Inauguration of Dr. J. Kline as Watkins President: May 13

May 12, 2016

Watkins is excited to officially recognize a new chapter in our illustrious 131-year history with the inauguration of the institution’s 16th President, Joseph (J.) Kline, Ph.D, on May 13. Join us in celebrating Watkins and its commitment to our students, alumni, faculty and the entire arts community!

Dr. J. Kline

Dr. J. Kline

Dr. Kline was named president in July 2015, bringing nearly 20 years of higher education administrative experience to his role at Watkins, with expertise in student recruitment, interdisciplinary programming, fundraising and strategic partnerships. Prior to Watkins, he served Dean of the College of Fine Arts at Eastern New Mexico University (ENMU), and held professor and department chair positions at the Savannah College of Art and Design and at DeSales University (Center Valley, PA). Dr. Kline has a Bachelor of Arts from Colorado State University, a Master of Fine Arts from the Catholic University of America, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Fine Arts from Texas Tech University.

Read more about Dr. Kline

The inauguration will begin promptly at 4 p.m. on lucky Friday, May 13, led by Board chair Samuel E. Stumpf, Jr. Immediately following, a reception will be held in the Cecy Reed Student Center.

This second weekend in May will be a momentous one for Watkins! The day after the inauguration festivities — Saturday, May 14Commencement for the Class of 2016 will begin at 10 a.m. Noted writer/director/producer Callie Khouri (creator of Nashville, Oscar-winner screenwriter of Thelma and Louise) will deliver the Commencement address. Both ceremonies will be held in a tent on the Watkins campus. Free parking is available in the front lot, and guests will be directed to the proper entrance.

Watkins is located at 2298 Rosa L. Parks Blvd. (37228) in the Metro Center area, just north of downtown (approximately three miles from the Tennessee State Capitol), and easily accessible via I-65. See Google map for directions.

For questions, please contact Maggie Fansher: mfansher@watkins.edu or 615-277-7402.

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