King University Welcomes New Board of Trustees Members

BRISTOL, Tenn., June 8, 2020 — King University announces the appointment of three new members to its Board of Trustees.

Dan Hurst, Jason Mumpower, and Dwight Owens were elected during the board’s most recent meeting.

“Each of these trustees lends a wealth of experience to our board,” said King’s president, Alexander Whitaker.  “We are grateful to benefit from their experience in business, public policy, and pharmacy, and we look forward to their guidance in our shared mission of preparing students in our Christian academic community for lives of service.”

Hurst is the founder and CEO of Strata-G, LLC, in Knoxville, Tennessee. He is a graduate of the University of Tennessee – Knoxville (UTK), where he earned a B.S. degree in agricultural engineering in 1985 and an M.S. degree in environmental engineering in 1994. Hurst served as a naval officer in the US Naval Nuclear Power program and received an executive certificate in management and leadership from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Business in 2015. He has chaired the boards of the West Knox Utilities District and Knox Area Rescue Ministries, and has also served on the Tennessee Advanced Energy Council, the UTK Alumni Council, the Civil and Environmental Engineering Board of Advisors, and the UTK Chancellor’s Associates.

Mumpower is the deputy comptroller for the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury representing the office on multiple state boards and commissions. Prior to his current role, he was a state representative in the Tennessee General Assembly for 14 years, where he served on numerous House committees. He is a 1995 graduate of King, where he received a B.A. in economics and business administration, and a 2013 graduate of the John F. Kennedy School of Government’s senior executives in state and local government program at Harvard University. Mumpower is also a Rule 31 Listed General Civil Mediator.

After completing his pre-pharmacy coursework at King University in 1990, Owens obtained his doctorate in pharmacy from Campbell University’s College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences in 1994 and his MBA from King University in 2018. He is the multi-facility director of pharmacy services in the Northwest market for Ballad Health in Kingsport, Tennessee.  In 2016, Owens was the recipient of the Meritorious Service Award by the Tennessee Hospital Association. Owens has held several leadership positions for Ballad Health and is a member American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) and American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Owens currently serves as president of the YMCA of Bristol’s board of directors.

“We are fortunate to see these talented and dedicated board members bring their expertise to King’s Board of Trustees,” said Robert H. “Scott” Maclellan, board chair. “Their experience complements and contributes to that of our current board members, and we welcome their collaboration in leading the University forward.”

The Board of Trustees holds the legal authority and responsibility for King University’s mission, financial stability, and institutional policies related to matters of strategic importance. For a complete list of King’s Board of Trustees, please click here.

For more information about King University, visit www.king.edu.

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King University is a Presbyterian-affiliated, doctoral-level comprehensive university. Founded in 1867 as King College, the University offers more than 90 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in fields such as business, nursing, law, medical and health sciences, pharmacy, education, and humanities. Graduate programs are offered in business administration, education, and nursing. A number of research, off-campus learning opportunities, and travel destinations are also available. King University is a NCAA Division II and a Conference Carolinas member with 25 varsity sports. For more information about King University, visit www.king.edu. King University does not discriminate against academically qualified students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, or disability. King University is certified by SCHEV to operate in Virginia. King’s primary location in Virginia is Southwest Virginia Community College, 724 Community College Rd, Cedar Bluff, VA 24609.

King Plans to Resume In-Person Classes for Fall Semester

Commencement exercises re-scheduled for Aug. 1

BRISTOL, Tenn., May 26,2020 — After transitioning to online learning formats during the spring and summer semesters as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, King University is moving ahead with plans to return to in-person classes for fall 2020.

“Throughout this unprecedented situation, we have been listening to the counsel of many advisors to help guide us in our decision-making process,” said Alexander Whitaker, president of King. “With care and planning, we believe this is the right step for us to take, and we look forward to welcoming everyone back to our campuses.”

Rhonda Morgan, DNP, nursing professor at King and epidemiology advisor for the University, noted that King has reacted quickly to the large-scale changes that have faced society over the past several months, and will continue to make informed, real-time decisions in the best interest of students, faculty, staff, and the King community.

“As we work to minimize risk, it is important for everyone to be mindful of guidance and remain flexible as we make data-based decisions that foster wellness,” Morgan said. “The health and well-being of the members of our community is at the forefront of our minds and we continue to monitor the evolving information regarding the COVID-19 outbreak.”

Morgan noted that administration officials are constantly reviewing guidance and directives from such organizations as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the State of Tennessee, and county health departments, among others, and that King’s educational environment and practices will be adjusted as needed.

King has also rescheduled its commencement exercises for Saturday, Aug. 1, 2020, at 10 a.m. on the Oval at the main campus in Bristol. The event, which typically takes place in early spring and draws thousands of visitors to campus, had been previously postponed because of the outbreak.

For more information on the University’s coronavirus response and plans, visit King’s regularly updated COVID-19 information page.

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King University is a Presbyterian-affiliated, doctoral-level comprehensive university. Founded in 1867 as King College, the University offers more than 90 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in fields such as business, nursing, law, medical and health sciences, pharmacy, education, and humanities. Graduate programs are offered in business administration, education, and nursing. A number of research, off-campus learning opportunities, and travel destinations are also available. King University is a NCAA Division II and a Conference Carolinas member with 25 varsity sports. For more information about King University, visit www.king.edu. King University does not discriminate against academically qualified students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, or disability. King University is certified by SCHEV to operate in Virginia. King’s primary location in Virginia is Southwest Virginia Community College, 724 Community College Rd, Cedar Bluff, VA 24609.

King University STEM Students Recipients of Numerous Honors and Awards

BRISTOL, Tenn., May 12, 2020 — During the 2019-2020 academic year, several undergraduate students from the Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics in King University’s College of Arts and Sciences have received prestigious honors, grant funding, and opportunities to present their research at national and regional conferences.

“Students in King University’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) programs have long distinguished themselves among their peers from colleges and universities across the country,” says Kelly Vaughan, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Biology. “The opportunity to participate in original research is transformational and not typically found at schools our size, and we are proud of all of our students’ accomplishments. Over the past several years, many of our students have obtained grant funding, conducted mentored research, presented their work at regional and national conferences, received national awards, and are now either employed in the STEM field or pursuing graduate or professional degrees in programs throughout the U.S.”

The Pfizer SOT (Society of Toxicology) Undergraduate Student Travel Awards, a prominent national program in toxicology, recognize outstanding undergraduates who are presenting research at the SOT’s annual meeting in order to foster interest in graduate studies in this field. Of the thousands of research scientists across the U.S. who present their research at the international meeting, approximately 50 are undergraduate students. King students Macarena Martín Mayor and Kelly Rivenbark, both of whom conducted research under Vaughan’s mentorship, were two of only 21 undergraduate students presented with the prestigious Pfizer Award to attend the meeting this year.

Martín Mayor was selected for her research on the effect of non-nutritive sweeteners on lipid accumulation. Rivenbark was chosen for her research on the effects of BPA exposure and its replacement of BPF on the reproductive potential of a model organism to help assess whether bisphenol compounds are safe for human exposure.

Martín Mayor and Rivenbark are also both honorees of King’s Burke Endowment fellowship fund, and annual presenters at the UMBC (University of Maryland at Baltimore County Undergraduate Research Symposium in the Chemical and Biological Sciences) and NIMBioS (National Institute for Mathematics and Biological Synthesis) conferences. In addition, Rivenbark is a two-time winner of the Eastman-NETSACS (Northeast Tennessee Section of the American Chemical Society) Student Research Symposium award. Both students were accepted into multiple doctoral degree programs. Martín Mayor plans to attend the University of South Florida to pursue her Ph.D. in Oceanography, while Rivenbark will pursue her Ph.D. in Toxicology at Texas A&M University.

In addition, Alex Svetlik was a recipient of the SOT Undergraduate Diversity Award. This award program enables promising undergraduate science majors from diverse backgrounds to engage in toxicology presentations and case studies at the SOT annual meeting, with the goal of recruiting them into graduate school and toxicology research careers. Her research, conducted under Vaughan, investigated the neuroprotective ability of nicotine to prevent neurodegeneration development due to pesticide exposure in microscopic nematodes as a model for understanding Parkinson’s disease development in a laboratory setting. Svetlik is also a Burke Fellow and NIMBioS presenter.

Additional outstanding STEM students from the current academic year include Lauren Campbell, Austin Huff, Morgan Powers, and Elijah Seay. Campbell is an Appalachian College Association (ACA) Ledford Scholarship recipient and presented her research at the ACA Annual Summit. The Ledford Scholarship provides financial assistance for summer research projects to undergraduate students enrolled at ACA member institutions. Under the guidance of Vaughan and Scott Landis, Ph.D., former assistant professor of Exercise Science, Campbell’s research investigated connections between core instability and prior lower extremity injuries (or no prior injuries) in college athletes. She has been accepted to multiple physical therapy doctoral programs and will be attending Emory & Henry University in the fall.

A Burke Fellow and NIMBioS presenter, Huff developed his research with Josh Rudd, assistant professor of Biology at King, on the impacts of salinity levels and exposure to juvenile mussels with the Virginia Department of Fisheries. This study will lead to further investigation on the interactions of road salt alternatives on this endangered organism. He has been accepted to the graduate chemistry program at Virginia Tech. Powers, a UMBC and NIMBioS presenter, participated in a National Science Foundation Summer Research Experience for Undergraduates at Texas A&M University, using microbiology techniques to investigate the relationship between gene mutation and antibiotic resistance.

Seay worked with Bill Linderman, Ph.D., associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and chair of the Department of Mathematics and Physics at King, to address questions in Ramsey theory. Their work is currently in development for publication, and Seay presented his research at the Joint Mathematics Meeting (JMM). The JMM is the national meeting of the American Mathematics Association and Mathematics Association of America, and is the largest mathematics gathering in the world. Seay was a NIMBioS attendee in 2018.

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King University is a Presbyterian-affiliated, doctoral-level comprehensive university. Founded in 1867 as King College, the University offers more than 90 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in fields such as business, nursing, law, medical and health sciences, pharmacy, education, and humanities. Graduate programs are offered in business administration, education, and nursing. A number of research, off-campus learning opportunities, and travel destinations are also available. King University is a NCAA Division II and a Conference Carolinas member with 25 varsity sports. For more information about King University, visit www.king.edu. King University does not discriminate against academically qualified students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, or disability. King University is certified by SCHEV to operate in Virginia. King’s primary location in Virginia is Southwest Virginia Community College, 724 Community College Rd, Cedar Bluff, VA 24609.

King University Students Honored for Achievements and Service

BRISTOL, Tenn., May 6, 2020 — King University recently honored a number of students for their academic, athletic, and community service accomplishments during the 2019-2020 academic year.

“We are proud to honor all our students and graduates, particularly during such an unusual time when so many have had to adapt their methods of communication and learning,” said Matthew Roberts, Ed.D., provost of King. “King’s students flourish inside and outside the classroom. They have done a remarkable job, and we want to acknowledge, in every way we can, their academic accomplishments and achievements.”

Students received the following awards, fellowships, scholarships, and recognitions (in alphabetical order among the varying colleges of study):

COLLEGE OF ARTS & SCIENCES

Jack E. Snider Honors Fellows

These students have completed an additional 17 hours of honors credit through participation in independent research; a publicly presented and defended senior honors thesis; overseas and domestic travel, study, and service; and campus and community service.

  • Mattie Brown – Taylorsville, North Carolina (Athletic Training)
  • Miyah Cook – Murfreesboro, Tennessee (Biology: Human Biology Track)
  • Courtney Harvey – Dickson, Tennessee (English and Psychology)
  • Abigail Lester – Bristol, Tennessee (Biology)
  • Tristen Luu – Amarillo, Texas (Biology: Human Biology Track)
  • Macarena Martin – Madrid, Spain (Biochemistry and Mathematics: General Track)
  • Samantha Oplinger – Lansing, Tennessee (Criminal Justice)
  • Kelly Rivenbark – Burgaw, North Carolina (Chemistry)

King Institute for Faith and Culture Award

Given to a student who demonstrates the mission of the King Institute for Faith and Culture (IFC). The IFC brings some of the contemporary faith landscape’s most influential thinkers, writers, and artists to campus to cultivate conversation on issues of Christian faith and popular culture.

  • Nicholas Blankenship – Collierville, Tennessee (Biology)

Arts

Allen Trousdale Guild Players Awards

Given to senior students recognized by their peers for outstanding achievement and contributions to the King Theatre Program and the Department of Performing & Visual Arts.

  • Brittanie Rose – Sevierville, Tennessee (Theatre)
  • Alaura Sporleder – Meadowview, Virginia (Theatre)

American Choral Directors National Student Award

Given annually to a graduating senior who has contributed to the efforts of the choral program over a four-year period.

  • Brianna Carder – Bristol, Tennessee (Digital Media Art & Design)

Digital Media Art and Design Award of Excellence

Recognizes a student who has demonstrated a commitment to academic achievement, leadership, and service.

  • Caleb Beverly – Bristol, Virginia (Digital Media Art and Design)

Bible and Religion

Philosophy Award

Given to a philosophy student who has excelled academically, and has exhibited the scholarly qualities of creative questioning, analytical reasoning, and critical thinking.

  • Nicole Joseph – Bristol, Tennessee (Psychology and Philosophy)

Humanities

History Award

Given to a graduating senior who exhibits a strong performance in the field of history.

  • Jerryn Puckett – Bristol, Virginia (History)

Women’s History Club Award

Given to outstanding rising seniors in the field of history.

  • Madison King – Dayton, Tennessee (History)

Languages and Literature

Evelyn W. Snider English Award

Given to a student who has made outstanding contributions to the English Department through service.

  • Stacey Horton – Richlands, Virginia (English: Grades 6 – 12 Education Track)

Geneva King Award

Given to a student who has performed well academically and helped foster a love for the English language at King.

  • Allison Petix – Las Vegas, Nevada (Psychology and English: Writing Track)

Graham Landrum Memorial Scholarship Fund

This scholarship is awarded to the rising senior in the English Department with the highest GPA.

  • Charis McReynolds – Bristol, Tennessee (English: General Track)

Sigma Tau Delta Inductees

Sigma Tau Delta is the English honor society for students at accredited colleges and universities that grant baccalaureate or higher degrees.

  • Haley Compton – Bristol, Virginia (English)
  • Stacey Horton – Richlands, Virginia (English: Grades 6 – 12 Education Track)
  • Kacie Kelley – Woodbury, Tennessee (English)

Spanish Language Award

Given to the student who demonstrates the best performance in Beginning Spanish.

  • Kayla Gillenwater – Bristol, Virginia (Biology: Human Biology Track)

Advanced Studies in Spanish Award

  • Cathy Scaniffe – Springfield, Virginia (Spanish and Interdisciplinary Studies: Elementary Education)

Natural Sciences and Mathematics

Arthur W. King Memorial Scholarship in Physics

This scholarship is awarded annually to a physics major who, in addition to maintaining an outstanding academic record, exhibits an enthusiasm for experimental and theoretical physics.

  • Braden White – Marion, Illinois (Mathematics: General Track and Physics)

Eula Cosby Coffee Awards in the Basic Sciences

Given to the female students with the highest overall grade point averages for the two semesters of each basic science course.

  • Biology: Alexis McDowell – Gray, Tennessee (Biology: Cell and Molecular Track)
  • Chemistry: Erin Peters – Humble, Texas (Biochemistry)
  • Physics: Trinity Lee – Knoxville, Tennessee (Mathematics: General Track and Physics)

Natural Science and Mathematics Awards

Given to the most outstanding graduates in the basic sciences and mathematics.

  • Macarena Martin Mayor – Madrid, Spain (Biochemistry and Mathematics: General Track)
  • Kelly Rivenbark – Burgaw, North Carolina (Chemistry)

Sarah Katherine Stamper Award in Biology

This award honors the memory of the daughter of a 1950s assistant to the President of King University.

  • Rebekah Thomas – Glade Spring, Virginia (Biology: Cell and Molecular Track)

William E. Torbett Memorial Scholarship

Given to a returning outstanding mathematics major.

  • Trinity Lee – Knoxville, Tennessee (Mathematics: General Track and Physics)

Social Sciences

John W. Burgess Award in Political Science

This award is named for Tennessee native John W. Burgess, the first president of the American Political Science Association.

  • Kori West – Shelby, North Carolina (Political Science/History)

Psi Chi National Honor Society in Psychology Inductee

  • Lindsey Nangle – Bristol, Tennessee (Psychology)

Security and Intelligence (SIS) Scholar Award

Given to the student with the highest cumulative grade point average across all courses taken for the SIS major.

  • Taylor Lane – Kingsport, Tennessee (Security and Intelligence Studies)

SCHOOL OF HEALTH AND PROFESSIONAL SCIENCES

Social Work

The Mary Richmond Social Work Students of the Year Award

Given to the student social workers who are active members of both Chi Omega and the Social Work Action Group, and best exemplify the Social Work Code of Ethics.

  • Heather Austin – Abingdon, Virginia (Social Work)
  • Monica Tucker – Gray, Tennessee (Social Work)
  • Damoria Walker – Bristol, Tennessee (Social Work)
  • Amanda Weiford – Bristol, Tennessee (Social Work)

The Jane Addams Social Work Students of the Year Award

Given to the student social workers who are active members of both Chi Omega and the Social Work Action Group, and best exemplify scholarly academic achievement in Social Work.

  • Miranda Blevins – Meadowview, Virginia (Social Work)
  • Mary Childers – Pounding Mill, Virginia (Social Work)
  • Joseph Harrigan – Kingsport, Tennessee (Social Work)
  • Arielle Holloway – Clarkston, Georgia (Social Work)
  • Veronica Vann-Ray – Kingsport, Tennessee (Social Work)

Chi Omega Award

Members of Chi Omega have achieved a minimum Grade Point Average of 3.5 in Social Work, exemplify honor, exceptional quality of character, altruism, and scholarship.

  • Courtney Thompson Amakonze – Lincolnton, North Carolina (Social Work)
  • Derek Ashley – Marion, Virginia (Social Work)
  • Heather Austin – Abingdon, Virginia (Social Work)
  • Brianna Baker – Bristol, Virginia (Social Work)
  • Miranda Blevins – Meadowview, Virginia (Social Work)
  • Brittany Bradley – Caryville, Virginia (Social Work)
  • Mary Margaret Chaney – Kingsport, Tennessee (Social Work)
  • Mary Childers – Pounding Mill, Virginia (Social Work)
  • Shaila Childs – Oliver Springs, Tennessee (Social Work)
  • Adreyana Cole – Grovetown, Georgia (Social Work)
  • Melissa Grady – Elkton, Kentucky (Social Work)
  • Laura Greeson – Bristol, Tennessee (Social Work)
  • Arielle Holloway – Clarkston, Georgia (Social Work)
  • Miranda Newsome – Haysi, Virginia (Social Work)
  • Cherrie Puckett – Saltville, Virginia (Social Work)
  • Jordan Sheets – Sugar Grove, Virginia (Social Work)
  • Monica Tucker – Gray, Tennessee (Social Work)
  • Veronica Vann-Ray – Kingsport, Tennessee (Social Work)
  • Damoria Walker – Bristol, Virginia (Social Work)
  • Amanda Weiford – Bristol, Virginia (Social Work)

SCHOOL OF BUSINESS, ECONOMICS, AND TECHNOLOGY

Awards are presented to outstanding traditional undergraduates, BBA students, and MBA students.

Outstanding Business and Economics Graduate Award

  • Nicholas Carroll – Christiansburg, Virginia (Business: Marketing and Management Tracks)

Outstanding Bachelor of Business Administration Graduate Award

  • Stuart Hamblen – Rogersville, Tennessee (Business Administration)

Outstanding Master of Business Administration Graduate Award

  • Lennard Neumann – Bad Honnof, Germany (Graduate Business – Project Management)

SCHOOL OF EDUCATION

John S. Gaines Excellence in Student Teaching Award

  • Andrew Counts – Kingsport, Tennessee (Political Science/History)

Outstanding M.Ed. Graduate

  • William Greening – Bristol, Tennessee (Graduate Education: Curriculum and Instruction)

SCHOOL OF NURSING

Nursing Pillar Awards

The Nursing Pillar Awards are based on the School of Nursing professional pillars of Integrity, Commitment, Service, Accountability, Civility, and Compassion.

  • Brandi Brown – Lenoir City, Tennessee (Graduate Nursing – FNP Concentration)
  • Jairo Ruiz-Caram – Bristol, Tennessee (Nursing)

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King University is a Presbyterian-affiliated, doctoral-level comprehensive university. Founded in 1867 as King College, the University offers more than 90 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in fields such as business, nursing, law, medical and health sciences, pharmacy, education, and humanities. Graduate programs are offered in business administration, education, and nursing. A number of research, off-campus learning opportunities, and travel destinations are also available. King University is a NCAA Division II and a Conference Carolinas member with 25 varsity sports. For more information about King University, visit www.king.edu. King University does not discriminate against academically qualified students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, or disability. King University is certified by SCHEV to operate in Virginia. King’s primary location in Virginia is Southwest Virginia Community College, 724 Community College Rd, Cedar Bluff, and VA 24609.

King’s DMAD Department Pitches In On Production Of Protective Masks

BRISTOL, Tenn., April 13, 2020 — In the effort to help supply critical personal protective equipment (PPE) to health care providers on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis, members of King University’s Digital Media Art & Design (DMAD) department are putting their knowhow and resources to work in a new and innovative way.

Shortages of gloves, face masks, gowns, and more have made headlines over the past several weeks. The situation is particularly dangerous for medical providers, who are being exposed to the virus daily. In response, grassroots networks of organizations have stepped in to help support the supply chain, forming alliances not typically associated with the health care industry.

One such partnership is between King University’s DMAD department and MatterHackers, an online company that sells 3D printing supplies. The company recently created a COVID-19 Maker Response Hub that connects hospitals and government agencies needing PPE with digital fabricators — like King — that can help produce the needed components.

As a result, King’s 3D printer, typically used for student projects at this time of the year, is now producing the headbands needed to help assemble protective face shields for doctors and nurses.

“Once we saw what was happening, we signed up to be able to pitch in,” said Joe Strickland, chair of DMAD at King. “Someone uploaded the design, we had the needed printer, we got the message of ‘hey, we’re calling you up,’ and now we’re printing around the clock.”

Once the initial order of 45 headbands is complete, Strickland will sanitize them, seal them in a plastic container, and ship them to the next partner on the list for assembly with the face shield. The end product is approved by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for medical use — and is reusable, a critical factor at this moment.

Strickland said it feels good to be able to assist in a time when so much of the world has been upended by the pandemic.

“We’re just so glad we have the materials and the opportunity to help out,” Strickland said. “MatterHackers is doing the most difficult part of this, combining designers and makers with people who have the supplies. It’s probably a nightmare, but they are doing it, and we believe helping the health care professionals on the front lines is a very worthwhile use of our time and resources.”

Those with 3D printing capabilities can visit the MatterHackers Maker Response Hub at https://www.matterhackers.com/covid-19 to see how they can help, Strickland said.

King has transitioned its classes to an online format for the remainder of the spring semester, with DMAD following suit — the group’s annual Spring Showcase, which usually occupies a gallery on campus, is now scheduled for a virtual launch on Thursday, April 16, at 10:30 a.m. Guests can tour the virtual gallery here.

“With so much of the world being disrupted right now, we wanted to hold the spring competition as we normally do, and really take the time to celebrate our students and applaud their work,” Strickland said. “This way, a much larger audience can explore the gallery and enjoy our students’ creativity.”

For more information on King University, visit https://www.king.edu.

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King University is a Presbyterian-affiliated, doctoral-level comprehensive university. Founded in 1867 as King College, the University offers more than 90 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in fields such as business, nursing, law, medical and health sciences, pharmacy, education, and humanities. Graduate programs are offered in business administration, education, and nursing. A number of research, off-campus learning opportunities, and travel destinations are also available. King University is a NCAA Division II and a Conference Carolinas member with 25 varsity sports. For more information about King University, visit www.king.edu. King University does not discriminate against academically qualified students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, or disability. King University is certified by SCHEV to operate in Virginia. King’s primary location in Virginia is Southwest Virginia Community College, 724 Community College Rd, Cedar Bluff, and VA 24609.

King University Transitions to Distance Learning, Delays Commencement

BRISTOL, Tenn., March 24, 2020 — In light of heightened COVID-19 concerns, King University has announced that all remaining classes for the spring 2020 semester will be completed via distance learning.

As an added measure, King will delay its spring commencement ceremony, originally scheduled for May 2. The popular event typically draws thousands of guests to campus for a processional around the campus oval and the announcement of student honors and degrees.

“As we all work toward minimizing risk and maintaining a healthy community, we know it is in the best interest of everyone at King and in our region to keep our on-campus population as small as possible for now,” said Alexander Whitaker, president of the University. “Our hearts are certainly with our students and their families, especially our seniors, as we navigate these challenging days, and we will do everything we can to help ease this transition and celebrate our graduates’ well-earned degrees.”

Although the commencement ceremony will be delayed, the conferring of degrees will take place as scheduled on May 15, 2020, for those who have completed requirements.

King has been proactive in its efforts to preserve the health of students, faculty, and staff. Earlier this month, the University canceled study abroad trips, instituted enhanced cleaning protocols and meal preparation procedures, extended spring break by an additional week, and converted all courses to distance learning platforms. King also created a regularly updated COVID-19 resource page on its website, which can be reviewed here.

An announcement will be made at a future date regarding the rescheduling of commencement.

For more information on King University, visit https://www.king.edu.

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King University is a Presbyterian-affiliated, doctoral-level comprehensive university. Founded in 1867 as King College, the University offers more than 90 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in fields such as business, nursing, law, medical and health sciences, pharmacy, education, and humanities. Graduate programs are offered in business administration, education, and nursing. A number of research, off-campus learning opportunities, and travel destinations are also available. King University is a NCAA Division II and a Conference Carolinas member with 25 varsity sports. For more information about King University, visit www.king.edu. King University does not discriminate against academically qualified students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, or disability. King University is certified by SCHEV to operate in Virginia. King’s primary location in Virginia is Southwest Virginia Community College, 724 Community College Rd, Cedar Bluff, and VA 24609.

King Welcomes Holocaust Survivor Peter Gorog

BRISTOL, Tenn., March 9, 2020 — It’s one thing to read about oppression, persecution, and imprisonment in a history book, where terms like “violent anti-Semitism” and “1940s Europe” can be considered at a distance, something assigned to an era that’s far removed from present-day life.

Sitting down with someone who survived those harsh realities, though, and hearing stories told in their own voice — that’s something else altogether.

As part of its annual Holocaust Remembrance, King’s Institute for Faith & Culture is proud to welcome Peter Gorog, an engineer who personally experienced the rise of Nazism in Hungary during the 1940s.

Gorog will speak on Monday, March 23, at 9:15 a.m. in King’s Memorial Chapel on the main campus in Bristol, and again at 7 p.m. at First Baptist Church, located at 1 Virginia Way in Bristol, Virginia. All events are open to the public and free of charge.

A native of Budapest, Gorog was born in 1941, a time when Jewish families were increasingly being torn apart by imprisonment, mandated housing in ghettoes, and conscription into forced labor battalions. Members of his family endured all these circumstances, as well as bitter cold, starvation, and hardships lasting beyond the 1945 liberation of Budapest, including malnourishment and continued discrimination.

An electrical engineer who contributed to the design of the first Hungarian computer, Gorog defected to the United States in 1980 and has since worked with NASA on several major satellite and orbital telescope projects, including GOES, LANDSAT, Hubble, and the James Webb Space Telescope.

“Many Holocaust survivors are now in their 80s and 90s, and the opportunity to take part in their story firsthand is becoming increasingly rare,” said Martin Dotterweich, Ph.D., director of the Institute. “We’re grateful to Peter for sharing his time with us and bringing this pivotal period in history to life with an immediacy that we would not otherwise experience.”

Gorog serves as a volunteer at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and his visit to King is courtesy of the museum’s Office of Survivor Affairs.

For more information about the Institute, including the full schedule for the speaker series, visit king.edu/faithandculture.

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King University is a Presbyterian-affiliated, doctoral-level comprehensive university. Founded in 1867 as King College, the University offers more than 90 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in fields such as business, nursing, law, medical and health sciences, pharmacy, education, and humanities. Graduate programs are offered in business administration, education, and nursing. A number of research, off-campus learning opportunities, and travel destinations are also available. King University is a NCAA Division II and a Conference Carolinas member with 25 varsity sports. For more information about King University, visit www.king.edu. King University does not discriminate against academically qualified students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, or disability. King University is certified by SCHEV to operate in Virginia. King’s primary location in Virginia is Southwest Virginia Community College, 724 Community College Rd, Cedar Bluff, and VA 24609.

King Explores Women’s Suffrage and the Work of Ruth Bell Graham With Noted Author and Professor Anne B. Wills

BRISTOL, Tenn., Feb. 19, 2020— King University’s Institute for Faith & Culture speaker series continues Monday, Feb. 24, with Anne Blue Wills, Ph.D., author and professor of religious studies at Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina.

Wills will survey the involvement of women of faith in the suffrage movement, and also share excerpts from Ruth Bell Graham’s poetry collection in two separate presentations.

On Monday, Feb. 24, she will present “The Bible and the Ballot: Arguing for Women’s Suffrage” to mark the 100th anniversary of the adoption of the 19th Amendment at 9:15 a.m. in the Memorial Chapel on King’s main campus in Bristol, and “Write or Develop an Ulcer,” a look at Ruth Bell Graham through her poetry, at 7 p.m. at Emmanuel Episcopal Church, located at 700 Cumberland Street in Bristol, Virginia. Both events are free and open to the public.

“Anne’s work delves into aspects of the ordinary, from scrapbooks to obituaries to Thanksgiving celebrations, to find unique insight into large-scale movements in American religious history,” said Martin Dotterweich, Ph.D., director of the Institute. “She has broad teaching interests, including civil religion, politics, African-American traditions, Mormonism, and the art of the memoir, and is presently writing a biography of Ruth Bell Graham. We are delighted to welcome Dr. Wills to the Institute to mark the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage and present some of her discoveries about Graham.”

A graduate of Davidson College, the School of Divinity at Yale Divinity, and Duke University, Wills is an ordained elder in the Presbyterian Church (USA). She has served as president of the American Academy of Religion’s Southeast Region, and chaired the Southeastern Commission for the Study of Religion (SECSOR). She co-chairs the SECSOR’s History of Christianity section.   

In addition to her current work on a biography of Ruth Bell Graham, wife of the late evangelist Billy Graham, who is the subject of her co-edited book, “Billy Graham: American Pilgrim,” Wills reflects on Ruth Graham as a case study for writing women’s history in her most recent article, “Heroes, Women, Wives: Writing other Lives.”

For more information about the Institute, including the full schedule for the speaker series, visit king.edu/faithandculture.

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King University is a Presbyterian-affiliated, doctoral-level comprehensive university. Founded in 1867 as King College, the University offers more than 90 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in fields such as business, nursing, law, medical and health sciences, pharmacy, education, and humanities. Graduate programs are offered in business administration, education, and nursing. A number of research, off-campus learning opportunities, and travel destinations are also available. King University is a NCAA Division II and a Conference Carolinas member with 25 varsity sports. For more information about King University, visit www.king.edu. King University does not discriminate against academically qualified students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, or disability. King University is certified by SCHEV to operate in Virginia. King’s primary location in Virginia is Southwest Virginia Community College, 724 Community College Rd, Cedar Bluff, and VA 24609.

Institute for Faith & Culture Celebrates Appalachia with Author and Professor S.J. Dahlman

BRISTOL, Tenn., Jan. 29, 2020 — King University’s Institute for Faith & Culture 2019 – 2020 speaker series continues Monday, Feb. 10, with author S.J. (Jim) Dahlman and an examination of the beauty of home.

Dahlman, who serves as professor of communications and area chair of performing, visual, and communicative arts at Milligan College, is the author of 2019’s “A Familiar Wilderness: Searching for Home on Daniel Boone’s Road.” The book details his solo hike retracing Boone’s late 1700s exploration of our area, touching on the historic details of that journey as well as profiling the many contemporary personalities Dahlman met along the way.

Dahlman will present the Institute’s 2020 Appalachian Lectures, titled “Meditations from an Old Road: Beauty Will Save Us” at 9:15 a.m. in the Memorial Chapel on King’s main campus, and “Meditations from an Old Road: Truth will Set us Free” at 7 p.m. at First Baptist Church, 1 Virginia Street, in Bristol, Virginia. Both events are open to the public and free-of-charge.

“As humans, so much of what we value as beauty and holiness grows from our individual concepts of home,” said Martin Dotterweich, Ph.D., director of the Institute. “We’re very lucky to live in a region that is rich in natural beauty and deeply textured with music, storytelling and character, and Dahlman is able to capture an engaging and dynamic snapshot of Appalachia and the personalities who call our mountains home. We’re delighted to welcome him as the 2020 Appalachian Lecturer and look forward to taking part in his stories.”

Dahlman holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative nonfiction from Goucher College, a Master of Arts in English with an editing and publishing emphasis from the University of Cincinnati, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Bible and humanities from Milligan College. He has also studied at Emmanuel Christian Seminary, Springdale College in Birmingham, England, and the London School of Journalism.

For more information about the Institute, including the full schedule for the speaker series, visit king.edu/faithandculture.

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King University is a Presbyterian-affiliated, doctoral-level comprehensive university. Founded in 1867 as King College, the University offers more than 90 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in fields such as business, nursing, law, medical and health sciences, pharmacy, education, and humanities. Graduate programs are offered in business administration, education, and nursing. A number of research, off-campus learning opportunities, and travel destinations are also available. King University is a NCAA Division II and a Conference Carolinas member with 25 varsity sports. For more information about King University, visit www.king.edu. King University does not discriminate against academically qualified students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, or disability. King University is certified by SCHEV to operate in Virginia. King’s primary location in Virginia is Southwest Virginia Community College, 724 Community College Rd, Cedar Bluff, VA 24609.

Institute for Faith & Culture Welcomes Award-Winning Composer Shawn Okpebholo

BRISTOL, Tenn., Jan. 22, 2020 — King University’s Institute for Faith & Culture 2019 – 2020 speaker series continues Monday, Jan. 27, with nationally recognized composer Shawn Okpebholo, DMA.

Okpebholo’s award-winning works are highly diverse in style and genre, ranging from original compositions to re-imaginings of traditional hymns, and created for a variety of arrangements, from solo voice to full orchestra.

He will present “Reclaiming My Identity Through the Negro Spiritual” at 9:15 a.m. in the Memorial Chapel on King’s main campus in Bristol, and “Reclaiming the Theology of the Negro Spiritual” at 7 p.m. at Central Presbyterian Church, located at 301 Euclid Ave. in Bristol, Virginia. Both events are free-of-charge and open to the public.

“Doctor Okpebholo’s works have rightly been described as diverse and dynamic, bearing enormous creativity and grace,” said Martin Dotterweich, Ph.D., director of the Institute. “He is greatly skilled at tracing the roots of African American music, interpreting traditions in new and influential ways, and connecting communities around the globe. We are excited to share in his talent and exploration, and delighted to welcome him to the Institute.”

Okpebholo has performed in prestigious venues throughout the U.S., including Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, and the Washington National Cathedral. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Composition and Music Theory from Asbury College, with additional studies in film scoring at New York University. He earned a Master of Music degree and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree with an emphasis in composition and theory from the University of Cincinnati College – Conservatory of Music. He currently serves as assistant professor of music composition and theory at the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music in Wheaton, Illinois.

A significant part of Okpebholo’s music education can be credited to the free music lessons he received from the Salvation Army church where he spent his adolescent years. Inspired by that charity, he remains passionate about volunteering his musical talents to underserved communities.

For more information about the Institute, including the full schedule for the speaker series, visit king.edu/faithandculture.

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King University is a Presbyterian-affiliated, doctoral-level comprehensive university. Founded in 1867 as King College, the University offers more than 90 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in fields such as business, nursing, law, medical and health sciences, pharmacy, education, and humanities. Graduate programs are offered in business administration, education, and nursing. A number of research, off-campus learning opportunities, and travel destinations are also available. King University is a NCAA Division II and a Conference Carolinas member with 25 varsity sports. For more information about King University, visit www.king.edu. King University does not discriminate against academically qualified students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, or disability. King University is certified by SCHEV to operate in Virginia. King’s primary location in Virginia is Southwest Virginia Community College, 724 Community College Rd, Cedar Bluff, VA 24609.