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Abraham Lincoln Presenter John Mansfield to Serve as University of Charleston Commencement Speaker

Release Date:  Thursday, April 17, 2014

Charleston, W.Va. – What would Abraham Lincoln say to the graduates of 2014 – 150 years after his presidency? To help celebrate the bright futures of 280 new graduates, the University of Charleston will call on the wisdom of the 16th President of the United States of America. Famed Abraham Lincoln educational presenter John Mansfield will address UC graduates at Spring Commencement on Sunday, May 4 at 2 p.m. on the school’s Riverfront Lawn in Charleston, W.Va. 

A member of the Association of Lincoln Presenters (ALP), Mansfield devotes his time to portraying Abraham Lincoln everywhere that Lincoln’s story needs to be told. Although he is based in Nashville, Tenn., Mansfield has presented Lincoln in eight different states to various groups, museums, historic sights, businesses, civic organizations, churches, schools, universities and Civil War reenactments. His journey to becoming a Lincoln presenter was featured in the 2008 documentary “Being Lincoln: Men with Hats” and his Gettysburg Address appeared on TED-Ed. 

The May 4 commencement ceremony will include graduates from all UC locations (Charleston, Beckley, Martinsburg and online). Compromising the May 2014 graduating class will be 160 bachelor’s degree, 44 master’s degree and 76 doctorate recipients. Three honorary degrees will be awarded at this year’s Spring Commencement. Charleston Light Opera Guild artistic director Nina Denton Pasinetti will receive an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree. West Virginia business owner and coal advocate Tracy Warren Hylton, II and hotel developer LeRoy M. Rashid will both receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree. 

The 2013-14 academic year marks UC’s 126th year as an academic institution. UC was founded in 1888 as Barboursville Seminary, renamed Morris Harvey College in 1901, moved to Charleston in 1935 and was renamed the University of Charleston in 1978. UC offers over 30 academic majors ranging from associate to doctoral.  

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