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King University News :: King University Celebrates Fall Commencement

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 Bronze Stars.

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 Theological Seminary.

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 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.