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Centenary College of Louisiana to Award Honorary Doctorates to Mayor George Dement, Bishop William Hutchinson, and Musician/Commentator Miles Hoffman

George Dement, William Hutchinson, Miles Hoffman

SHREVEPORT, LA- Centenary College of Louisiana will award honorary doctorates for outstanding service and distinguished careers to a mayor, a bishop and a musician/commentator during its annual commencement exercises at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, May 3 in the Centenary Gold Dome.

Honorees are George Dement of Bossier City, La., mayor of Bossier City for the past 14 years; the Rev. William Hutchison of Baton Rouge, La., bishop of the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church; and Miles Hoffman of Olney, Md., musician, commentator, author and teacher who will deliver the commencement address.

Centenary President Kenneth L. Schwab said that Dement will receive the honorary Doctor of Laws degree. Schwab described Dement as “a model civic leader” who has cast a wide net of public service and who has earned the esteem of his fellow citizens. Dement is a 1938 graduate of Elm Grove High School who continued his education at the University of Georgia, Louisiana State University and Centenary College. During World War II, he served in both the Atlantic and Pacific theaters in the United States Submarine Service and was present at the Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay.

He pursued a career in management for over 22 years with Holiday Inns and in 1976 was named Innkeeper of the Year. During his career he has been honored by numerous organizations, including the Optimist Club, the Shreveport Chamber of Commerce, the Shreveport-Bossier Sports Foundation, the Arthritis Foundation and the Louisiana Restaurant Hall of Fame. He is currently serving his fourth consecutive term as Bossier City’s mayor.

Schwab described Hoffman, who will receive the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree, as “a versatile and enterprising exponent of serious music” who has “enriched the culture by making that music accessible to a popular audience.” Hoffman appears frequently as viola soloist with orchestras across the country and tours extensively as a lecturer and concert host. He is the violist and artistic director of the American Chamber Players, with whom he regularly tours the United States and Canada. As music commentator for NPR’s flagship news program, Morning Edition, he is regularly heard by a national audience of well over 10 million people. His musical commentary, “Coming to Terms,” was heard weekly throughout the U.S. from 1989 to 2002 on NPR’s Performance Today.

Hoffman is the author of The NPR® Classical Music Companion: Terms and Concepts from A to Z, now in its sixth printing from the Houghton Mifflin Company. With the American Chamber Players, he has recorded works of Mozart, Bruch, Bloch, Stravinsky and Rochberg for a series of compact discs produced by the Library of Congress and distributed internationally on the Koch International Classics label.

He is a graduate of Yale University (1973) and the Juilliard School of Music (1977) and has won prizes in the National Arts Club and Washington International competitions. He made his New York solo recital debut in 1979 at the 92nd Street Y, and has since appeared in recital in many cities. In 1982 he founded the Library of Congress Summer Chamber Festival, which he directed for nine years and which led to the formation of the American Chamber Players.

Both when traveling as a soloist and on his tours with the ACP, Hoffman presents children’s programs, classes and master classes in schools and universities around the U.S. He lives in Olney, Md. with his wife, soprano Susan Boykin, and their two daughters.

Schwab said that the Rev. Hutchison will receive the honorary Doctor of Divinity in recognition of “exemplary service to the United Methodist Church – at the local, regional and national level.” The Rev. Mr. Hutchinson earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Oklahoma in 1964, a Master of Divinity from Duke University in 1966 and an honorary Doctorate in Divinity from McMurry University in 1987.

In 1964, he was ordained a deacon in the annual conference of New Mexico and in 1966 became pastor of Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Hobbs, N.M. He also served as pastor of the First United Methodist Church of Marfa, Texas and the First United Methodist Church of Artseia, N.M. From 1979-1986, he served as the senior pastor at St. Paul's United Methodist Church in Las Cruces; from 1986-1989 as the Odessa superintendent; from 1989-1997 as senior pastor of the Central United Methodist Church; and from 1997-2000 as the executive director of the New Mexico Conference Methodist Foundation.

The Rev. Mr. Hutchison directed a prison ministry and designed national convocations for young people contemplating careers in ministry. He continues to serve on the General Board of Discipleship and on the Management Team of the National Association of the United Methodist Foundations. He is the secretary of the South Central Jursidiction College of Bishops.

Centenary College of Louisiana, which traces its founding to 1825, is the oldest college in Louisiana and the 43rd oldest among the more than 3,500 colleges and universities in the United States. It is a nationally ranked, selective liberal arts college located in Shreveport, La.


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