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King University Commencement Set for May 2

Dr. Jill Peláez BaumgaertnerBRISTOL, Tenn., April 22, 2015 – Anticipation is building as King University’s Spring 2015 Commencement ceremony nears. King will celebrate Spring Commencement exercises on Saturday, May 2, at 10 a.m. on the Oval of the University’s main campus in Bristol, Tenn. The scheduled keynote speaker is Dr. Jill Peláez Baumgaertner, author and professor of English and dean of Humanities and Theological Studies at Wheaton College.

King will award diplomas to more than 500 students who have completed undergraduate, graduate, and professional studies degrees. More than 440 students will walk the stage on May 2 to receive their diploma. Special honors the Distinguished Faculty Award, M. Jeffrey Byrd Distinguished Service Award, Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award, and R.T.L. Liston Award for Academic Excellence.

Commencement speaker Dr. Jill Peláez Baumgaertner received her Bachelor of Arts from Emory University, a Master of Arts from Drake University, and a Ph.D. in Renaissance and Seventeenth-Century British Literature from Emory University.

She is the author of five collections of poetry, including the recently published “What Cannot Be Fixed.” She has also edited a collection of poetry, “Imago Dei: Poetry from Christianity and Literature;” written a textbook/anthology, “Poetry;” and published “Flannery O’Connor: A Proper Scaring,” still in print after twenty-five years.

Dr. Baumgaertner was a Fulbright fellow to Spain, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and is the winner of the White Eagle Coffee Store Press’s poetry chapbook contest, the Goodman Award, an Illinois Arts Council Award, the Illinois Prize of the Rock River Poetry Contest, and the CCL Midwest Poetry Contest. She has served as the poetry editor of The Cresset and First Things and is a former president of the Conference on Christianity and Literature. She also formerly taught at Valparaiso University.

Dr. Baumgaertner currently serves as poetry editor of The Christian Century and is a professor of English and dean of Humanities and Theological Studies at Wheaton College.

Visit for information on parking for the Commencement ceremony. The ceremony will be streamed live on


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.