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Lincoln College announces 147th commencement ceremony

Honors Provost Emeritus Tom Zurkammer

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[May 02, 2014]  The 147th commencement ceremony at Lincoln College will be on May 10, beginning at 2 p.m. The ceremony will take place in the Jack D. Nutt Arena in the Lincoln Center. At the commencement, the college board of trustees will honor Tom Zurkammer as Provost Emeritus and present him with an honorary doctorate degree as a capstone to his illustrious career. Zurkammer will also give the commencement address.

A Lincoln native son, Zurkammer has spent his entire adult life serving Lincoln College.

He graduated from Lincoln Community High School in 1961 and entered Lincoln College that fall. During his two years at Lincoln College, he was an excellent student and star performer on the men's basketball and baseball teams. The 1961-62 basketball team finished 11th in the nation with a 30-7 record. He went on to MacMurray College to complete his bachelor's degree. While at MacMurray he earned all-American honors in both basketball and baseball and was inducted into the MacMurray Athletic Hall of Fame in 1996.

"Zurk," as he is affectionately and respectfully known, returned to Lincoln College in 1965 to help with the athletic program and teach classes in math and computer science. He coached the men's basketball teams from 1967 to 1970. By 1982 he had established himself as an outstanding educator and campus leader, and LC President Jack Nutt appointed him as dean of academic affairs. Zurkammer was elevated to vice president of academic affairs in 2002 and provost in 2003. He remained as provost until his retirement in 2008. He continues to serve the college as an adjunct professor in math and special assistant to the president.

"Zurk" has been honored many times by Lincoln College during his nearly five decades of service. Most recently, the gym floor in the Jack D. Nutt arena of the Lincoln Center was named for two Lincoln College legends, Zurkammer and coach Allen Pickering.

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"Provost Emeritus Zurkammer has seen vast changes in higher education, particularly at Lincoln College, while impacting thousands of lives during his stellar career," said LC President John Blackburn. "It is fitting that he shares some of his wisdom and advice with the 2014 graduating class while he is awarded an honorary doctorate degree.

When asked about his tenure at Lincoln College, Zurkammer said: "When I started working at Lincoln College, I thought that after a couple years I would move on to bigger and better things. It didn't take me long to realize that there was no bigger or better place to be than Lincoln College!"

Kristin Davis of Delavan will deliver the student address. While attending Lincoln College, Davis has been a member of Phi Theta Kappa, the women's volleyball team and has earned dean's list recognition.

In all, 151 candidates are eligible to receive an associate degree. Lincoln College will also award four Bachelor of Arts in Jazz Studies and four Bachelor of Arts in Theatre degrees.

[Text from file received from Lincoln College]

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