Vanderbilt Chancellor Gee addresses Centre’s largest graduating class ever
Encourages graduates to be “conveyors of truth” and to “act with integrity”
RELEASED: May 25, 2006
DANVILLE, KY—Addressing Centre College’s largest graduating class ever, Gordon Gee, Chancellor of Vanderbilt University, encouraged the Class of 2006 to be “bringers of light and conveyors of truth” and “to act with integrity in a culture that is being pulled toward disintegration.” He also described Centre as "one of America's most distinguished liberal arts colleges."
Proclaiming this to be an “ornery age, encrusted with bad habits,” where integrity and truth have become rare commodities, Gee asserted that “universities and colleges, by their nature, by our nature, have to be places of truth and light, of fact not fiction, of clarity that is not clouded.”
“Many have found it the fashion lately to accuse universities of having a cultural bias,” Gee said. “That accusation is true. We are biased–toward the search for verifiable truth, toward ideas and their free exchange.”
“I dearly hope,” Gee continued, that “every single student in cap and gown today leaves Centre College a partisan of fact, and free communication, and clarity.”
“For colleges and universities should not be islands of truth. Truth is notan island. It should not have to be sought out as a quiet, calm refuge amid churning seas of chatter, chat, and propaganda. It should be a continent, a whole planet.”
Two hundred and sixty-four seniors received degrees at Centre’s 183rd commencement. Valedictorian prizes were presented to A. Ryan Reynolds and Jamie Zuehl. Reynolds, of Sumter, S.C., received the George Winston Welsh Valedictorian Prize as the top male graduate and will attend the University of Virginia medical school in the fall. Zuehl, of San Antonio, Texas, received the Gavin Easton Wiseman Valedictorian Prize as the top female graduate. She plans to help start a school in Ecuador after graduation.
Gee is one of the most experienced chief executives in higher education. Before coming to Vanderbilt, Gee was previously president of Brown University, The Ohio State University, the University of Colorado and West Virginia University.A joint degree recipient in law and education from Columbia University, Gee has served as assistant dean for the University of Utah College of Law; judicial fellow and senior staff assistant for United States chief justice Warren Burger; associate dean and professor at J. Reuben Clark Law School of Brigham Young University; and dean at West Virginia University.
- end -
Founded in 1819, Centre College is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges. Centre alumni, known for their nation-leading loyalty in annual financial support, include two U.S. vice presidents and two Supreme Court justices. For more, visit http://www.centre.edu/web/elevatorspeech/
For news archives go to http://www.centre.edu/web/news/newsarchive.html.
600 W. Walnut Street
Danville, KY 40422
Public Information Coordinator: Telephone 859-238-5714