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King University Celebrates Fall 2017 Graduates

Fall 2017 CommencementBRISTOL, Tenn., Dec. 11, 2017 – King University celebrated Fall 2017 Commencement exercises Saturday, Dec. 9, at 10 a.m. at Viking Hall. More than 350 diplomas were awarded to students who have completed undergraduate or graduate degrees.

“Today, we celebrate the hard work and dedication of each of our graduates as they receive their degrees from King University,” said President Alexander Whitaker. “From the moment students are accepted to King, they are members of a close-knit community. During Commencement, we not only recognize the graduates’ exceptional accomplishments but also welcome them as alumni of King University.”

The Commencement speaker was Dr. Claude Pressnell, Jr., president of the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association. Dr. Pressnell has spent nearly 30 years in higher education administration. He holds a doctorate in higher education administration/educational leadership from Vanderbilt University. For his message to the graduates, he shared “Intellectual Stewardship.”

“The attainment of this degree is to be employed in service to others,” said Dr. Pressnell. “It is to be focused on the other, not focused on the giver. It is to be exercised in love. But, you take with you the responsibility that you have gained to be employed for the furtherance of the kingdom of God.”

In 2003, the United States Senate appointed Dr. Pressnell to the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance where he served as Vice Chair from 2007 until his second and final term expired in 2008. In 2007, he testified before Congress on higher education policy issues. In 2011, he was selected for a Fulbright Senior Specialist grant to develop the student financing policy for the Government of the Maldives. The policy and funding mechanisms were adopted by the Maldivian Parliament in 2012. In 2013, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam appointed Dr. Pressnell as a Commissioner representing the state’s interests on the Education Commission of the States. In 2014, he was appointed by four US Senators to serve on a committee to recommend a pathway to reduce the federal regulatory burden on higher education in the United States.

“Every Commencement is a special time as the entire institution comes together to celebrate the accomplishments of our students,” said Dr. Matt Roberts, vice president for academic affairs at King. “These graduates are forever part of our Christian academic community, and we wish them well in their professional and personal endeavors.”


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 on SCHEV certification, contact the King University office at Southwest Virginia Community College, 309 College Road, Richlands, VA 24641.