Commencement Information for Chattanooga Campus
December 4, 2014

Friday, December 5, 2014

  • When:  December 5. The ceremony begins at 7:00 pm (graduates should arrive at 6:00).
  • Where:  Brainerd Baptist Church (BX Building), 4011 Austin Street, Chattanooga, TN 37411
  • Reception:  A reception will be held at the graduation venue following the ceremony.
  • Commencement Speaker:  Ms. Julie Baumgardner
  • Regalia:  Students will be notified when caps and gowns are available to pick up at the Chattanooga campus.
  • Questions:  If you need further clarification, please contact Student Services at 423-265-7784.

Julie Baumgardner
Julie Baumgardner, President and CEO, has been with First Things First since its inception in 1997.  The  award-winning, grassroots organization dedicated to strengthening families has sparked interest in duplicating the FTF model in cities across the country and internationally.  Julie along with the First Things First team have provided technical assistance to hundreds of communities across the country and internationally.
Over the last 17 years First Things First has received numerous awards including: the Chamber of Commerce’s Non-profit of the Year, the Urban League’s Vision Award, the Alfred P. Sloan Business award and the Vision’s award from the Tennessee Association of Family and Consumer Sciences along with numerous ADDY awards.
As a passionate advocate for healthy marriage and family, Mrs. Baumgardner frequently speaks on these issues both locally and nationally.  In addition to her weekly column on family issues in the Chattanooga Times Free Press that reaches one hundred thousand households, she also hosts a weekly talk show on public television, First Things First with Julie Baumgardner, discussing topics relevant to marriage and family.
She was invited by President and Mrs. Bush to speak at the White House Conference on Helping America’s Youth and has testified in front of a senate subcommittee about the benefits of marriage. She served as co-chair of the County Mayor’s Parent Involvement Task Force and provided leadership in the implementation of the Hamilton County School’s Character Education Program.  She currently serves on the Mayor’s task force on gang violence prevention, Ready by 21 Steering Committee and is the chair of the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Chattanooga curriculum committee.  Nationally, she currently is the board chair for the National Association for Relationship and Marriage Education.
Mrs. Baumgardner has been honored with the Smart Marriages Impact Award, the Frist Humanitarian Award, the Liberty Bell award from the Chattanooga Bar Association and the Forty Under Forty Community Service Award in addition to being recognized as a Woman of Distinction by the American Lung Association.
Julie Baumgardner is married to Jay and they have a daughter, Ashley.

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