Lincoln College announces 146th commencement ceremony

Brenda Chapman and Justice James Knecht to receive honorary degrees

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[April 24, 2013]  Lincoln College will have its 146th commencement ceremony on May 4, beginning at 2 p.m. The ceremony will be in the Jack D. Nutt Arena in the Lincoln Center. This year's commencement speakers and honorary degree recipients are animation artist and Academy Award winner Brenda Chapman and Justice James A. Knecht.

A Beason native, Chapman earned her associate degree from Lincoln College in 1982. She went on to earn her bachelor's degree in fine arts from the California Institute of the Arts, followed by a career at Walt Disney Feature Animation Studios. She worked as a story artist on a number of Disney's most beloved animated films, including "The Little Mermaid," "The Rescuers Down Under," "Beauty and the Beast," "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" and "Fantasia/2000." She left Disney to help launch DreamWorks Animation Studios, where she directed the 1998 release "The Prince of Egypt," the first animated feature film directed by a woman for a major Hollywood studio. In September 2003 she joined Pixar Animation Studios, where she created, wrote and directed the Oscar, BAFTA and Golden Globe-winning "Brave." Chapman is currently consulting for Lucasfilm.

Knecht grew up in Lincoln and credits his decision to attend law school and become a judge to his childhood spent watching judges and attorneys coming from and going to the Logan County Courthouse. He graduated from Illinois State University and the University of Illinois College of Law, where he was a member of the Order of the Coif and an editor of the Law Review. He has taught at Illinois State University and the University of Illinois College of Law, and has been a judge for 38 years. Knecht currently serves as a justice of the 4th District Appellate Court.

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Ms. Taylor Perry, of Lincoln, will deliver the student address. In her two years at Lincoln College, Perry has served as a student ambassador, co-captain of the cheerleading squad, vice-president of the academic honor society Phi Theta Kappa and earned special honors for maintaining a 4.0 grade-point average. Perry is the daughter of Tom and Teri Perry of Lincoln.

Lincoln College freshman and ordained Baptist minister Michael Coley of Decatur will give the invocation and the benediction.

This will be the first commencement for Lincoln College's 21st president, John D. Blackburn. Blackburn came to Lincoln College last year after retiring from a 30-year career with Country Financial, including having served as CEO from 2001 to 2012.

In all, 171 candidates are eligible to receive an associate degree. Lincoln College will also award one bachelor's degree through its theater program.

[Text from file received from Lincoln College

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