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Photos from LeMoyne-Owen College's 149th Commencement and Lantern Service

Photos from LeMoyne-Owen College's 149th Commencement and Lantern Service

LeMoyne-Owen College had its largest graduating class in recent years when it conferred 156 Bachelor degrees and four Associate degrees to graduates during LOC’s 149th Commencement May 11, 2019 at Mt. Vernon Baptist Church-Westwood.

Highlights included Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees awarded to “Greenleaf” actor, and activist, Lamman Rucker and the former lead singer of the legendary Bar-Kays Larry Dodson. Rucker also delivered the commencement’s keynote address.

Alison Turner, who has been working to obtain a college diploma since graduating for Hamilton High School in 1978, was awarded three degrees -- an Associate of Arts in general studies, a Bachelor of Arts in music and a Bachelor of Business Administration in management. Each degree was conferred with a cum laude designation.

Dr. Moniruzzaman Syed, a professor of physics, was awarded the T.R. McLemore Award, which salutes an outstanding full-time faculty member with three or more years of service and whose efforts have made a difference in the lives of students.

Dr. McLemore joined the college’s Board of Trustees in 1940 and remained active until his death in 2001. Trustees and many others admired Dr. McLemore for his impeccable record keeping ability as board secretary and widely regarded him as the college’s unofficial historian.

Dr. McLemore also worked tirelessly to secure the future of the college, traveling across the country to raise money to erect the Alma C. Hanson Student Center, C. Arthur Bruce Hall/Jerry Johnson Gymnasium, and Gibson-Orgill Hall. LeMoyne-Owen College awarded him an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree in 1981 in recognition of his dedicated service and immeasurable contributions to the mission, heritage and financial health of the institution.

This year’s Lantern Service keynote speaker was 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.

During the Lantern Service, it was announced that Jarianna Bates was the winner of the William Cross Award for Excellence in Student Leadership Award.

Cross (LOC Class of 1957) was the college’s first Dean of Students after LeMoyne College merged with Owen Junior College in 1968. The award recognizes and celebrates a graduating senior, who has put their leadership skills into practice on campus, in the classroom and in the community.

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