the University offers more than 90 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in fields such as business, nursing, law, medical and health sciences, pharmacy, education, and humanities. Graduate programs are offered in business administration, education, and nursing. A number of research, off-campus learning opportunities, and travel destinations are also available. King University is a NCAA Division II and a Conference Carolinas member with 25 varsity sports. For more information about King University, visit King University does not discriminate against academically qualified students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, or disability. King University is certified by SCHEV to operate locations in Virginia. For more information, contact the King University office at Southwest Virginia Community College, 309 College Road, Richlands, VA 24641.