||Carol Tate '75 to give baccalaureate speech
RELEASED: May 21, 2009
DANVILLE, KY—Carol Ann Tate '75 will give the address at the baccalaureate service to be held Sunday, May 24 at 11 a.m. in Newlin Hall of Centre College's Norton Center for the Arts. She will receive the honorary degree of doctor of divinity during the commencement ceremony.
Tate was born in Monticello, Ky., and her three loves became clear in her early life: love of learning, love of music and love of the church. Her years at Centre furthered her interests in all three areas. She studied organ with Dr. Robert L. Weaver, served as the organist of Trinity Episcopal Church in Danville and deepened her love of the humanities. She prepared her junior organ recital on the then-new Casavant organ literally as the Norton Center for the Arts (then called the Regional Arts Center) was being built around her.
Named to Phi Beta Kappa in her junior year, she received awards in music and religion, graduated summa cum laude and was one of two female valedictorians for 1975. In addition to Dr. Weaver, Centre professors David Newhall, Eric Mount, and Milton Reigelman helped to shape her life.
She went on to the New England Conservatory in Boston to receive a master of music degree in organ performance and returned to Centre as a part-time faculty member, college organist and director of music for the Danville Presbyterian Church. Tate won the 1985 Fuller International Organ Festival Bach Competition. Her career as a church musician enabled her to serve Baptist, Episcopal, Methodist, Presbyterian and Lutheran congregations. She last served Westminster Presbyterian Church in Nashville, Tenn., as the head of a large music program.
Having grown up in a denomination that did not permit the ordination of women, Tate waited to pursue her sense of call to ministry and completed a Master of Divinity degree at Vanderbilt Divinity School in 2000. She graduated at the top of her class with an award-winning senior project. In 2007 Tate completed a three-year Lilly grant from the Institute for Clergy Excellence, which allowed her to study both mega-churches and mainline flagship churches across the country and took her to Turkey to learn more about the intersection of Islam, Christianity and Judaism. For several years, Tate prepared and conducted the choir of Congregation Micah of Nashville in their High Holy Day music. In 2002, the Presbytery of Middle Tennessee asked Tate to establish a new congregation in the Presbyterian Church of the United States of America (PCUSA). Tate was instrumental in the establishment of the Emmanuel Presbyterian Church and now serves as its pastor.
Tate is married to The Reverend Dr. K. C. Ptomey, and is the mother of John, 26, and Liz, 21.
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Founded in 1819, Centre College is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges. Consumers Digest ranks Centre No. 1 in educational value among all U.S. 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/
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