Harrogate, Tennessee, May 2, 2017—Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) will hold its Spring Commencement Exercises on Saturday, May 6, 2017, at 11 a.m. in Tex Turner Arena on the main campus in Harrogate, Tennessee. Rev. Daniel Paul Matthews, rector emeritus of the historic Trinity Church on Wall Street in New York City, will deliver the graduation address. Matthews will receive an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters for his lifetime of charitable efforts and service to humanity.
Over 400 degree candidates will participate in the ceremony as the University confers 127 associate, 124 baccalaureate, 159 masters and 25 doctoral degrees. Among the graduates will be the fifth graduating class of the LMU Duncan School of Law, with 17 individuals receiving their doctorate of jurisprudence degrees.
Matthews was born in Chicago and moved to Western North Carolina during grammar school. He spent the first 20 years of his ministry as an Episcopal priest in Tennessee. A hallmark of his career has been serving larger, inner city parishes beginning with St. John’s in downtown Knoxville. The work of the parish there focused on the broad needs of the city, a calling that continued as he moved on to St. Luke’s in Atlanta before joining Trinity Church in 1987.
On September 11, 2001, Matthews witnessed the second plane fly into the World Trade Center South Tower from his Parish’s offices. He was forced to evacuate with his staff and children from the Parish pre-school. Trinity’s historic chapel, St. Paul’s – across the street from the World Trade Center – served as a 24-hour center of refuge and relief to the emergency workers for eight months following the attack.
“On September 11, 2001, we ran for our lives escaping the thundering collapse of the Towers just 150 yards away,” Matthews said. “None of us will ever be the same.”
Matthews has made appearances on all three national network evening news shows, and many others, as an advocate for and commentator on the church’s post-September 11 mission. On March 3, 2006, he was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in recognition of his leadership at the time.
In retirement Matthews and his wife Diane reside in Manhattan. He serves as chair of the nominating committee at The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine where he maintains an office.
Lincoln Memorial University is a values-based learning community dedicated to providing educational experiences in the liberal arts and professional studies. The main campus is located in Harrogate, Tennessee. For more information about the undergraduate and graduate programs available at LMU, contact the Office of Admissions at 423-869-6280 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.