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Centenary announces commencement plans for May 2021

SHREVEPORT, LA — Centenary will celebrate commencement for both the Class of 2020 and Class of 2021 on Saturday, May 8, 2021, at the College’s Gold Dome. The Class of 2021 will be recognized at a morning ceremony and the College will welcome back members of the Class of 2020 for an afternoon commencement. Commencement in May 2020 was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As we conclude this extraordinary year, we are pleased to be able to have an in-person commencement with guests while abiding by safety guidelines,” said Dr. Christopher L. Holoman, president of Centenary College. “We are also excited to have the Class of 2020 back to campus for a ceremony we were unable to have last spring. We are very proud of the accomplishments of both these classes, especially in light of all the disruptions caused by the pandemic.”

Dr. Diya Surie, a 2006 Centenary graduate, will deliver the commencement address for both ceremonies. Surie is a medical officer at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infections, Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion, International Infection Control Program Surveillance Team. She earned degrees in biochemistry and sociology from Centenary before completing her medical degree at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans. Surie completed post-graduate training in internal medicine at the University of Washington and at the CDC in Atlanta as an Epidemic Intelligence Service officer.

In her current role at the CDC, Surie is tasked with monitoring conditions in six countries to assess the prevalence and risk factors for colonization with antimicrobial resistance in communities and hospitals. She also provides technical assistance for antimicrobial surveillance to CDC country offices and the World Health Organization. Surie has also been a member of CDC deployments in Arizona, Namibia, and Malawi to address epidemiological concerns.

Leroy Harvey, a founding member of the Friends of Centenary College and champion of his home community of Jackson, Louisiana, site of the original Centenary College campus, will receive an honorary doctorate of humane letters degree during the morning commencement ceremony. Harvey is CEO of Harvey Enterprises, with a background in timber and real estate entrepreneurial ventures and multiple renovation and restoration projects in his beloved community of Jackson, Louisiana. His civic and community involvement includes co-producing “Song of Felicianas,” an original score production performed on the historic site of Centenary College of Louisiana in Jackson, Louisiana.

Members of the Class of 2021 and Class of 2020 will receive specific details about safety precautions in place during the commencement ceremonies as well as accommodations for a limited number of guests per graduate. Both ceremonies will be live streamed, and more information will be continually updated at


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