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BRISTOL, Tenn., April 18, 2017 – Anticipation is building as King University’s spring
2017 Commencement ceremony nears. King will celebrate Spring Commencement exercises
on Saturday, April 29, at 10 a.m. on the Oval located on the University’s main campus
in Bristol, Tenn. The scheduled keynote speaker is King College alumna Katherine Paterson.
Her Commencement speech with be “Living the Vision.”
King will award diplomas to more than 560 students who have completed undergraduate,
graduate, and professional studies degrees. Special honors will include M. Jeffrey
Byrd Distinguished Service Award, Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award, and R.T.L. Liston
Award for Academic Excellence.
Commencement speaker Katherine Paterson was born in China in 1932 to Christian missionaries;
she spent much of her childhood there until the family was forced to flee during the
Japanese invasion. Her family often moved due to their missionary work. While in school,
Paterson began to write, penning many plays, in which her peers acted.
In 1954, Paterson graduated summa cum laude with a degree in English from King College
(now King University). She received her master’s degree from the Presbyterian School
of Christian Education. After teaching for a year, Paterson spent four years in Japan
as a missionary. She then traveled back to New York to pursue a second master’s degree
in religious education.
Paterson has since authored more than 30 books, including 16 novels for children and
young people. She has twice won the Newbery Medal, for “Bridge to Teribithia” in 1978
and “Jacob Have I Loved” in 1981. “The Master Puppeteer” won the National Book Award
in 1977, and “The Great Gilly Hopkins” won the National Book Award in 1979 and was
also a Newbery Honor Book. For the body of her work, she received the Hans Christian
Andersen Award in 1998, the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award in 2006, and in 2000 was
named a Living Legend by the Library of Congress.
She is a vice-president of the National Children's Book and Literacy Alliance and
is a member of the board of trustees of Vermont College of Fine Arts. She is also
an honorary lifetime member of the International Board of Books for Young People and
an Alida Cutts lifetime member of the US section, USBBY. She is the 2010-2011 National
Ambassador for Young People's Literature.
The Patersons have four grown children and seven grandchildren. Katherine currently
resides in Vermont with her faithful dog, Pixie.
Visit http://graduation.king.edu for information on parking for the Commencement ceremony. The ceremony will be streamed
live on http://webcast.king.edu.
King University’s Baccalaureate Ceremony, featuring the Rev. Dr. Peter D. Barnes,
senior pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Winston-Salem, N.C., as speaker, will
take place at First Presbyterian Church on Friday, April 28, at 6 p.m.
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 on SCHEV
certification, contact the King University office at Southwest Virginia Community
College, 309 College Road, Richlands, VA 24641.