Contact:  Lynn Stewart, Centenary News Service, 318-869-5120

Annual President's Convocation at Centenary College Features Induction of Four Eminent Scholars Chairs, Program on Student-Faculty Summer Research 

SHREVEPORT, LA -- Four new Eminent Scholars Chairs were installed and the entire Centenary College campus heard about a new summer research program at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 21 in Brown Chapel.

The occasion was Centenary's annual President's Convocation that launches each new academic year and offers special recognition to the incoming students and the year's graduating class.

Attendees heard from two student-faculty research teams, who were among seven teams participating in a new summer research program that began this past summer. The 10-week program "allows students to join with faculty members in powerful learning experiences through research," said Centenary President Kenneth L. Schwab. "Students have an opportunity to apply their classroom knowledge to a specific project, while faculty benefit from the assistance of capable, motivated students. "

Speaking were Dr. Susan Brayford, assistant professor of religious studies, and her student researcher Connie Manning of Shreveport, a junior majoring in Latin and Interdisciplinary Studies, and Dr. David Coppola, associate professor and Mary Amelia Douglas-Whited Chair of Neuroscience, and his student research partner, Amy Waguespack of Lutcher, La., who is a junior neuroscience major. 

Dr. Brayford's and Ms. Manning's research project involved the translation of the book of Genesis from Greek to English. They translated over half of the book of Genesis this summer.  As a result of their research, Dr. Brayford will author the first English commentary on the Greek version of Genesis.   Ms. Manning's  work in translating the Greek allowed Dr. Brayford to begin writing

Dr. Coppola and Ms. Waguespack reported on their research about the brain's organization during development, and specifically, how the sense of smell affects its maturation. 

The convocation program also included the installation of four new faculty members into prestigious endowed chairs. They are:

  • Dr. Peter Huff, the T. L. James Eminent Scholars Chair of Religion;
  • Dr. Christopher Martin, the Rudy and Jeannie Linco Eminent Scholars Chair of Business Administration;
  • Dr. Gregory VanHoosier-Carey, the R.Z. Biedenharn Eminent Scholars Chair in Communication, and
  • Dr. David A. Stafford, this year's Mattie Allen Broyles Inaugural Year Chair.

Representing those for whom the Chairs were named were:

  • from the James family:  G.W. "Billy" James, Jr., G.W. James III, and Bob James;
  • from the Broyles family: Joyce and Kenneth Hawkins;
  • representing the Biedenharn Foundation: David Tyrone, Executive Director and Trustee, and 
  • representing the Lincos, the executor of their estate:  Austin Robertson, Jr. 

The Convocation also included an anthem by the Centenary Choir, organ music by Professor Ronald E. Dean, presentation of the Honor Code book by Honor Court Chief Justice Blane Sessions, invocation by Dr. Jack O'Dell, and benediction by Trustees Chairman William G. Anderson.

Seniors and the faculty marched in academic regalia, part of a twice-yearly tradition at the college.  First-year and transfer students also joined the procession.  They were led by Grand Marshal Earle Labor, George A. Wilson Chair of American Literature, and Faculty Marshal Rosemary Seidler, Professor of Chemistry.

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