Texas College cordially invites you to join us in celebration for the 2023 Commencement Activities. The Baccalaureate Service will be hosted virtually and the Commencement Exercise will be hosted in-person, as well as live streamed. For additional information and to access the virtual streams, please see below. 

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Baccalaureate Service

The Baccalaureate service will be hosted virtually on Friday, May 5, 2023 at 11:00 A.M. (CT); a musical prelude will begin at 10:30 A.M. (CT). Rev. Dr. Jeremy L. Williams, Dean of the Leadership Training Institute for the Eighth Episcopal District of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, will serve as the 2023 Baccalaureate Speaker.

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Commencement Exercise

The Commencement Exercise will be hosted in-person at the Texas College campus on Saturday, May 6, 2023 at 10:00 A.M. (CT), as well as live streamed. The Honorable James E. Clyburn, Assistant Democratic Leader in the United States House of Representatives, will serve as the 2023 Commencement Speaker.

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Please note that the Commencement activities (Baccalaureate Service and Commencement Exercise) are not an official source for determining the candidates’ completion of graduation requirements. Further, some names may not appear, due to failure to meet all graduation requirements, inclusive of deadlines.

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Rev. Dr. Jeremy L. Williams

Rev. Dr. Jeremy L. Williams currently serves as the Dean of the Eighth Episcopal District’s Leadership Training Institute. He is a nationally sought-out thinker, preacher, leader, and author. He hails from Rocket City, USA—Huntsville, Alabama. He is a scholar of religion, specializing in New Testament and Early Christianity. He serves as an Assistant Professor of New Testament at Brite Divinity School at Texas Christian University. 

Rev. Dr. Williams attended Lee High School, where he graduated salutatorian of his class. Following his high school graduation, he pursued his baccalaureate degree at Vanderbilt University, where he graduated with the highest honors in Religious Studies and Economics. He then earned the Master of Divinity degree from Yale Divinity School, in which he was awarded the Henry Hallam Tweedy Prize, the highest award presented to graduates. Rev. Dr. Williams pursued and earned the Master of Arts degree, as well as the Doctor of Philosophy degree at Harvard University.

Rev. Dr. Williams has done archaeology restoration at Madgala, Israel, as well as presented work in Germany at the Berlin Graduate School of Ancient Studies. Further, he has read Biblical Hebrew in Jerusalem, the Greek New Testament in Athens, and Classical Latin in Rome.

Rev. Dr. Williams' research involves studying biblical passages, especially in Acts, where imperial and local officials criminalize the Jesus following movement. His approach involves using Roman legal studies, critical race theory, Black studies, womanist cultural criticism, and material culture to assess how ancient texts crafted narratives to racialize, criminalize, and victimize individuals and groups of people. Conscious of the role that the Bible plays in public policy, he is invested in developing strategies for reading biblical texts in ways that expose the logics that fuel mass incarceration, over-policing, and discriminatory practices in Western judicial systems. He has a number of academic publications including,  "I am a Human: Racializing Assemblages and Criminalized Egyptianness in Acts 21:31-39" in Bitter the Chastening Rod: Africana Biblical Interpretation after Stony the Road We Trod in the Age of #BLM, #SayHerName, and #MeToo. His book Criminalization in Acts of the Apostles: Race, Rhetoric, and the Prosecution of an Early Christian Movement is under contract with Cambridge University Press and is scheduled for publication in 2023.

Rev. Dr. Williams received his ordinations in the North Central Alabama Region of the Christian Methodist Episcopal (CME) Church as a member of Acklin CME Church in Berkley, Alabama. He has had the opportunity to preach, present, and teach at some of the denomination’s largest gatherings including the Connectional Youth and Young Adult Conference, the Pastors’ Conference at Phillips School of Theology, the Unity Summit, and multiple annual and district conferences. He has received appointments in the North Central Alabama Region, the New York-Washington Region, and the Dallas-Fort Worth-Northwest Region.

Rev. Dr. Williams is a non-profit leader. He currently chairs the Board of FaithActs for Education based in Bridgeport, Connecticut. He worked at the corporate office of the Boys & Girls Clubs of North Alabama, where in one year he secured over $600,000 in grants for the organization. He served his honorable fraternity, Kappa Alpha Psi, as the National Second Vice President (Junior Grand Vice Polemarch). He also received the highest award given to undergraduates.

Rev. Dr. Williams is married to the former Kiara. J. Boone. Five months ago, he and Kiara welcomed their first child, Baby J, into the world. They are also dog parents to Kali. Rev. Dr. Williams works every day to inspire people to “dream better dreams.” 

The Honorable James E. Clyburn

James E. Clyburn is the Assistant Democratic Leader in the United States House of Representatives. He previously served in the post from 2011 to 2018 and served as Majority Whip from 2007 to 2010 and 2019 to 2022, making him the first African American to serve multiple terms as Majority Whip. A native son of South Carolina, Clyburn has represented the state’s Sixth Congressional District since 1993.

Congressman Clyburn’s humble beginnings in Sumter, South Carolina, as the eldest son of an activist, fundamentalist minister and an independent, civic-minded beautician, grounded him securely in family, faith, and public service. As a 1961 graduate of South Carolina State, he began his professional career as a public-school teacher in Charleston, South Carolina. He later served as an employment counselor, and director of two youth and community development programs. In 1971, he joined the staff of Governor John C. West, becoming the first African American advisor to a South Carolina governor. In 1974, Governor West appointed him South Carolina Human Affairs Commissioner, where he served until 1992 when he retired from state government to run for Congress.

When he came to Congress in 1993, Congressman Clyburn was elected co-president of his freshman class. He was subsequently elected Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, Vice Chair, and Chair, of the House Democratic Caucus. From 2011 to 2018, he served as Assistant Democratic Leader. In addition to serving as Whip, Congressman Clyburn chairs the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis.

Congressman Clyburn has led efforts to preserve and restore historic buildings on the campuses of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). He sponsored legislation creating the South Carolina National Heritage Corridor, the Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor, the Congaree National Park, the Reconstruction Era National Historical Park and expanding the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site to South Carolina, Virginia, Delaware and Washington, DC.

Dedicated to making America’s greatness accessible and affordable for all citizens, his 10-20-30 federal funding formula - initially applied to three programs in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 - has been expanded to 15 accounts of the appropriations bills. Additionally, his Rural Energy Savings Program provides loans to families and businesses to implement durable, cost-effective energy efficiency measures. His “Accessible, Affordable Broadband for All” bill was included in the 2021 bipartisan infrastructure bill and is funded at a level of $65 billion.

The recipient of 36 honorary degrees, Congressman Clyburn has received numerous awards including: the Lyndon Baines Johnson Liberty and Justice for All Award in 2015; the Harry S Truman Foundation’s Good Neighbor Award in 2021; and the NAACP’s highest honor – the Spingarn Medal – in 2022. His endorsement of Joe Biden for president in 2020 is credited with boosting him to an overwhelming victory in the South Carolina and subsequent primaries and setting Biden on path to the presidency.

Congressman Clyburn and his late wife, Emily England Clyburn, met as college student protestors in an Orangeburg, South Carolina, jail in 1960. The encounter led to a 58-year marriage, and they became parents of three daughters and grandparents to four grandchildren.