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May 4, 2007 - Hastings College announces Baccalaureate and Commencement speakers
Hastings College’s 121st Baccalaureate and Commencement are scheduled for May 18 and 19. Baccalaureate will take place at 6 p.m., Friday, May 18, at First Presbyterian Church, 621 N. Lincoln Ave., and Commencement will be held Saturday, May 19, at 10 a.m., in Lynn Farrell Arena, Osborne Family Sports Complex, 800 E. 12 St.
The Rev. Dr. M. Jean Heriot, associate director of Vocational Discernment and Service Learning and assistant professor of sociology and religion, will deliver the Baccalaureate sermon.
Rev. Kimberlee Maphis Early, coordinator of the Lilly Endowment Inc.’s Programs for the Theological Exploration of Vocation (PTEV), will be the Commencement speaker. At the ceremony, Maphis Early will receive an honorary doctor of divinity degree.
Also receiving honorary degrees at the ceremony will be Judy Sandeen, James Smith, and David Spillane.
Sandeen, who will retire as director of campus health services, will receive an honorary doctor of education degree. Smith, retiring college registrar and assistant professor of physical education, will receive an honorary doctor of education. Spillane, an Irish musician who has performed on the low whistle and uilleann pipes at Hastings College, will be awarded an honorary doctor of fine arts.
Dr. Daniel Schmidt, who is retiring after 13 years as professor of music and director of bands, will receive a citation of appreciation.
Heriot is an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister and a cultural anthropologist. She teaches service-learning classes that provide students opportunities to consider ethical and spiritual dimensions in their life’s work and to consider careers of service to others. Heriot has taken students to Chicago, St. Louis, Appalachia, Mexico, and Guatemala for service project work, and coordinates local service projects for students at homeless shelters, museums, churches and assisted living facilities. Students have served more than 50,000 hours in the past four years.
In 1994, Heriot’s book Blessed Assurance: Beliefs, Actions and the Experience of Salvation in a Carolina Baptist Church was published, and she is working on a second book regarding women's experiences in liberal religious communities. Heriot has published numerous articles in the fields of cultural anthropology, religion, and service-learning.
Heriot received a bachelor of arts degree in anthropology and history at the University of South Carolina, Columbia; and completed master’s and doctoral degrees in anthropology at the University of California-Los Angeles. She also completed a master of divinity degree in religion at Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley.
An ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA), Maphis Early oversees grant programming totaling nearly $221 million at 88 colleges and universities throughout the United States.
Maphis Early provided guidance and vision during the implementation and planning of Hastings College’s Vocation and Values Program. Since 2002, the college has received nearly $2.5 million in grant funding from the Lilly Endowment Inc. for the program which focuses on the theological exploration of vocation.
Maphis Early has experience in pastoral ministry, theological education, and in a private writing and consulting practice. A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, she earned a master of divinity degree at Vanderbilt University Divinity School, Nashville, Tenn.
Hastings College, founded in 1882, is a private, four-year liberal arts institution affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). A total of 64 majors in 32 areas of study and 12 pre-professional programs are offered to 1,110 students. The college was cited among top liberal arts colleges, national bachelor’s category, in U.S. News and World Report, America’s Best Colleges 2007, and was listed as a Best Midwestern College and a Best Value College by The Princeton Review.