The University of the South’s Fall Convocation will be held at 4:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 16

The University of the South’s Fall Convocation will be held at 4:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 16. An honorary degree will be presented, and approximately 300 new members will be inducted into the Order of the Gown during the service. 

Nationally recognized higher education advisor Claude Pressnell Jr. will be the convocation speaker and will receive an honorary degree.

Claude Pressnell Jr. has spent over 35 years in higher education administration. His career began in 1987 as an admission recruiter at Southwest Baptist University. He earned a doctorate in higher education administration from Vanderbilt University and, while a student there, served as the university’s director of financial assistance. 

In 1996, Pressnell was named executive director of the Tennessee Foundation for Independent Colleges and has, since 2000, served as president of the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association. In 2003, the U.S. Senate appointed Pressnell to the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance, for which he served as vice chair from 2007 until his second and final term expired in 2008. In 2007, he testified before Congress on higher education policy issues. In 2014, Pressnell was appointed by four U.S. senators to serve on a committee to recommend a pathway to reduce the federal regulatory burden on higher education in the United States. In 2016, he was appointed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for a six-year term to the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity, for which he currently serves as vice chair.

He has also served as an international advisor on higher education reform to foreign governments in the Middle East, South Asia, the Balkan region of Europe, and South America.  He currently serves as an advisor to the government of Iraq.