Maryville College announces 2017 commencement speakers

Maryville College has announced both its Commencement and Baccalaureate speakers for its May 21 graduation ceremony for the class of 2017. Dr. Frances Henderson, associate professor of political science at Maryville College, will be this year’s baccalaureate speaker. This year’s commencement speaker will be Jack Spencer, an internationally recognized public health professional.

Spencer, a graduate of the class of 1965, is known for his expertise in disease prevention. According to a news release from the college, Spencer’s address is titled “You Are Now Entering the Mission Field,” and the Scripture reading will be from Philippians 2:1-7, Mark 9:35 and John 20:21.

Spencer will also be receiving an honorary doctor of public health degree from the college during the commencement ceremony to celebrate his work in the health field.

Also according to a news release from the college, Spencer has served the public health field in a multitude of ways including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention since 1965. Spencer served as the program manager and director of operations for the CDC, as well as the deputy director of the Division of STD/HIV Prevention.

Spencer also served as chief of the CDC Global AIDS Program in Cambodia, and later served as a management consultant for the program, providing support to at least 15 different countries. Most recently, Spencer has worked with the Department of Health and Human Services to hire a specialized global health workforce in order to fight against public health threats.

Spencer is a decorated public health professional, receiving various awards including the William C. Watson Medal of Excellence presented by the CDC as its highest award.

For the Baccalaureate service, Maryville College’s beloved professor, Henderson, will speak to the class of 2017 to kick off the graduation celebration activities. Henderson is a, associate professor of political science at the college, and received her political science degree from Washington University in St. Louis.

According the news release by the college, her sermon is titled “Doing Good on the Largest Scale Possible,” and the Scripture reading is from Isaiah 51:7-8 and Galatians 5:13.

Henderson’s title echoes the overall mission of the college and how it has pushed its students to succeed both on and off campus. As a well appreciated professor of the college, Henderson’s sermon is sure to remind the class of their missions going into all of their different fields.

Henderson will be speaking in the Clayton Center for the Arts’ Ronald and Lynda Nutt Theatre, the baccalaureate ceremony will begin at 10 a.m on the day of commencement. Spencer is set to speak during the commencement ceremony which begins at 3:30 p.m. on the lawn next to Anderson Hall.

Come out to celebrate the class of 2017 and to hear both Spencer and Henderson relay what are sure to be words of wisdom to all.

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