University holds Winter Commencement, celebrates 200 graduates

Campus News | December 11, 2021

Dr. Beth Rushing, president of the Appalachian College Association, speaks to Carson-Newman graduates during the University’s Winter Commencement.

Carson-Newman University held its Winter Commencement on Friday, Dec. 10. Some 200 graduates walked the stage at the Sevierville Convention Center during the ceremony.

Dr. Beth Rushing, a 1981 C-N alumna and president of the Appalachian College Association (ACA), delivered the commencement address that focused on failure. She challenged graduates to focus on what they have control over and see virtue and opportunity where others might see and obstacle or disaster.

“Successful failure requires learning from what doesn’t work,” Rushing said. “We wouldn’t be here today is we let our past failures define us. Successful failing is the key to moving forward,” she said, adding. “It’s what happens next after a failure that matters most.”

Founded in 1851, Carson-Newman is a Christian liberal arts-based university affiliated with the Tennessee Baptist Convention. The University is located in Jefferson City, Tennessee, among the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. Carson-Newman offers 50 undergraduate majors, as well as associate, bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees.