Commencement Orator

Bishop William P. DeVeaux
For the Degree of Doctor of Divinity (citation)

On July 2, 1996, the Reverend William P. DeVeaux was consecrated as the 113th Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Louisville, Kentucky, and was assigned to Southern Africa where he served for four years. During his tenure, Bishop DeVeaux placed special emphasis on providing opportunities for higher education advancement and training concerning the treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDS. In addition, many new churches and secondary school facilities were constructed. He serves now as the Presiding Bishop of the 16th Episcopal District of the AME Church which includes the following conferences: Guana/Suriname, Windward Islands, Virgin Islands, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, and London/Holland. His primary concerns in these areas are lay and clergy education as well as church development. Bishop DeVeaux is also the Chairman of the Commission on Global Witness and Ministries for the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

William P. DeVeaux was born to Chaplain John and Della DeVeaux in Fort Huachuca, Arizona. The youngest of three children, he spent his elementary and high school years living on army posts in Maryland, Kansas, Colorado, and in Germany. Upon graduation from high school, he entered Howard University. An active student, he was elected junior and senior class president and Basileus of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. While a student at Howard, he answered the call to the ordained ministry. Following in his father’s footsteps, he served in the United States Army as chaplain from 1968-73.

In addition to a bachelor’s degree from Howard, he attained a Bachelor of Sacred Theology from Boston University, as well as a Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy from Vanderbilt University. He has served on the faculties of Meharry Medical College, Princeton Theological Seminary, and Howard University School of Divinity.

In the field of theological education, Dr. DeVeaux is recognized for his achievements as the Executive Director of the Fund for Theological Education, Inc. During his tenure, scholarships to Black, Hispanic, and North American students were granted to support their theological education.

Bishop DeVeaux is married to Dr. Pam DeVeaux and they have parented six children and a host of sons and daughters in the ministry. They have twelve grandchildren.