News Release

Southern Virginia to Hold Convocation Friday, Sept. 6

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Southern Virginia University Provost Madison U. Sowell will give an address titled “Dulce et Utile: The Value of a Liberal Arts Education” at Southern Virginia’s 2013 Convocation on Friday, Sept. 6, at 11 a.m. in the Stoddard Center.

Convocation at Southern Virginia is a formal gathering of faculty, staff and students to officially welcome new students and to usher in the new academic year. Faculty members dress in their formal academic robes and the highest-ranking professor, Dr. Josephine Arogyasami — who has held the rank of full professor for the longest period of time — leads them into the assembly. Other attendees are encouraged to dress with appropriate respect for the traditional gathering.

Prior to his arrival at Southern Virginia, Provost Sowell served as director of the honors program and associate dean of undergraduate education at Brigham Young University. He is a professor emeritus of Italian and comparative literature at BYU, where he served on the faculty for 30 years.

He was chair of BYU’s Department of French and Italian for nearly a decade and was named an Alcuin Fellow, a Karl G. Maeser General Education Professor, and the Scheuber and Veinz Professor of Humanities and Languages.

Provost Sowell received a bachelor’s degree from BYU, and both a master’s degree and a doctorate from Harvard University. While at Harvard, he won the Jacoby Prize for scholarship and his department’s prize for outstanding teaching.

In the following weeks, local community members and Southern Virginia faculty, staff and students are invited to hear from devotional and forum speakers in the Stoddard Center each Friday morning at 11 a.m. Recordings of past forum and devotional speeches may be accessed online.