Spring Commencement In Review

Commencement AudienceTennessee Wesleyan University held spring commencement exercises, this past Saturday, celebrating the graduation of the class of 2022. The event was held on the lawn in front of Colloms Campus Center.


Thumbs up!In addition to the giving of degrees, a number of awards and recognitions were given to students, faculty, and members of the community. The full list of awards is below.


Faculty LineThe commencement also marks the final for Dr. Harley Knowles, who is retiring from the presidency after 11 years of service at TWU.


The Townsend Awards

Awarded annually to the male and female from the senior class who are chosen by the faculty as exemplary representatives of the University:

Ethel Ding Kai Ci and Fabio Jorge Correa Garcia


Athens Area Chamber of Commerce Awards

Given to the male and female graduates who have achieved highest academic average:

Lydia Davis, Allie Dill, Ethel Ding Kai Ci, Brianna McKinney, and Nathan Brown


Distinguished Faculty

Dr. Dan Gilbert was recognized for his retirement as the founding director of the TWU MBA program. Dr. Gilbert will continue as full-time faculty in the Goodfriend School of Business.


Professor Linda Garza and Professor John Gaston are each retiring, after contributing immensely to the academic life of the University. Among other contributions in her 30-year tenure at TWU, Professor Garza was the founding director of the TWU Social Work program. Professor Gaston served at TWU for 16 years and was Director of Secondary Education and also supported students in the Office of Disability Services.


The Deane G. Hall Award

Dr. Sharon Brown


The Lockmiller Teacher of the Year Award

Dr. Jackson Gainer


Emeritus Status Faculty

Ms. Sandra Clareday and Dr. Sam Roberts


The Sullivan Awards

The Mary Mildred Sullivan awards were established in 1940 and are presented to a female student and a female community leader whose general conduct and relations with others indicate they possess an awareness of the beauty and value of life coupled with spirited helpfulness:

Ethel Ding Kai Ci and Ann Davis


The Algernon Sydney Sullivan awards were established in 1925 and are given to a male student and a male community leader whose lives are a continuous expression of those high qualities which enable and beautify living and bind human kindness in mutual love and helpfulness:

Haden Blair and Ray Grant


The Harry Steadman Award

Given to a friend of Tennessee Wesleyan who’s made outstanding contributions to the Holston Conference of the United Methodist Church, either through work in a local congregation or at a conference level:

Rev. Don Thomas


Honorary Degree

Honorary Doctorate of Public Service presented to Betty Keirn.



Replay of Commencement Exercises is available below.