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Home > Commencement Features Filmmaker, Investiture Rite

Commencement Features Filmmaker, Investiture Rite

May 14th, 2007

CONTACT:  David Halbrook
Patrick Henry College
(540) 338-8727

Ken Wales
Ken Wales to address
largest commencement class

Patrick Henry College celebrates its sixth, and largest, commencement Saturday, May 19, with a PHC-record 59 students participating. Veteran filmmaker Ken Wales, producer of Amazing Grace, the story of the great Christian reformer William Wilberforce, will deliver the 2007 Commencement Address in a ceremony that will feature the formal investiture of the College’s first Chancellor, Michael P. Farris. J.D., and its second President, Graham Walker, Ph.D.

Undergraduate degrees to be conferred include 34 Government majors, 12 Literature majors, seven Journalism majors, four Classical Liberal Arts majors and two History majors.

The producer of a string of award-winning films and television shows, Wales began his drama career on local radio in Kokomo, Indiana. By age 14 he had developed a passion for film as the projector operator at the legendary Aero Theatre in Santa Monica, later receiving the first Walt Disney four-year scholarship to the School of Cinema at the University of Southern California, graduating with honors.

Having acted in over 35 films and television shows, Wales was the Executive Producer of the critically acclaimed and award-winning CBS Television series Christy. His fifteen year partnership with director Blake Edwards produced many films, including The Tamarind Seed, The Wild Rovers, The Great Race with Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis, and The Party and Revenge of the Pink Panther, both starring Peter Sellers.

Co-producer of the ABC miniseries, Emmy® nominated and Golden Globe® winner John Steinbeck's East of Eden, Wales served as Vice President of Production for Walt Disney Pictures, presiding over the production of many other features.

The commencement program begins at 11 a.m. with a processional by the Belmont Brass. J. Victor Thompson of the College Board of Trustees will deliver the welcoming invocation, after which Board Chairman Jack Haye will direct the investiture ceremony, formally installing Chancellor Michael Farris, the College’s founder and first president, and incoming President Graham Walker.

In February 2006, Dr. Farris, a homeschool trailblazer, author, and constitutional scholar, announced that he would transition from the role of president to that of chancellor, shifting his duties from largely administrative to that of promoting the College through writing, speaking and fundraising.

On April 3, 2006, Dr. Graham Walker was named the second President of Patrick Henry College by a unanimous vote of the Board of Trustees. Dr. Walker hailed from Oklahoma Wesleyan College in Bartlesville, OK, where he served as Dean and Vice President for Academic Affairs. A former professor at the University of Pennsylvania and 1988 winner of the Edward S. Corwin Award for the best dissertation in the field of public law, Dr. Walker authored the Ethics of F.A. Hayek in 1986, and Moral Foundation of Constitutional Thought in 1990.