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2014 Commencement and Events

TWC to celebrate 157th Commencement

It’s that time again. The highlight of the academic year, Tennessee Wesleyan College’s 2014 Commencement ceremonies will be the college’s 157th and will span three days and three events.

The celebration of academic achievement begins Thursday, May 1 at 7 p.m. when TWC’s Fort Sanders Nursing Department hosts its Senior Convocation and Pinning Ceremony for its 2014 nursing graduates. The ceremony will be held at Cokesbury United Methodist Church, located at 9908 Kingston Pike in Knoxville, Tenn.

Following Thursday’s pinning ceremony is the college’s Baccalaureate service which will be held Friday, May 2 at 7 p.m. in Townsend Auditorium at the Athens, Tenn., campus. This year’s Baccalaureate sermon will be given by Rev. Stella Roberts, an ordained elder of the Holston Conference presently serving as the Director of Connectional Ministries of the Holston Conference of the United Methodist Church.

TWC’s three-day celebration will conclude Saturday, May 3 at 9 a.m. when the college’s 2014 graduates will walk across the stage at Commencement. The ceremony will be held on TWC’s Wesley Commons Lawn and will honor the classes of 1954 and 1964 as Golden Anniversary Alumni. Saturday’s Commencement speaker will be Bill Kilbride, president of Mohawk Home, chief sustainability officer globally for Mohawk Industries, and president elect for the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce.

Prior to Baccalaureate Speaker Rev. Roberts’ appointment as the Director of Connectional Ministries of the Holston Conference of the United Methodist Church,   she served as pastor of First UMC, Oak Ridge, Keith Memorial UMC, and as the Knoxville District Superintendent. She has also served churches in West Virginia and New Jersey.

Rev. Roberts received her Bachelor of Arts degree from West Virginia Wesleyan College, her Master of Divinity Degree from Yale Divinity School, and her Doctor of Ministry degree from Princeton Theological Seminary.

She is married to Dr. Sam Roberts, retired professor of Tennessee Wesleyan College. They are the proud parents of two dogs, Winnie and Uma.

Commencement speaker Bill Kilbride was born and raised in New York. He joined the Tennessee Wesleyan College Class of 1972 as a freshman with a major in Business Management. He returned to New York upon graduation.

After 20 years in the financial services industry in New York, Kilbride returned with his family to Tennessee to serve as president of American Rug Craftsmen, founded by a classmate.  American Rug soon became part of Mohawk Industries and subsequently grew to become the largest manufacturer of area rugs and related textile products in America. In 2009 while President of Mohawk Home, Kilbride assumed the additional role of Chief Sustainability Officer globally for Mohawk Industries and continues to hold both of these positions today.

In 2013 Kilbride began to plan his retirement from Mohawk Industries on June 30, 2014, with plans for some extended travel and sailing with his family. In April 2014 he became president elect for the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce, a role he will assume later in 2014 with a goal of continuing the business growth and workforce expansion in the greater Chattanooga area.

In the event of inclement weather, Saturday’s Commencement will be moved to McMinn County High School’s gymnasium and will begin at 9 a.m.  An announcement will be posted on the college’s website and Facebook page and updated through local radio stations.