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May 17, 2006

Award-winning faculty member to deliver Birmingham-Southern's Commencement address

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—Professor of English John D. Tatter will address the Birmingham-Southern College class of 2006 during the college's Sesquicentennial Commencement ceremonies Saturday, May 27 at 3:30 p.m.

Tatter was named the Birmingham-Southern Outstanding Educator of the Year last May for the 2004-05 academic year in recognition of excellence in all aspects of teaching. The award includes a $2,500 cash stipend and an invitation to speak at this year's Commencement.

He will deliver the keynote address at the 147th event in Boutwell Auditorium in downtown Birmingham. More than 3,500 family members and friends are expected to attend Commencement, where Birmingham-Southern will confer some 276 bachelor's degrees, 23 master's degrees, and five honorary degrees.

Birmingham-Southern's Commencement Day begins with the Baccalaureate Service at 10:30 a.m. in Bill Battle Coliseum on campus. Bishop William H. Willimon, leader of the North Alabama Conference of the United Methodist Church, will be the keynote speaker.

The college's traditional Capping Ceremony is set for 6 p.m. on Friday, May 26, in Bill Battle Coliseum. During the ceremony, graduating students are “capped” with their mortar boards by a loved one or friend.

Tatter joined the BSC faculty in 1985. He received a bachelor's degree from Houghton College in 1976. He earned a master's degree and a Ph.D. from Ohio University in 1979 and 1984, respectively.

Willimon was elected bishop of the United Methodist Church North Alabama Conference in July 2004. Prior to this appointment, he was dean of the chapel and professor of Christian ministry at Duke University for 20 years. He earned a bachelor's degree from Wofford College in 1968, a master's degree from Yale Divinity School in 1971, and a doctorate from Emory University in 1973. He was named as the first Distinguished Alumnus of Yale Divinity School.

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