WILSON, N.C. — Barton College is pleased to announce Tom Parham, class of 1963, as the featured speaker for the 111th Opening Convocation.  The annual campus event is scheduled for Tuesday, August 28, at 11 a.m. in Howard Chapel.

Each fall, Opening Convocation signifies the official opening of the College’s academic session.  “An important event in the life of a college, Convocation helps set the tone for the academic year and provides an opportunity for Barton to invite the greater college community to share the excitement of beginning a new school year,” said Dr. John P. Marsden, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Barton College. “For freshmen, it also serves as one of several campus traditions with which they are being introduced as they begin their Barton Experience.  And, the pomp and circumstance of this event serves as a precursor for the long-awaited commencement exercises that they work toward during their academic career.”

North Carolina native Tom Parham, former student-athlete, tennis coach, and athletic director at then Atlantic Christian College, now Barton College, coached the Bulldogs to two national championships in men’s tennis. Parham, who retired from coaching and teaching in 2004, is also the author of “Play Is Where Life Is,” which chronicles many experiences from his association with the College and also offers a delightful take on his life’s journey — with some unexpected twists and turns along the way.

His celebrated career in coaching includes a record of 597 wins and 195 losses, and induction in eight athletic halls of fame, including the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in 2010.  Parham’s teams won three national championships, and he was honored as National Tennis Coach of the Year four times.  In 1979, he received the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the highest civilian honor awarded in the state of North Carolina, and in 2004, he received the Elon Medallion, the University’s highest honor, when he retired. Parham, professor emeritus at Elon University, now resides in Emerald Isle with his wife Margaret.

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Questions? Please contact Kathy Daughety, director of public relations, at 252-399-6529 or email: kdaughety@barton.edu.