Joan Cronan and Ted Russell to deliver spring commencement addresses
(April 17, 2014)– Carson-Newman University has announced its May 9 spring commencement speakers. Knoxville’s Joan Cronan and Dr. Ted Russell will address this year’s class. Cronan will speak to undergraduates at 9 a.m. in Burke-Tarr Stadium, while Russell will deliver the keynote address to graduate students at 7 p.m. in the sanctuary of Jefferson City’s First Baptist Church.
“We are delighted to welcome these two community leaders and national personalities to campus for our commencement exercises,” said Carson-Newman President J. Randall O’Brien. “Joan Cronan and Ted Russell are not only individuals who have excelled in their fields and many other facets of life, but they possess qualities we desire in our graduates. The foundations on which they have built their success are most commendable and worthy of emulation.”
Cronan, who joined Carson-Newman’s Board of Trustees in January, serves as women’s athletic director emeritus as well as consultant and adviser to the chancellor at the University of Tennessee. Throughout her 31-year association with UT, Cronan has helped lead one of the premier women’s athletics departments in the nation, while improving women’s athletics on a local, regional and national level. Her dedication to women’s athletics and service to her community has earned her numerous awards and recognitions.
She and her late husband Tom, who served on faculty at Carson-Newman, have two daughters and several grandchildren.
Russell is a 1962 Carson-Newman graduate. He is owner of Knoxville’s Ted Russell Automotive Group, which includes Ted Russell Ford Lincoln, Ted Russell Nissan and Ted Russell Kia. A staunch supporter of the University, Russell has served as chair of the Board of Trustees, and provided the lead gift in the construction of Ted Russell Hall, home to Carson-Newman’s Department of Business. He was also awarded an honorary doctorate in 2010. Russell is an active member of East Tennessee, offering support for such organizations as the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, Center of Hope and East Tennessee Children’s Hospital.
He and his wife Drama have one daughter and several grandchildren.
Carson-Newman University is a private, Christian liberal arts institution. Founded in 1851, Carson-Newman is located in Jefferson City, Tenn., among the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. The University has 2,045 students and offers 50 undergraduate majors, as well as bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees.