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Commencement Will Feature Ronnie Agnew

November 29, 2011 (Jackson) - Ronnie Agnew, Executive Director of Mississippi Public Broadcasting (MPB) will speak at Belhaven University’s Commencement on December 17th, beginning at 9:30 A.M. in Thalia Mara Hall.

Dr. Roger Parrott, President of Belhaven University, said, “Ronnie Agnew has been a tireless advocate for education, so I'm thrilled our graduates can hear from him. I've watched him use his platforms at both the Clarion Ledger and now MBP to promote education at all levels. Being a hands-on leader in print and digital media, the world's most rapidly changing educational delivery systems, Ronnie has had to be an innovator for the future of education.”

After a 27-year newspaper career, Agnew joined MPB in August 2011 as the agency’s executive director. Agnew is responsible for MPB’s strategic direction as adopted by the agency’s board of directors. Agnew directs the three primary areas that form the agency’s mission: Emergency preparedness and response, economic impact media and educational resource development for all projects. As executive director, he has oversight of all MPB radio and television programming, as well as the agency’s digital initiatives.

Agnew, a native of Saltillo, Miss., had previously served as executive editor of The Clarion-Ledger for nine years, from August 2002-August 2011. He was the newspaper’s managing editor for 18 months prior to being promoted to the top newsroom position. Under his leadership, The Clarion-Ledger won numerous state and national awards, including the Mississippi Press Association’s general excellence award eight times during his tenure at the newspaper.

He is an award-winning columnist and is active in national journalism circles. He has served as a judge for journalism’s top prize, the Pulitzer, three times, and is currently on the board of directors of the American Society of News Editors. He is a former board member of the New York-based Associated Press Managing Editors’ organization. During his time at The Clarion-Ledger, the newspaper was a three-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and was lauded nationally for its staff diversity and coverage of civil rights issues.

While at The Clarion-Ledger, he received four President’s Rings, recognizing outstanding performance from the top 10 editors in Gannett Co. Inc., the newspaper’s parent company. He led the state’s largest newspaper as it experienced major digital growth. Agnew is also active in assisting journalism programs at several state universities. He is on the journalism advisory board of the University of Mississippi, the University of Southern Mississippi, Jackson State University, and Alcorn State University. He was honored with the prestigious Silver Em in 2008 from the University of Mississippi on the award’s 50th anniversary.

Agnew is a 1984 graduate of the University of Mississippi with bachelor’s degrees in radio/TV and English. He and his wife, Cynthia, have been married 25 years and have three children, Christopher, Victoria and Rachel. He is a graduate of Leadership Jackson, and Gannett’s Leadership Academy and Senior Management Development program. He is a frequent lecturer in Mississippi and nationally on media issues.

Belhaven stands among the select Christian colleges and universities that offer a unique general core curriculum encouraging the development of a personal worldview. The university believes a Christian worldview is a key to preparing men and women academically and spiritually to serve Christ Jesus in their careers, in human relationships, and in the world of ideas.

Founded in 1883, Belhaven University now serves over 3,000 students from campuses in Jackson, Memphis, Orlando, Houston, Chattanooga, Atlanta and online, offering traditional undergraduate degrees, graduate and adult degree programs, and online degree programs.

For more breaking news, announcements, and upcoming events, visit the Belhaven University News and Information web site.