WCU Announces May Graduations

Hattiesburg, Miss., May 10, 2013 - For the fourth consecutive year William Carey University will have a record number of graduates. Over 800 students will receive degrees at Carey in one of four graduation ceremonies for undergraduate and graduate students of the Hattiesburg and Tradition campuses May 17-18. Dr. Tommy King, president of WCU, will preside at the ceremonies.

The ceremony for students on the Hattiesburg campus receiving graduate degrees is Friday, May 17, at 7 p.m. in Smith Auditorium on the Hattiesburg campus. The speaker for the ceremony is Chad Newell, president of the Area Development Partnership. He is also the president of the regional Chamber of Commerce, the Community Development Division and the Economic Division for Greater Hattiesburg. Before moving to Hattiesburg in 2009, Newell spent nearly two decades involved in economic development circles in Tennessee, Alabama, and across Southeast Mississippi. He was an integral part of teams that led to billions of dollars in capital investments and thousands of new jobs created across the state of Alabama.

The first ceremony for students receiving undergraduate degrees on the Hattiesburg campus is Saturday, May 18 at 9:30 a.m. in Smith Auditorium. Students receiving degrees from the school of arts and letters, school of nursing and school of natural and behavioral sciences will be recognized.

The speaker for the 9:30 ceremony is Sen. John Polk. Sen. Polk, owner and chairman of the corporation for Polk’s Meat Products, Inc., was elected to a four-year term in the Mississippi State Senate in 2011. He serves District 44, representing parts of Forrest, Lamar, and Perry Counties.  In August of 2012, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves appointed Sen. Polk as Chairman of the Senate Universities and Colleges Committee.  He has served on multiple other committees as well, and through the years has also owned and operated a radio station, been involved in cattle farming, tree farming, and a pizza restaurant, and dabbled in interstate trucking. 
The second ceremony for students receiving undergraduate degrees on the Hattiesburg campus is Saturday, May 18 at 1 p.m. in Smith Auditorium. This ceremony will honor graduates receiving degrees from the school of business, school of education, school of missions and Biblical studies, and the school of music.

The speaker for the 1 p.m. ceremony is Sen. Chris McDaniel. Sen. McDaniel, a partner in the law firm of Hortman, Harlow, Bassi, Robinson & McDaniel, PLLC. in Laurel, is a two-term state senator who has authored numerous pieces of legislation, including Nathan’s Law and the Mississippi Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Act. He is licensed to practice law in Texas and Mississippi and has represented some of the largest corporations in the country. In 2010, he was named one of the Top-50 leading lawyers in Mississippi. Sen. McDaniel has also been published by numerous newspapers, including many online conservative news organizations, such as, and He is the former president of Right Side Radio, LLC., a pro-Christian organization dedicated to the advocacy of conservative philosophy and ideals.

 The ceremony for Tradition graduate and undergraduate students is Saturday, May 18 at 4 p.m. in Smith Auditorium. Col. Stan Harris, assistant U.S. attorney in the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Mississippi, will serve as the guest speaker for the Tradition graduation. Col. Harris began his current position in February 2013 after completing over one year as legal advisor for Task Force 2010, the Department of Defense anti-procurement fraud unit in Afghanistan. Previously, he served as command judge advocate for Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center, where he was assigned after deployment with the 155th Brigade Combat Team during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Prior to his service in Iraq, Col. Harris worked for the Department of Justice, serving as first assistant U.S. attorney (chief-of-staff) as well as ethics advisor and anti-terrorism coordinator. Previously, he served on the Washington staff of former Sen. Trent Lott for 16 years.

For more graduation information, call the Office of the Registrar at (601) 318-6195.

Pictured is Chad Newell, president of the Area Development Partnership, who will serve as guest speaker for William Carey University’s graduate school graduation ceremony on Friday, May 17, at 7 p.m. in Smith Auditorium.