Lincoln Memorial University

Over 400 Graduate from LMU at Fall Commencement

Harrogate, Tennessee, Dec. 14, 2019—Over 400 graduates participated in Lincoln Memorial University’s (LMU) Fall Commencement Exercises on Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019, in Tex Turner Arena on the main campus in Harrogate, Tennessee. LMU President conferred the degrees of 329 candidates and nearly 100 graduates whose degrees were conferred in August participated in the ceremony.

Professor Joe Gill gives the Commencement AddressAssistant Professor of Theater Joseph Gill gave the commencement address. During his speech, he asked the crowd to applaud the graduates. “Absorb that, take that in,” he told the Class of 2019. “That is the love that will carry you on to what is next. What comes next may be fearful but remember the opposite of fear is faith and trust. Trust that the best is yet to come.”

Gill joined the faculty of LMU in 2016 and was recognized with the University’s prestigious Houston Award for Excellence in Teaching in August 2019.

Jeannie Seely-Ward hoodingThe University bestowed an honorary Doctor of Arts degree on Grand Ole Opry veteran member Jeannie Seely-Ward in honor of her many groundbreaking accomplishments in the music industry, as well as her support and encouragement of new talent. “I just want to say how honored I am to receive this and how proud I am to be a Railsplitter,” Seely-Ward said.

Vina Hembree AwardDr. Hess presented Vina Hembree, of Ewing, Virginia, with the Mary Mildred Sullivan Civic Award. LMU is one of approximately 60 colleges and universities in the United States to have the privilege of awarding the Algernon Sydney Sullivan and Mary Mildred Sullivan Awards. The awards are given to recognize individuals whose “nobility of character” and dedication to service sets them apart as examples for others. Hembree is being recognized for her lifetime of good works which includes crocheting hats for cancer patients and blankets for babies in area hospitals, making quilts for the homeless and volunteering through her church. 


Lincoln Memorial University is a values-based learning community dedicated to providing educational experiences in the liberal arts and professional studies. The main campus is located in Harrogate, Tennessee. For more information about the undergraduate and graduate programs available at LMU, contact the Office of Admissions at 423-869-6280 or email at [email protected].


423.869.3611 | 800.325.0900
6965 Cumberland Gap Parkway
Harrogate, TN 37752