Centre College’s 194th Commencement will take place at 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 21, in Newlin Hall of the Norton Center for the Arts. The 2017 graduation exercises will begin with the Baccalaureate ceremony, which will take place in the same location at 11 a.m. that morning.
The Class of 2017 features an expected 325 graduates hailing from four foreign countries—China, Myanmar, South Korea and Vietnam—and 24 American states. Collectively, the class boasts a four-year graduation rate of 84 percent, with the five top declared majors including economics and finance, behavioral neuroscience, international studies, English and politics.
During their four years at Centre, a total of 83 percent of the class also studied abroad or away, contributing to the College’s #3 national ranking for global study by the Institute of International Education.
Among the varied pursuits following graduation from Centre are three graduates who will go on to participate in Teach For America: Annalea Wilson, who will be teaching in Memphis, Tennessee; Mary Chapin Snow, who will work in Indianapolis; and Madison Stuart, who will teach in Hawaii.
Again this year, the Commencement and Baccalaureate ceremonies will stream live on the Centre College website.
Baccalaureate 2017 | Sunday, May 21 at 11 a.m.
Thomas McCollough, Nelson D. and Mary McDowell Rodes Professor of Religion, will give the baccalaureate sermon prior to Centre’s 194th Commencement.
Since 1980, McCollough has taught religion and history at Centre, and he has held the Rhodes Professorship since 2002. In 2009, he received the Kirk Teaching Award, and in 2012, was named Kentucky Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation and Council for the Advancement and Support of Education. In 2013, he was selected as the Annual Professor at the Albright Institute for Archeological Research in Jerusalem and spent the spring of 2013 in residence.
McCollough has specific expertise in the history of Christianity and Christian thought, biblical history and archeology and the contemporary Middle East. He is the director of the Archeological Excavations at Khirbet Qana (Cana of Galilee), and since 2008, he has been the program director for the Istanbul Program offered by the Kentucky Institute for International Studies.
Since 1985, he has been the assistant director of archaeological digs in Sepphoris, Israel, taking along a number of Centre students for summer excavations during this time. In 1992 and 1993, he and his students were part of a team that uncovered rare amulets at Sepphoris that are estimated to be around 2,000 years old.
He and fellow Centre professor Beth Glazier-McDonald have published scholarly articles about the amulets in “Atiqot and Archaeological Odyssey.” McCollough is a co-editor, along with Douglas R. Edwards, of “Archaeology and the Galilee: Text and Context in the Graeco-Roman and Byzantine Periods.” He also has published articles in academic journals including Studi Patristica and Religious Studies Review. He has forthcoming books entitled “Ancient Christian Commentary of the Book of Daniel” and another co-edited book entitled “The Archaeology of Difference.” He recently received a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship to support his research and publication of the excavations at Sepphoris.
McCollough earned a B.A. at the University of Florida, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees at the University of Notre Dame. He also received an M.Div. degree from Duke University.
Commencement 2017 | Sunday, May 22 at 3 p.m.
The featured address at this year’s Commencement will be given by J.D. Vance, a New York Times best-selling author.
After a childhood spent in the Appalachian town of Jackson, Ky., and the Rust Belt city of Middletown, Ohio, Vance enlisted in the Marine Corps and served in Iraq. Following college and law school, he worked for an investment group in California.
Vance now lives in Ohio with his wife and two dogs. In a March 16, 2017, New York Times op-ed titled “Why I’m Moving Home,” Vance explained his decision to relocate to Ohio and create an organization to combat the opioid epidemic there.
Vance holds a B.A. in political science and philosophy from Ohio State University and earned his J.D. degree from Yale Law School, where he was an editor of the Yale Law Journal.
Centre will award an honorary degree to Vance during the Commencement ceremony.
All seats for Commencement are by ticket only.
Follow the Commencement weekend conversation—and contribute your own photos—on social media with #CentreGrad17.
by Centre College News
May 18, 2017