Greensboro College Names 2017 Commencement and Baccalaureate Speakers

(Last Updated On: April 12, 2017)

Lynette Tannis ’95, Ed.D.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Greensboro College alumna Lynette Tannis ’95, Ed.D., will be the college’s 2017 Commencement speaker, the college announced today.

The speaker for the 2017 Baccalaureate/Cap and Gown Service will the Rev. Daniel G. Martin.

Tannis’s address is titled, “Endowing Those Within Your Sphere of Influence.”

Tannis is a career educator whose work most recently has focused on educating incarcerated youth.

Currently an adjunct lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she teaches “Educating Incarcerated Youth: Practice, Research, and Policy,” she also does research for the school’s Juvenile Justice Education Research Initiative.

In the past 22 years, she has served as an elementary-school teacher, high school athletic coach, literacy coordinator, school/district administrator, lecturer, researcher, professional developer, and an education delegate to Brazil, China, South Africa, Trinidad, Turkey, and throughout the United States.

She is the author of “Educating Incarcerated Youth: Exploring the Impact of Relationships, Expectations, Resources, and Accountability” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014) and is recognized as a national expert on juvenile justice education.

Her work has been featured in the Harvard Educational Review (2017), the National Association for Public Defense (2016), educationpost (2015), Education Week (2014), and the Harvard Ed. Magazine (2015, 2014, 2013).

As a Greensboro College undergraduate, Tannis played three sports, setting records in soccer and winning the Coaches and Most Valuable Player awards in basketball and tennis, respectively.

Academically, she was honored for Athletic and Academic Excellence and as one of the college’s Distinguished Scholars. Tannis also earned the United African American Society Award for Contributions to the College Community, was awarded the Philip Morris Minority Teaching Scholarship, and was recognized as a Dean’s List scholar.

In addition to her 1995 B.A. in elementary education cum laude from Greensboro College, Tannis also holds a master’s degree in educational administration with distinction from Kean University, and a master’s of education policy and management and Doctor of Education, both from Harvard University.

Tannis and her husband, Milton, live in Plainfield, N.J., and have two sons, Shaquir and Nazarae.


The Rev. Daniel G. Martin

Martin’s Baccalaureate speech is titled, “Relieving Hands from the Burden.”

Martin, a pastor in the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church for 45 years, has served since July 2015 as senior pastor of Greensboro’s West Market Street United Methodist Church, the congregation that founded Greensboro College in 1838. He joined the college’s Board of Trustees in January 2016.

Prior to coming to Greensboro, he served for six years as senior pastor of First United Methodist Church in Hendersonville, N.C. He also has served churches in

Denton, Winston-Salem, Thomasville, Yadkinville, Advance, and Newton.

Martin is originally from Walkertown, N.C., and received a B.A. in religion from Pfeiffer College and a master’s of divinity from Duke Divinity School.

Martin is married to Anne Duncan Martin. They have two sons, The Rev. Duncan Martin of Pinnacle and Parker Martin of Atlanta, and twin granddaughters, Ginny and Kate.

The Baccalaureate service will be at 5 p.m. Friday, May 12, in the Gail Brower Huggins Performance Center in Odell Building on campus. Commencement will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 13, on Front Campus, or in the Huggins Performance Center in the event of bad weather; see the college’s rain plan for details.

Greensboro College provides a liberal arts education grounded in the traditions of the United Methodist Church and fosters the intellectual, social, and, spiritual development of all students while supporting their individual needs.

Founded in 1838 and located in downtown Greensboro, the college enrolls about 1,000 students from 29 states and territories, the District of Columbia, and seven foreign countries in its undergraduate liberal-arts program and four master’s degree programs. In addition to rigorous academics and a well-supported Honors program, the school features an 18-sport NCAA Division III athletic program and dozens of service and recreational opportunities.