Kentucky Wesleyan College to celebrate Class of 2023 with Baccalaureate and Commencement May 5 and May 6

Kentucky Wesleyan College’s 155th annual Commencement will take place at Owensboro Christian Church (2818 New Hartford Rd.) on Saturday, May 6, at 10 a.m. Bishop Leonard Fairley will address the Class of 2023 on the “Spirit of Availability, Part 2.” He will be the recipient of an honorary doctor of divinity.

Leonard Fairley became bishop of the Kentucky Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church on Sept. 1, 2016. He had served the North Carolina Annual Conference since 1984, where his last appointment was serving as district superintendent of the Capital District, the largest district. 

He graduated from Pfeiffer College and Duke University’s School of Divinity. He has served on numerous boards and agencies and has participated on mission work teams in many countries including Costa Rica, Jamaica, Monserrat, Zimbabwe, Haiti, Honduras, Serbia and with the Appalachia Service Project.

Bishop Fairley has published a book of poetry, “Who Shall Hear My Voice.” He was also a contributing writer to “The Day the Earth Moved Haiti: From Havoc to Healing.”

The College’s Baccalaureate celebration will take place on Friday, May 5 at 7 p.m. at the Jack T. Wells ’77 Activity Center’s Young Auditorium (3300 Frederica Street). Rev. Tony Shouse will address the graduates at Baccalaureate on “Stories of Calling: Our Next Chapter.”

Rev. Shouse has served as pastor of Eaton Memorial Baptist Church in Owensboro, Ky., since September of 2020. He graduated from Daviess County High School and Georgetown College, where he played football, and the Baptist Seminary of Kentucky. He is a veteran of the United States Army and served in Germany. He has worked as a volunteer in collegiate ministry as a chaplain and mentor for over 20 years.

“We look forward to celebrating the many accomplishments of our Class of 2023 on this special day,” remarked President Thomas Mitzel. “We are honored to welcome two distinguished speakers to address our graduates as they prepare to take the next steps in their lives, well prepared to take The Wesleyan Way into the world.“

The first Kentucky Wesleyan College commencement took place at the Millersburg campus in 1868. The College’s first Owensboro commencement was held in the Owensboro High School auditorium in May 1952.

To learn more about our Commencement celebrations – CLICK HERE.