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Austin Peay State University 2011 Distinguished Professor Award recipient to address 700-plus degree candidates


Austin Peay State UniversityClarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University will send off 733 candidates for degrees during dual Fall Commencement ceremonies December 16th in the Dunn Center.

Dr. Bert Randall, professor of philosophy and the 2011 APSU National Alumni Association Distinguished Professor Award recipient, will be the keynote speaker at both commencement events.

The faculty member who earns the Distinguished Professor Award in May serves as commencement speaker at APSU’s fall graduation.

Randall holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from the university of Oklahoma. He has a B.S. in mathematics from Maryville College, a Master of Divinity in theology from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary and a Master of Arts.

In the 39 years he has taught at APSU, he has authored four books: “The Mystery of Hope in the Philosophy of Gabriel Marcel, 1888-1972: Hope and Homo Viator” (The Edwin Mellen Press, 1993); “Theologies of War and Peace Among Jews, Christians, and Muslims” (The Edwin Mellen Press, 1998); “Strangers on the Shore: The Beatitudes in World Religions” (Peter Lang Publishers, 2006); and “Holy Scriptures as Justifications for War: Fundamentalist Interpretations of the Torah, The New Testament, and the Qur’an” (The Edwin Mellen Press, 2008). He also has had 29 articles published in professional journals.

Randall has served one term as chair of the philosophy department, two terms as chair of the University Assembly, two terms as president of the Faculty Senate and as a member of the Academic Council.

Among the multiple awards he has received, Randall was named the recipient in 1993 of the APSU Hawkins Award for Excellence in Scholarship, nominated in 1996 and 1997 for the Carnegie Foundation Professor of the Year Award and nominated in 2009 for U.S. Professors of the Year. He also was awarded several grants for study and travel. On these grants, he has traveled to Syria, Kuwait, Jordan, Israel, Egypt, Yemen and Saudi Arabia.

In addition, Randall has given dozens of talks to educational, civic, community and religious groups yearly, including numerous sessions on Islam to various brigades at Fort Campbell, KY, prior to their returns to Iraq or Afghanistan.

At 10:00am, Friday, December 16th, students slated to earn degrees from the College of Arts and Letters, the College of Science and Mathematics and the School of Technology and Public Management will participate in commencement. At 2:00pm, candidates for degrees from the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences, College of Business and College of Education will have commencement exercises.

Students who have filed for graduate degrees will participate in the commencement ceremony for the college that houses the academic program. For instance, if a student is on schedule to receive a Master of Arts in communication arts, the student would participate in the 10:00am ceremony with the College of Arts and Letters because the APSU Department of Communication belongs to that college.

In addition, five students enrolled as cadets in the University’s Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) will be commissioned as officers at the conclusion of the 10:00am ceremony.

University officials are reporting there are 733 degree candidates for December graduation ceremony. Of that number, more than 550 will participate in the ceremonies.

APSU began holding dual commencements in December 2008. Having two ceremonies is a significant milestone for APSU and is a result of the continued increase in the University’s number of graduates over the past few years. This growth has made it very challenging to accommodate properly all of the degree candidates, faculty and guests in a single ceremony.

APSU will offer a free live webcast of each commencement ceremony. A link to the webcast will be made available on the University’s homepage within 24 hours of each ceremony. The free Windows Media Player will be required in order to view successfully the webcast. Both ceremonies also will be broadcast live on Charter 99 and Clarksville Department of Electricity Lightband 9. In addition, both events can be heard live on APSU’s radio station, WAPX 91.9.

For more information about commencement exercises, contact the Office of the Registrar by telephone at 931.221.7121, or visit the APSU Web page at




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