Al Sturgeon, Former Dean of Students, to Serve as Keynote Speaker for 2024 Commencement Ceremony


Portrait of Al Sturgeon.
By Office of Marketing & Public Relations
On April 22, 2024

Blackburn College is pleased to announce that Al Sturgeon, Blackburn’s former Vice President for Diverse & Equitable Student Life and Dean of Students, will serve as the keynote speaker for the 155th Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 11.

Sturgeon presently serves as Associate Dean of Student Life & Spiritual Development at the Pepperdine Caruso School of Law as well as Senior Fellow and Adjunct Professor in its Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution. He earned a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville in 1992 and then worked as a coach, teacher, and pastor in Arkansas and on the Mississippi Gulf Coast for sixteen years prior to moving to Pepperdine where he earned a Juris Doctorate and a Certificate in Dispute Resolution in 2011. After admission to the State Bar of California in 2011, he began work in higher education and has held various positions in student affairs since then, including serving as the chief student affairs officer at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee. During his tenure at Blackburn, Sturgeon also served as men’s and women’s cross country coach and helped launch the indoor and outdoor track teams. 

The 2024 Commencement Ceremony is scheduled for 10:30 AM on Saturday, May 11, in the Hudson Quad on the Carlinville, Ill. campus. More information on Blackburn College’s 155th Commencement activities can be found on Blackburn’s website.