Country music royalty and a 52-year member of the Grand Ole Opry Jeannie Seely was honored by Lincoln Memorial University during its Fall Commencement exercises on Saturday, Dec. 14, in Tex Turner Arena where she received the Honorary Doctor of Arts during a ceremony where more than 350 LMU students also had degrees conferred on them. LMU honored her with its most prestigious recognition for her many accomplishments in the music industry, as well as her support and encouragement of new talent. She joins a small but distinguished group of musicians who have been honored by LMU. This includes bluegrass pioneer Dr. Ralph Stanley and local bluegrass musician Dr. Steve Gulley.
Seely accepted the honor as Jeannie Seely-Ward in respect and recognition of her husband, Gene Ward, class of 1956, who is an LMU alumnus and was inducted into the LMU Professional Hall of Fame in 2005. He retired as Vice President and Legal Counsel for Nashville Electric Service. Ward is also in the Professional Hall of Fame at LMU.
Lincoln Memorial University is a values-based learning community dedicated to providing educational experiences in the liberal arts and professional studies with the main campus located in Harrogate, TN.
Jeannie Seely has been a member of the Grand Ole Opry for over 52 years. Along with many accolades including awards from Billboard, Cashbox and Record World, she has achieved No. 1 songs as a solo artist, duet partner and songwriter. In 1966, she won a Grammy award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance for her recording of “Don’t Touch Me.” Early in her career, she was dubbed Miss Country Soul for her moving vocals and the moniker has remained throughout her career. Known as an individualist her entire career, Jeannie Seely became the first female to regularly host segments of the weekly Grand Ole Opry shows.
Jeannie Seely is featured in Ken Burns’ PBS documentary Country Music, which was released earlier this year. She was noted as one of the premier female singers of the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Jeannie Seely continues to record, perform and write in Nashville. “Like I Could,” which she co-wrote with Erin Enderlin and Bobby Tomberlin was a recent No. 1 on the Bluegrass charts, recorded by Rhonda Vincent. She plans to release a new album, An American Classic, on Curb Records produced by Don Cusic in 2020 and continues to host her weekly Sundays with Seely on Willie’s Roadhouse on SiriusXM as well as continuing to proudly host Opry segments and perform and tour nationally.
For more info visit jeannieseely.com.