Skip to main content

Tennessee Wesleyan University to host sixth Winter Commencement on Friday

December 6, 2017

For media information, contact
Dr. Joanne Landers


Tennessee Wesleyan University will host Winter Commencement 2017 this Friday, Dec. 8. The ceremony will take place at 7 p.m. at Townsend Auditorium on the TWU campus.

84 students are slated to receive their Master of Business Administration, Bachelor of Science, and Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees.

In addition, the Athens Area Chamber of Commerce Awards will be presented to the male and female undergraduate students with the highest cumulative grade-point average.

After the conferring of degrees, the ceremony will conclude with the lighting of the candles, symbolizing the passing of truth and knowledge to graduates.

The guest speaker for Winter Commencement is the Rev. Dr. Samuel R. Roberts, an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church and a member of the West Virginia Annual Conference.  He is also an affiliate member of the Holston Conference, having served on numerous conference boards and agencies in both annual conferences and at the general church level.

The Rev. Dr.  Roberts was born and raised in southern West Virginia. He graduated from Sophia High School and then attended West Virginia Wesleyan College, where he majored in Bible and religion, and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree, magna cum laude, in 1973. He graduated from Yale University Divinity School in 1976 with a Master of Divinity degree and from the Graduate School at Drew University with a Master of Philosophy degree in 1983 and a Ph.D. in 1985.

Coming to Tennessee Wesleyan in 1986, the Rev. Dr. Roberts initially served as the chaplain and was a teacher in the Religion and Philosophy Department. Later, he assumed a full-time teaching position in the department and served as department chair. He is married to the Rev. Stella M. Roberts. They have two dogs and enjoy fishing and camping. In addition, he is accomplished at playing old time music on the banjo.

About Tennessee Wesleyan University

Tennessee Wesleyan University is a comprehensive liberal arts institution affiliated with the United Methodist Church and dedicated to helping students be more. We ensure each student receives a quality education based in the liberal arts, with dedicated faculty and staff providing resources and support for students to learn the skills they need to succeed in their careers and in life. We enhance our community and our world by growing servant leaders. Tennessee Wesleyan provides individualized attention and support for every student, helping each one to be more.

For more information about Tennessee Wesleyan University, visit, like us on Facebook at or follow us on Twitter @TNWesleyan.