The University of the South’s 2018-19 academic year comes to a close May 10, 11, and 12. A Convocation and Conferring of Degrees for the School of Theology will be held Friday, May 10; the University Baccalaureate on Saturday, May 11; and a Convocation for Conferring of Degrees for the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Letters on Sunday, May 12. All the ceremonies will be held in All Saints’ Chapel beginning at 10 a.m. and will be live-streamed for those unable to attend.
Honorary degrees will be presented during the School of Theology Commencement and during the Baccalaureate service.
The School of Theology will confer four honorary degrees during the May 10 convocation. The Rt. Rev. Carl Walter Wright, bishop suffragan for Armed Forces and Federal Ministries of the Episcopal Church will receive an honorary degree and will preach during the service. This year’s other School of Theology honorary degree recipients are the Rev. Canon Gideon Byamugisha, the Rt. Rev. Maria Griselda Delgado, and the Rev. Canon George Frederick Dettwiller II.
During the Baccalaureate service Saturday, May 11, Roger W. Ferguson Jr., president and chief executive officer of TIAA and former vice chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve Board of Governors; R.F. “Roy” Foster, emeritus professor of Irish history at Oxford and professor of Irish history and literature at Queen Mary University of London; 25-year veteran of America’s space missions Matthew Golombek, a senior research scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory; Sherry Magill, former president and executive director of the Jessie Ball duPont Fund; and Dr. John R. Seffrin, former chief executive of the American Cancer Society, will receive honorary degrees. Seffrin will give the Baccalaureate address. More information about each recipient follows.
On Sunday, May 12, a Convocation for Conferring of Degrees will be held at 10 a.m. in All Saints’ Chapel and on the Quad for the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Letters (tickets required). More than 400 students will graduate from the College, and 16 will receive master’s degrees from the School of Letters. A luncheon honoring the Class of 2019 graduates will follow.
Roger W. Ferguson Jr., is president and chief executive officer of TIAA, a leading provider of retirement services. He is the former vice chairman of the Board of Governors of the U.S. Federal Reserve System. As the only governor in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 11, 2001, he led the Fed’s initial response to the terrorist attacks, taking actions that kept the U.S. financial system functioning while reassuring the global financial community. He served on President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness as well as its predecessor, the Economic Recovery Advisory Board.
R.F. “Roy” Foster is emeritus professor of Irish history at Oxford and professor of Irish history and literature at Queen Mary University of London. In 1991 he became the first Carroll Professor of Irish History at Oxford and a fellow of Hertford College. He is a fellow of the British Academy, a fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. His award-winning books include The Irish Story: Telling Tales and Making It Up in Ireland; a biography of W.B. Yeats; and Vivid Faces: The Revolutionary Generation in Ireland 1890-1922.
Matthew Golombek is a senior research scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory—NASA’s center for planetary exploration—and a 25-year veteran of America’s space missions to Mars. He is the project scientist of the Mars Exploration Rover mission, concluded in February 2019, and he led the landing site selection efforts for the InSight lander that touched down last November. His research focuses on Mars geology and the prediction of surface characteristics. He was the chief scientist for the Mars Pathfinder Mission, which successfully landed a spacecraft and rover on Mars in 1997.
Sherry Magill served from 1993 to 2018 as president and executive director of the Jessie Ball duPont Fund, a grant-making foundation in Jacksonville, Fla. While there, she spearheaded development of the Jessie Ball duPont Center, a nonprofit and philanthropic center. Prior to joining the Fund in 1991, Dr. Magill served as vice president at Washington College, a private liberal arts college in Maryland, where she also taught courses in American Studies. She has served as a senior moderator for the Aspen Institute and as chair of the Council on Foundations board, and is the founding executive director of the Wye Faculty Seminar, an enrichment program for professors at small colleges.
Dr. John R. Seffrin served as chief executive of the American Cancer Society from 1992 to 2015; he also led the Society’s nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. Seffrin has served as professor of practice at the Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington. Among his many appointments, he served on the White House Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health; was appointed to the National Cancer Policy Board; and led the creation of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.