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April 25, 2008


LINCOLN UNIVERSITY, PA ~ Lincoln University President Ivory V. Nelson has announced that Charles J. Ogletree Jr., a prominent Harvard Law professor, legal theorist and author, will deliver the institution’s 149th Commencement address on Sunday, May 4 at 1:30 p.m. at the athletic field.

“We are pleased to have professor Ogletree speak to our graduates,” President Nelson said. “He is certainly among the nation’s highly respected legal minds as well as a an advocate for equality.”

Ogletree also will be one of three recipients of an honorary degree from the university. He will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree.  Dr. Ernest C. Levister Jr., an alumnus, distinguished physician and former member of the Lincoln University Board of Trustees, will receive an honorary doctor of science degree.  The third recipient will be Bishop Nathan D. Baxter, who will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters.

Ogletree is the Harvard Law School Jesse Climenko Professor of Law and founding Executive Director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice.  Ogletree is a native of Merced, Calif., and the author and contributor to numerous books.  His commentary has appeared on the editorial pages of the New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe and Los Angeles Times.

The recipient of numerous honors and awards, Ogletree obtained a law degree from Harvard Law School and also has a master’s and bachelor’s degree from Stanford University, where he was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa.

A 1958 graduate, Dr. Levister was a university trustee from 1999 to 2007 and has been a powerful proponent for the elimination of disparities in health care.

Dr. Levister, a native of New York, earned his medical degree from Howard University College of Medicine in 1964 and was the first African-American resident in internal medicine and later cardiology at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Washington, D C.  He holds fellowship in the American College of Physicians and the American College of Preventive Medicine.

Bishop Baxter was consecrated Bishop of the Diocese of Central Pennsylvania in 2006.  Prior to his election, he was rector of historic Saint James Episcopal Church of Lancaster, Pa., the largest parish in the Diocese of Central Pennsylvania.  During his tenure there, he served as chair of Diocesan Deputation to the 2003 National General Convention. 

Prior to Bishop Baxter’s tenure at St. James Church, he served twelve years as dean of the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. and chief administrative officer of the Protestant Episcopal Cathedral Foundation, the corporation comprising the Cathedral’s eight schools, colleges and auxiliaries.

Bishop Baxter also is an adjunct professor at Lancaster Seminary.

Founded in 1854, Lincoln University is a premier, historically Black University that combines the best elements of a liberal arts and sciences-based undergraduate core curriculum and selected graduate programs to meet the needs of those living in a highly technological and global society.  The University is nationally recognized as a major producer of African Americans with undergraduate degrees in the physical sciences (biology, chemistry and physics); computer and informational sciences; biological and life sciences.  Lincoln has an enrollment of 2,423 undergraduate and graduate students.

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