category: Campus News President O’Brien to address graduates a final time during commencement category: Campus News | December 7, 2018 Ceremony will be streamed live here during commencement. (Dec. 7, 2018) – Carson-Newman University will hold its Winter Commencement ceremony on Friday, Dec. 14. The 2 p.m. ceremony will be held in the University’s Holt Fieldhouse. University President J. Randall O’Brien will deliver the commencement address. It will be his final Carson-Newman commencement as he concludes his presidency Dec. 31. The University’s 22nd president announced his retirement in July. O’Brien began his presidency in 2008, having previously served as provost at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. During his tenure, O’Brien oversaw such progress as the institution’s name change from “college” to “university,” multiple historic enrollment records, and growth in online and graduate programs. But it was he and his wife Kay’s commitment to building community, both on campus and beyond, that endeared them to many. Founded in 1851, Carson-Newman is a Christian liberal arts university located in Jefferson City, Tennessee, among the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. The University has over 2,500 students and offers 50 undergraduate majors, as well as associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees.