News + Events

Freed-Hardeman Celebrates Graduates at Commencement

Henderson, Tenn. - May 14, 2016

Author and preacher Jay Lockhart of Whitehouse, Texas, spoke at Freed-Hardeman University’s spring commencement Saturday, May 14, in Loyd Auditorium. Lockhart is also an alumnus of FHU and a member of the university’s board of trustees.

Approximately 250 students received degrees, including the first graduates of FHU/Dickson. Graduate degrees in a variety of fields were conferred on 51 students. Almost 200 students were awarded baccalaureate degrees.

Lockhart began his preaching career in 1956 in Parkersburg, West Virginia. In the years since, he has preached at various churches in Kentucky and Texas. He currently serves as both an elder and the preacher at the Whitehouse Church of Christ. In addition to his preaching, Lockhart is the author of a commentary on Ephesians as a part of the Truth for Today series. He is the co-author, along with Clarence DeLoach, of a new book, “The Glory of Preaching,” which emphasizes the importance of expository preaching. Lockhart is also one of the editors of Think Magazine published by Focus Press.

During his commencement remarks, Lockhart encouraged, “As you prepare to leave these sacred halls of a university that we love so much and you go to make your mark on the world, you will go as those who have learned to make a living but you’ll also go as those who have learned how to live. No greater life could we live than the life of a servant. Wherever you go, go as a great servant.”

Two students were presented 2016 Faculty Scholarship-Leadership Medals by Dr. C. J. Vires, provost and vice president for academics. Selected by a vote of the entire faculty, the medal is the highest honor bestowed by the faculty. It has been presented annually since 1938. This year’s recipients were Jordan Newby and Austen Oakley.

Newby, recipient of a Bachelor of Science with a major in biology and a member of the Lion baseball team, has maintained a 4.00 grade point average while playing intercollegiate sports. He spent two months last summer doing research with Dr. Jordan Lowery and will return this summer to continue that work. In addition, he traveled to Panama with the baseball team to work with youngsters, regularly went to local elementary schools to educate about bullying and participated in the school’s fall festival and Read Across America. His career goal is to become a medical doctor.

Oakley, a frequent speaker at various campus events, also graduated with a 4.0 grade point average. He received a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Bible. His professors laud his dedication to his studies, his attention to detail and his ability to think deeply and communicate ably. Currently, he and three friends are writing and producing tools for evangelism available at As a college student, Oakley has preached at area congregations and worked as a youth minister. He is from Florence, Alabama.