Desribe Image HereNovember 24, 2014 (Chattanooga) - The Belhaven Chattanooga Commencement will honor its graduating students on December 5, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. at Brainerd Baptist Church. The speaker for commencement will be Julie Baumgardner, President and CEO of anaward-winning, grassroots organization dedicated to strengthening families called First Things First.

Many other cities across the country and internationally have duplicated the First Things First model to help strengthen families. Under Baumgardner's leadership First Things First has received numerous awards including: the Chamber of Commerce'sNon-profit of the Year, the Urban League'sVision 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, Baumgardner frequently speaks on these issues both locally and nationally. In addition to her weekly column on family issues in theChattanooga Times Free Pressthat 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 former President George W. 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. Baumgardner 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 theSmart Marriages Impact Award, theFrist Humanitarian Award, theLiberty Bellaward from the Chattanooga Bar Association and theForty Under Forty Community Service Awardin addition to being recognized as a Woman of Distinction by the American Lung Association.Baumgardner is married to Jay and they have a daughter, Ashley.

If you need additional information concerning the Belhaven Chattanooga Commencement please contact student services at 423-265-7784.