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Birmingham-Southern College to present four with honorary degrees

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.-Birmingham-Southern is presenting four individuals with honorary degrees in May and June in recognition of distinguished careers and service to the college.

Business and civic leaders Ruby Ansley of Birmingham, owner of Ruby Ansley Interiors; William J. "Bill" Edwards of North Palm Beach, Fla., retired broadcasting executive; and Clay C. Long of Atlanta, attorney, founding partner, and chairman with Long, Aldridge, & Norman LLP, will receive Honorary Doctor of Laws degrees at the college's commencement ceremonies May 25 in Boutwell Auditorium in Birmingham.

Bishop Larry M. Goodpaster of Montgomery, bishop of the Alabama-West Florida Area of The United Methodist Church, will receive an Honorary Doctor of Divinity degree during the Alabama-West Florida Annual Conference June 3 in Montgomery.

Ansley attended Birmingham-Southern and received a bachelor's degree from the University of Alabama. She is co-founder of the Alabama chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers, and over the years has donated her interior design services and time to such college projects as the Sorority Townhouses and preservation of the President's Home.

Edwards attended Birmingham-Southern and is a life member of its Board of Trustees. He worked in radio and television in several states, including at WBRC Radio (now WERC Radio) in Birmingham. He and his wife, Julia, established the William J. and Julia M. Edwards Scholarship at the college in 1989, and, in 1999, made possible the 85-foot tall Edwards Bell Tower on the campus academic quadrangle.

Long graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Birmingham-Southern in 1958 and also was Honor Council president. He received the college's Distinguished Alumni Award in 1999 and currently serves as chair of the Distinguished Alumni Selection Committee. The Harvard Law School graduate and former BSC trustee was chairman of the board of Atlanta's MARTA transportation system in 1982-84.

Goodpaster, who holds a bachelor's degree from Millsaps College and a master's and doctorate in divinity from Emory University, was Birmingham-Southern's Baccalaureate speaker in 2001 and is a member of the college's Board of Trustees. The former United Methodist Church District Superintendent for Tupelo, Miss., is only the third bishop elected from that state in the last four decades.

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