Oglethorpe University to Honor Faculty Emeriti at May 17 Commencement Ceremony

(ATLANTA, GA) – The 2014 Oglethorpe University Commencement Ceremony will be held on Saturday, May 17 at 9:00 a.m. on the academic quadrangle of the campus, at 4484 Peachtree Road, N.E, in Atlanta, Ga. Oglethorpe University President Lawrence M. Schall and Board of Trustees Chair Norman P. Findley will preside over the commencement ceremony for more than 200 graduates.

In an uncommon break from academic tradition and for the first time in its history, Oglethorpe University has chosen to honor its own faculty emeriti during this year’s ceremony. Honorary degrees will be bestowed upon all 20 living faculty emeriti: Dr. G. Malcolm Amerson, James Edward Oglethorpe Professor Emeritus of Biology; Keith E. Baker, Director Emeritus of Accounting Studies; James A. Bohart, Professor Emeritus of Music; Dr. William L. Brightman, Professor Emeritus of English; Dr. Barbara R. Clark, Professor Emerita of English; Dr. Charlton H. Jones, Professor Emeritus of Business Administration; Dr. Nancy H. Kerr, Provost and Professor Emerita of Psychology; Dr. J. Brien Key, Professor Emeritus of History; Dr. David K. Mosher, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics; Dr. Philip J. Neujahr, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy; Dr. Ken Nishimura, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy; Dr. Beth Roberts, Professor Emerita of Education; John A. Ryland, Librarian Emeritus; Dr. William O. Shropshire, Provost and Professor Emeritus of Economics; Dr. William F. Straley, Professor Emeritus of Business Administration and Mathematics; Dr. T. Lavon Talley, Professor Emeritus of Education, Dr. Louise M. Valine, Professor Emerita of Education; Dr. Martha H. Vardeman, Professor Emerita of Sociology; Dr. Victoria L. Weiss, Professor Emerita of English; and Dr. Philip P. Zinsmeister, Professor Emeritus of Biology.

“Choosing to recognize our faculty emeriti with honorary degrees is a celebration of their life-long commitment to academics, while honoring the pivotal role our faculty plays in the Oglethorpe experience,” said President Schall. “They’ve dedicated themselves to providing an unparalleled education to generations of Oglethorpe students, helping to create thoughtful, well-prepared citizens.”

Commencement speakers include honorary degree recipient Dr. Ken Nishimura, who will accept on behalf of the honorees, and Dr. Leah Zinner, assistant professor of psychology, who will present the honorary degree citation. Additional speakers will include Senior Class President Joseph White and Austin Gillis ’01, president of the Oglethorpe University National Alumni Association. Additional commencement ceremony details may be found at

Oglethorpe University has entered an era of innovation, re-invigoration, and growth with the opening of the $16M Turner Lynch Campus Center in 2013 and the launch of a $50M comprehensive campaign. Founded in 1835, Oglethorpe is Atlanta’s leading liberal arts and sciences university of 1100 students representing 34 states and 28 countries. In fall 2013, Oglethorpe opened the A_LAB (Atlanta Laboratory for Learning), an incubator for students’ real-world experiential learning through civic engagement, global education, professional development, and undergraduate research. Oglethorpe is the only university in Georgia to be named for seven consecutive years to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for commitment to and achievement in community service. In 2012, Oglethorpe launched two strategic partnerships with study abroad provider Global LEAD and EF (Education First), the world leader in international education. EF’s Atlanta headquarters is located on Oglethorpe’s campus, which is also home to the OU Museum of Art and Georgia Shakespeare, a professional theatre-in-residence. Renowned for its groundbreaking core program, Oglethorpe is a member of the Annapolis Group, comprised of America’s most selective liberal arts institutions, and has been named among U.S. News & World Report’s Best Liberal Arts Colleges, Forbes’ America’s Best Colleges, and Princeton Review’s Best Southeastern Colleges. The Oglethorpe Stormy Petrels compete in the NCAA Division III Southern Athletic Association. Website:

Contact: Renee Vary at 404-364-8868 or [email protected]