Dave Ramsey will speak at MC commencement

Dave Ramsey, personal money management expert and host of the popular nationally syndicated radio and TV programs “The Dave Ramsey Show,” will give the commencement address to Maryville College’s Class of 2009 on May 17 and receive an honorary doctor of finance degree from the 190-year-old institution.

The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. on the campus grounds.

Drawing from Jeremiah 29:11, Ramsey has entitled his address to the 225 graduating seniors and their families “Hope, Real Hope.”

“We are delighted to have Dave Ramsey address our graduating seniors this year,” said Maryville College President Dr. Gerald Gibson. “We’re fortunate that Mr. Ramsey’s calendar permits him to serve as Maryville’s Commencement speaker and to accept an honorary degree from the College. Given the economic climate in our country, I feel sure that his message will be a timely one.”

In case of inclement weather, commencement services will be held in Cooper Athletic Center where, due to limited space, only guests of the graduates will receive tickets for admittance.

Ramsey, a Nashville-area native, knows first-hand what financial peace means in his own life. After losing his $4-million real estate portfolio at age 30, Ramsey went on a mission to learn everything he could about money, rebuild his financial life and start his own company, which is dedicated to counseling others into financial health.

Ramsey also created Financial Peace University (FPU), a 13-week program that helps ordinary people successfully gain control of their money by eliminating debt, learning new money management behaviors and understanding the dynamics behind their financial distress. More than 750,000 families have attended FPU classes.

The New York Times best-selling author holds a bachelor’s degree in finance and real estate from the University of Tennessee. Best-sellers include Financial Peace, More Than Enough and The Total Money Makeover. Through his books, nation-wide speaking events, radio program and television program, Ramsey shares his life’s work of teaching others how financial health enables them to take care of loved ones, live prosperously and give generously.

Ramsey, who is a cousin to local businessman and MC Board member Steve West and alumna Lynn Ramsey Cole, has another connection to Maryville College. His great-grandmother, Nita Eckles West, started the drama department at the College in 1899 and taught drama and speech for 42 years.

To honor her years of dedicated service, members of the Ramsey and West families made a donation to the under-construction Civic Arts Center, requesting that the stage in the main performance hall bear her name.

The Rev. Dr. S. Marc Sherrod, pastor of Bethel Presbyterian Church in Kingston, Tennessee, will be this year’s baccalaureate speaker. He is the father of graduating senior Hannah Sherrod and sophomore Jordan Sherrod.

Held in Cooper Athletic Center, the baccalaureate ceremony will begin at 2 p.m., Sunday, May 17, and is open to the public.

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