Bishop James Mauney to speak at Commencement


Bishop James Mauney, the retiring bishop of the Virginia Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, will be the featured speaker at Commencement on Saturday, May 6. Approximately 441 graduates will join the Class of 2017.

Mauney graduated from Lenoir-Rhyne College, Hickory, N.C. with a major in English and speech, and from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in Columbia, S.C. with a Master of Divinity. He earned a Master of Sacred Theology in New Testament Studies from Trinity Lutheran Seminary, Columbus, Ohio, and a Master of Sacred Theology in Old Testament Studies from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary. He holds honorary Doctor of Divinity degrees from Roanoke and Lenoir-Rhyne College. Mauney has served as bishop 18 years since his election in 1999. The ELCA Virginia Synod includes approximately 40,000 Lutherans in 148 congregations across the state of Virginia.

Previously, Mauney served as an assistant to Bishop Richard Bansemer and served at Christ Lutheran Church in San Diego and at Christ Lutheran Church in Richmond. He was ordained in 1978. Mauney and his wife Lynda are members of College Evangelical Lutheran Church in Salem.

An honorary Doctor of Commerce degree will be awarded to Donald Kerr, of Brentwood, Tennessee. Kerr is a 1960 graduate of Roanoke College and a former member of the Board of Trustees. He is the president and CEO of Kerr Industries, Inc.

Beth Macy, of Roanoke, will be awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters. Macy is the author of two New York Times best-selling books and a former Roanoke Times reporter. She has won more than a dozen national awards, including a fellowship at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University.

Baccalaureate service will be held on Friday, May 5 with Rev. Christopher Bowen as the featured speaker. Bowen is the Timothy Pickle Dean of the Chapel at Roanoke College. Bishop Mauney also will participate in Baccalaureate, along with Rabbi Kathy Cohen from Temple Emanuel in Roanoke. She is the mother of Ariel Cohen, ’17. The service will include a memorial for Kevin Hartley, a student who died in 2015.

-Submitted by Roanoke College Pubic Relations Department

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