BRISTOL, Tenn. — More than 200 students achieved their associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s level degrees Saturday during King University’s 2023 commencement ceremony.
“Attaining a college degree is something that happens not only through individual commitment, but also with the support of community,” said Matt Roberts, provost of King. “Today we celebrate our graduates whose dedication to academic practice has resulted in this crowning achievement. We also recognize those family members and friends who have provided assistance and encouragement throughout this process, and are honored to welcome many guests to campus today.”
James E. McPherson, former Under Secretary for the Army and former Acting Secretary of the Navy, delivered the commencement address. He is the only individual in recent history to serve in secretarial roles for both branches of service.
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As part of the ceremony, King presented McPherson with an honorary doctor of laws degree, a recognition that the University reserves for individuals whose lives reflect King’s mission and standards of excellence in service to others.
King also recognized The Honorable David L. Coffey, an alumnus of the Class of 1955, with an honorary doctor of laws degree. After Coffey graduated from King, he enrolled at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville to pursue an advanced degree. He then entered the business world and for the next half-century, made an impact on numerous organizations as an entrepreneur. In addition to founding multiple businesses and serving on the boards of many others, he was also repeatedly elected to the Tennessee General Assembly to serve as a representative for the Oak Ridge district.