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BRISTOL, Tenn., December 13, 2014 – King University celebrated Fall Commencement exercises
Saturday, Dec. 13, at 10 a.m. at Viking Hall, awarding a record number of diplomas
to 606 students who have completed undergraduate, graduate, professional studies,
or online degrees.
“We are delighted to celebrate the accomplishments of our graduates,” said Dr. Matt
Roberts, vice president for Academic Affairs. “We look forward to their continued
success in building meaningful lives of achievement and cultural transformation in
Christ in our region and beyond.”
King University awarded two honorary degrees during the Commencement ceremony to Earnest
Andrew (Andy) Andrews and Michael Morgan. Honorary degrees bestowed by King University
serve to recognize the recipient for their high achievement. The honorary degree bestowed
on Andrews, the Doctor of Humane Letters (LH.D.), was awarded for his contributions
to the humanities or to human welfare. The honorary degree bestowed on Morgan, the
Doctor of Letters (Litt.D.), is awarded for his contributions to literature, and the
creative and performing arts.
The Black Mountain, N.C., native, Andrews, attended King University beginning in 1946.
Prior to his time at King, Andrews, along with his four brothers, was drafted in June
1943 into service during WWII. During his service, Andrews served as a member of the
1st Infantry Division. He was a member of the third wave of troops to land on Omaha Beach
in Normandy during the D-Day invasion. His unit also participated in the Battle of
the Bulge. His story has been told in national publications and on network television.
For his military service during WWII, Andrews was awarded four Purple Hearts and four
Michael Morgan, a native of Pine Mountain, Ga., acquired his first early English Bible
in 1970, and, to date, he has amassed what is perhaps the most comprehensive private
collection in the country, with more than 4,500 volumes, representing virtually every
translation in English of the Bible, the New Testament, the Gospels, and the Psalms.
His collection includes an original 1611 King James Bible. In addition to his collection
of Bibles, Morgan has the only three original printings of Handel’s Messiah in existence.
He recently retired from nearly 40 years’ service as organist at Central Presbyterian
Church in Atlanta, Ga., and continues to serve as the Seminary Musician at Columbia
The keynote speaker was King University Interim President Dr. Richard A. Ray. His
message to the graduates was of “The Gift of an Exceptional Life.”
Dr. Richard A. Ray received his bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College and master’s
degree from Union Theological Seminary. He received a Rockefeller Brothers Theological
Fellowship at Princeton Theological Seminary, then went on to receive his Ph.D. in
Theology from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. Dr. Ray, a Presbyterian minister,
served as a member of King’s board of trustees for 33 years and a faculty member of
King for 14. In addition to his current service as interim president of King University,
Dr. Ray also serves as general editor of Kerygma Bible Studies in Pittsburg, Pa.
Following the Commencement program, Col. Many-Bears Grinder, commissioner for the
Tennessee Department of Veterans Affairs, presented Mr. Andrews with a certificate
of appreciation for his military service.
King University is a Presbyterian-affiliated, 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 www.king.edu. 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.