• Carson-Newman's philosophy program taught me to think critically and analytically, write persuasively and concisely, and articulate my views clearly and respectfully.
    Alex Carver, 2015 / Law Clerk to the Honorable R. David Proctor / U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama

Congressman Tim Burchett to deliver Commencement address

Campus News | April 23, 2019

U.S. Congressman Tim Burchett


(April 23, 2018) JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. — Carson-Newman University will host Congressman Tim Burchett and Beecher Hunter, president of Life Care Centers of America, for the University’s Spring Commencement ceremonies on Friday, May 3.

The University will graduate more than 550 students this spring.

The undergraduate commencement ceremony will take place at 9 a.m. in Burke-Tarr Stadium, featuring Burchett as guest speaker.

The graduate ceremony will follow at 7 p.m. in Holt Fieldhouse, with Hunter providing the address.

As we celebrate our graduating students’ perseverance and success, it is a great honor to welcome to campus our guest speakers, both of whom also represent a vital part of our mission and desire for our students’ futures — servant-leadership,” said University Interim President Paul Percy. “We are thankful for their willingness to share their impressive accomplishments and experiences with our graduates.”

Burchett took office in January 2019 after serving eight years as Knox County mayor. Prior to that, he was a business owner and served 16 years in the state legislature — four years in the State House followed by 12 years in the State Senate.

Burchett currently serves on the House Budget, Foreign Affairs and Small Business committees. His stated goals include supporting veterans, identifying free-market healthcare solutions and facilitating energy independence.

Life Care Centers of America operates more than 200 nursing facilities in 28 states with corporate offices in Cleveland. Hunter joined Life Care in 1986 as vice president of communications and eventually served as executive vice president of corporate and community relations until being named president in 2006.

Hunter is a former president of the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce and the Cleveland Family YMCA. A veteran, he served nine years with the Tennessee Army National Guard.

In the event of inclement weather, undergraduate ceremonies will be split into three services located in the Holt Fieldhouse.

The first ceremony will be at 9 a.m. and will include art, photography, communication, English, film, history, interdisciplinary studies, music, political science, philosophy, psychology, religion, human services, sociology, social entrepreneurship, theatre, linguistics, world languages and associate degree graduates.

The second undergraduate ceremony at 11 a.m. will include biology, bio-chemistry, chemistry, computer science, mathematics, physics, education, human exceptionalities, special education, physical education and exercise science graduates.

Those graduating from the departments of business, family and consumer science, and nursing will participate in the final undergraduate ceremony at 2 p.m.

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 doctorate degrees.