Anderson University will welcome Grammy and Dove award-winning Christian recording artist Steven Curtis Chapman as commencement speaker on May 7.
Chapman will address the graduating class of 2011 during the 3 p.m. (EDT) program and will receive an honorary doctorate along with the Rev. Charles Myricks, chief operating development officer for the National Association of the Church of God, and Dr. Beverley Pitts, president of the University of Indianapolis. Anderson University’s commencement will be conducted in the Ward Fieldhouse of the Kardatzke Wellness Center. Myricks will speak earlier in the day during Anderson University’s baccalaureate service at 10 a.m in Reardon Auditorium. All events are free and open to the public. AU will offer a live webcast during Commencement starting at 2:45 p.m. EDT.
Other events scheduled during Anderson University’s commencement day on May 7 include the Falls School of Business hooding ceremony at 11:30 a.m. in Byrum Hall for candidates of both Master of Business Administration and Doctor of Business Administration degrees.
The hooding ceremony for the Master of Education and the Master of Music Education will be conducted at noon in Schield Dining Room, Olt Student Center. The certification ceremony for the Teach for Indiana Program (TIP) will be conducted at 10 a.m. in Decker Hall, Room 133.
Events earlier in the week include the School of Theology Senior Recognition and Awards Chapel on Tuesday, April 26, at 11 a.m. in Miller Chapel. The hooding ceremony for the Doctor of Ministry graduates will take place on Friday, May 6, at 6 p.m. in Miller Chapel. In addition, a special pinning ceremony for the Anderson University School of Nursing will be conducted on Friday, May 6, at 6 p.m. in Byrum Hall.
Individuals receiving honorary degrees during the May 7 commencement ceremony at Anderson University include the following:
STEVEN CURTIS CHAPMAN — DOCTOR OF MUSIC
Steven Curtis Chapman is a Christian singer, songwriter, record producer, actor, and author. He attended Anderson University in the early 1980s while starting his career as a songwriter. Chapman has developed into one of the most prolific singers in the genre, releasing more than 20 albums to date. Chapman has also won five Grammy awards and 56 Gospel Music Association Dove Awards, more than any other artist in history. His seven "Artist of the Year" Dove Awards — his latest in 2009 — are also an industry record. In addition to his music career, Chapman, along with his wife Mary Beth (also an AU alum), established a nonprofit foundation called Show Hope (formerly called Shaohannah's Hope) to mobilize individuals and communities to care for orphans through its international orphan care work as well as adoption aid grants. Chapman plans a summer 2011 album release for his new project titled re:creation.
CHARLES MYRICKS — DOCTOR OF DIVINITY
Charles Myricks, Jr., is a gifted musician and playwright with a deep love of music. He graduated from Anderson University in 1982 and went on to receive his Master of Arts degree from Ashland Theological Seminary. He has served as vice president and general manager of Word Gospel Records. Under his leadership, Word Gospel artists received 3 Grammy Awards, 8 Dove Awards, and 12 Stellar Awards. He has served as a trustee at Anderson University and in ministry with the Arlington Church of God in Akron, Ohio. He currently works as chief operating development officer for the National Association of the Church of God.
DR. BEVERLEY PITTS — DOCTOR OF LETTERS
Dr. Beverley Pitts serves as president of the University of Indianapolis. In that capacity, she oversees an institution with 4,500 students, including a branch campus in Athens, Greece, and doctoral programs in occupational therapy, physical therapy, and clinical psychology. She earned a BA from Anderson University in 1968 and an MA in journalism and doctorate in higher education from Ball State University. Prior to becoming provost at Ball State University, she held positions of associate provost, assistant provost, director of academic assessment, and director of general studies at Ball State. She was also founding chair of the Department of Communication at Anderson University.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2010, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the seventh consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing, and theology.