Virginia University of Lynchburg-Suffolk holds 13th commencement

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 14, 2005

The Virginia University of Lynchburg-Suffolk teaching site, held its 13th commencement exercises in Suffolk at 7 p.m. May 3 at Pleasant Union Baptist Church.

The commencement address was given by Rev. Dr. Fred Boddie, an adjunct professor at Hampton University. He is a member of Mt. Hermon Baptist Church in Portsmouth. The Mt. Hermon Baptist Church Choir rendered the music.

The 115th commencement exercises were also held on the main campus on May 7 in Humbles Hall in Lynchburg.

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The following graduates from Suffolk received special honors: Lillian LeMelle, Catherine Hamlin, Mary Mason and Barbara Butler. Rose Cooper received the highest grade point average of all the graduates.

The Rev. Dr. Ralph Reavis, Ph.D. is president of this historical university. The Rev. Dr. Vaurice T. Chambers, instructor and pastor of Pleasant Union Baptist Church, received an honorary doctor of divinity degree from the university in honor of his faithful service to the university and for more than 40 years in pastoral leadership in his ministry.

One instructor, the Rev. Dr. Milliard F. Boone III, pastor of Corinth Chapel U.C.C., received his doctor of ministry degree. His Dissertation was entitled: &uot;Empowering A Local Congre-gation for Social Justice Activism in the Twenty-First Century&uot;.

The Rev. Dr. Joseph Goode, pastor of Mt. Sinai Baptist Church, also received an honorary doctor of divinity degree.

Virginia University of Lynchburg carries a great history, founded in May 1886 as the Virginia Theological Seminary. It is the oldest school of higher learning in Lynchburg, and the only historically black college in the western part of the state.

The school has been attained accreditation candidacy status from the Transnational Associ-ation of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS). Among other things, the candidacy status makes the school and its students eligible for federal funding and financial aid.

Last year the university launched a new academic program leading to a bachelor of arts degree in sociology. This has complimented the university’s extending programs leading to a certificate in ministry, an associate’s degree in Arts and Sciences, a bachelor’s of arts degree in religious studies, a master’s of divinity and a doctor of ministry.

The following students graduated from the Suffolk teaching site:

Master of divinity degree: Barbara Ann Picot Butler, Rose Marie Cooper, Terry Bernard Norman; bachelor of arts in religious studies: Bill Darby, Ethel Laverne Holland, Gracie Riddick King, Lillian L. Lemelle; certificate in ministry, Robert Jenious Branch, Maggie Goodman Gay, Barbara Jean Greene, Daisie Lee Hall, Catherine Hamlin, Dora Artis Lee, May Nyoka Mason, Nora Linda Morris, Sandra Lynn Perrin, James Thomas Scott and Mamie Renee Vaughan.

The Suffolk teaching site is now taking applications for the fall semester, which will run from Aug. 30 through Dec. 13, 2005.

For more information call Dr. Chambers at 934-8175 or 934-0191.