• Carson-Newman's passionate professors went above and beyond to help me navigate through the MAT program. Stimulating lessons like simulations and case studies helped me apply knowledge to real-life situations. As a first-year teacher, I felt more than ready on my first day of teaching 6th grade.
    SAMANTHA STARNES, 2018 / Teacher / Oliver Springs Middle School

Congressman John Duncan, Jr. to deliver Spring Commencement Address

Campus News | April 25, 2016

CLICK HERE to watch live streaming of Spring Commencement 2016, Friday May 6.

(April 25, 2016) –Carson-Newman University has announced speakers for its Undergraduate and Graduate Spring Commencement Ceremonies on Friday, May 6. U.S. Congressman John J. Duncan, Jr. will speak to undergraduates while Carson-Newman Board of Trustees Chair Janet Hayes will deliver the graduate address. An estimated 400 students are anticipated to graduate this spring, a record for the University.

The undergraduate ceremony will be at 9 a.m. at Burke-Tarr Stadium with the graduate ceremony being held at 7 p.m. in Holt Field House.

"We are excited about welcoming Congressman Duncan and Board Chair Hayes to our commencement exercises," said University President Randall J. O'Brien. "Our entire Carson-Newman family will benefit greatly from the addresses of these two esteemed servant-leaders. What wonderful role models our distinguished guests are for our graduating class."

A native of Lebanon, Tennessee, Congressman Duncan was raised in Knoxville and received his Bachelor of Journalism degree from the University of Tennessee before earning his law degree from George Washington University National Law Center in Washington, D.C.

Duncan has served his state and country as a veteran, state trial judge, and has been a member of Congress since 1988. He currently serves on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

His efforts to cut government waste, reduce taxes and limit bureaucratic red tape have been featured by such news outlets as FOX News, ABC News, CBS News, CNN and The Wall Street Journal. His dedication to such causes led him to be named the most fiscally conservative member of the U.S. House by the National Taxpayers Union as well as one of the few members of Congress to receive the Citizens Against Government Waste Super Hero Award.

Before earning her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Tennessee, Hayes graduated magna cum laude from Carson-Newman in 1993. She began serving on the University's Board of Trustees in 2009, and is the current board chair.

She is an attorney at Knoxville's Lewis Thomason where she was elected shareholder in 2002 and elected to the board of directors the following year. In 2008, Knoxville Business Journal named her as one of Knoxville's "Top 40 Under 40." She has been named "Top Attorney" in employment law in Knoxville by CityView Magazine multiple years.

In the event of inclement weather, undergraduate ceremony will be split into two services located in Holt Field House. The first ceremony will be at 9 a.m. and will include Athletic Training, Art, Biology, Chemistry, Communications, Education, English, Exercise Science, Film, History, Math, Music, Political Science, Philosophy, Physics, Psychology, Religion, Sociology and World Languages.

The second undergraduate ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. and includes Business, Family and Consumer Sciences and Nursing graduates.