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Contact: Lynn Stewart, Centenary News Service, 318-869-5120

U.S. Rep. Jim McCrery to Speak at Centenary College Commencement May 8; Honorary Doctorates Will Go to McCrery, Tsujii and Brown

SHREVEPORT, LA -- Some 225 students are candidates for degrees during Centenary College's commencement ceremonies that are set for 10:30 a.m. Saturday, May 8, in the Centenary Gold Dome. Speaker will be U.S. Rep. Jim McCrery, who represents Louisiana's 4th Congressional District.

A native of Shreveport, McCrery grew up in Leesville, La. He earned a B.A. in English and history from Louisiana Tech University in 1971 and a juris doctorate from Louisiana State University in 1975. After practicing law in Leesville and Shreveport, he worked for Congressman Buddy Roemer, first as district manager in Shreveport and then as legislative director in Washington. He was in-house counsel and regional manager for governmental affairs for Georgia Pacific Corp. before being elected to Congress in 1988. He was the first Republican elected from the 4th Congressional District in 114 years.

Congressional Quarterly has called McCrery an "economic guardian" for his work as Select Revenue Measures Subcommittee chairman on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee.

During commencement, Centenary will award honorary doctorates to Rep. McCrery and to Charles Ellis Brown of Shreveport and Professor Eiji Tsujii of Kyoto, Japan.

Brown, a Centenary graduate, is a geologist, businessman and civic leader who has been a member of the Centenary Board of Trustees since 1966. He is a member of a family whose long history has been intertwined with Centenary, almost since the founding of the College of Louisiana in 1825. His great-great-grandfather made bricks for the buildings at Old Centenary in Jackson, La., and served on its Board of Trustees during the 1830s and '40s. Subsequently, his great-grandfather, grandfather and father all claimed Centenary as their alma mater and became trustees of the college.

Tsujii is professor of English literature at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto. He is the leading Jack London scholar in Asia and one of the most outstanding London scholars in the world. He was the first overseas scholar to make use of the materials in Centenary's Jack London Research Center. Following the encouragement of Centenary's Dr. Earle Labor, Tsujii came to Shreveport from his research at California's Huntington Library in 1993 and spent six weeks studying in Centenary's extensive collection of secondary materials about London. He will be one of a 13-member contingent from Japan, including several Jack London scholars, who will visit Centenary and the area May 6-8.

Members of the platform party will also include William G. Anderson, chairman of the Centenary Board of Trustees; Dr. Kenneth L. Schwab, president; Dr. Darrel Colson, provost and dean of the college; the Rev. Betsy Eaves, chaplain; and Katie McKay, senior class representative. Music will be provided by the Centenary Wind Ensemble, conducted by Dr. Thomas Stone, and the Centenary College Choir, directed by Dr. Will Andress.

Dr. Earle Labor will serve as grand marshal and Dr. Rosemary Seidler as faculty marshal. Ushers will include members of the Maroon Jackets honor organization. A reception will follow the ceremony and will be held on the north lawn of the Gold Dome.

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