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President of Lexington Herald-Leader to Give Commencement Speech at UC


Williamsburg, Ky. – Mr. Rufus Friday will be the featured speaker at University of the Cumberlands (UC) commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 10. The ceremony is planned for 10 a.m. in the O. Wayne Rollins Center on the UC campus.

Rufus M. Friday joined the Lexington Herald-Leader & media company in June 2011 as the seventh president and publisher in its history, after serving six and a half years as president and publisher at the Tri-City Herald in Kennewick, Washington state.

Mr. Friday is a 29-year newspaper veteran, a North Carolina native and graduate from North Carolina State University.

He began his newspaper career at the News & Observer in Raleigh, North Carolina in 1984. In 1992, he began an 11-year span with the Gannett Company (parent company of USA Today) directing circulation divisions for the company in the states of Tennessee, Illinois and Alabama.

He joined the Sacramento, California based McClatchy Company (parent company of the Lexington Herald-Leader) in 2003.

Mr. Friday is active in the newspaper industry association as a member of the board of directors for the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association as well.

Mr. Friday also currently serves in the community on the board of directors for the University of Kentucky- College of Communication and Information National Advisory Board, the United Way of the Bluegrass, Commerce Lexington, the American Heart Association-Central Kentucky, the Bluegrass Community Foundation, the Lexington Industrial Foundation and serves as a group mentor for the University of Kentucky’s Black & Latino Male mentoring program.

Mr. Friday and his wife, Melody, have been married for 31 years and have an 19-year-old daughter, Chanel, who is a sophomore at the University of Kentucky in the College of Communication and Information.

University of the Cumberlands expects to confer degrees on their largest graduating class in history estimating, before final grades are awarded, over 600 degrees including baccalaureate, masters, and doctoral degrees. In addition, UC will honor the class of 1964 in their 50th reunion. Over 20 members of the class will return for the Alumni Golden March, a tradition at UC.

Seating is a premium every year at commencement and this year will certainly be no exception. Doors will open to the O. Wayne Rollins Center at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 10th. Due to the anticipated number in attendance, UC will be offering the commencement via live video stream on their website at In addition, the Boswell Campus Center will be open for overflow with the ability to watch the live streaming event as well.

Located in Williamsburg, Ky., University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction, which currently offers four undergraduate degrees more than 40 major fields of study; ten pre-professional programs; ten graduate degrees distributed over eight areas, including two doctorates and seven master’s degrees; certifications in education; and online programs. For more information visit