Lincoln College announces 146th commencement ceremony
Chapman and Justice James Knecht to receive honorary degrees
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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