59-year-old Memphis woman to receive three degrees from LeMoyne-Owen College
When LeMoyne-Owen College confers 156 bachelor and four associate degrees to graduates Saturday, May 11, 59-year-old Alison Turner will receive three of those.
Turner, whose college degree quest began when she graduated from Hamilton High School in 1978, will receive an Associate of Arts in general studies, a Bachelor of Arts in music and a Bachelor of Business Administration in management. Each degree will be conferred with a cum laude designation.
At 160, this academic year saw the largest number of earned degrees at LOC in several years. The commencement ceremony begins at 10:00 a.m. Saturday at Mt. Vernon Baptist Church-Westwood at 620 Parkrose Road.
Turner said her 40-year trek to earning her degrees was along a road filled with detours caused by the good and bad things that occur in life – motherhood, health issues, and money problems, among other things.
Why three degrees? “Over the course of time,” she said, “it started with one thing and my interests just grew.”
She took classes at the University of Memphis and then at Christian Brothers University. She enrolled at LeMoyne-Owen College in 2014, but had to stop taking classes because she couldn’t pay tuition. Then she suffered a fall that left her severely injured.
Despite the obstacles, she said, “I’m wiser and better for the experiences.”
“Greenleaf” actor and activist Lamman Rucker will deliver the commencement address. Rucker and the legendary former lead singer for the Bar-Kays Larry Dodson will be awarded Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees during the ceremony.
Commencement weekend also includes the annual Lantern Service the night before commencement, May 10. This year’s Lantern Service keynote speaker is Dr. Andrea Curry, a sought-after motivational speaker and passionate health care advocate and researcher.
She is a graduate of Memphis’ Hillcrest High School and Christian Brothers University. She obtained her Ph.D. in health services from Walden University in 2018. Her research evaluated the relationship between racial health disparities and the patient-provider relationship.
The Lantern Service begins at 7 p.m. at Metropolitan Baptist Church, 767 Walker Ave., next door to the college. It is preceded by a 6:45 p.m. procession of faculty and staff, adorned in their academic regalia, from the LOC campus to the church.
Commencement weekend also includes alumni reunion activities. During the commencement ceremony, the LOC Classes of 1959 (Diamond), 1969 (Golden) and 1994 (Silver) will be recognized. Other reunion events include an alumni mixer hosted by LOC President Andrea Lewis Miller at 6 p.m. Thursday in LOC’s Brownlee Hall and a symposium facilitated by Katrina Thomas (Class of 1982), Dr. Clarence Christian (Class of 1968) and Jeffrey Higgs (Class of 1984) beginning at 11:30 a.m. Friday in LOC’s GOH building room 111.