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Stephen R. Lawhead, internationally recognized author and 1973 Kearney State College/University of Nebraska at Kearney graduate, will deliver the UNK winter commencement address at 10 a.m. Friday, Dec. 19, at the Health and Sports Center.
Lawhead, who was born in Kearney, graduated from Kearney High School in 1968. After high school, Lawhead entered KSC/UNK as an art major and wrote a weekly humor column for the college newspaper. He also frequently contributed poetry and short stories to The Shore Anthology and The Antler.
After graduating from KSC/UNK, Lawhead went on to study at Northern Baptist Theological Seminary and Wheaton College. He also continued writing, and began working for Campus Life magazine as an editorial assistant. In addition, he managed a rock group and started his own record company, Ariel Records.
Although Lawhead spent a large portion of his life in Nebraska, he and his family moved to Oxford, England to do research for his book The Pendragon Cycle. Living in England also inspired the settings for many of his fictional works based on the Arthurian theme.
Lawhead said: “I decided that if I was going to have a chance of capturing anything about Arthur, find a fresh angle or have any authenticity, I would have to go to England. I wanted to try to find some of the sites, soak up the atmosphere, see the landscape, go over and do the research. Some of the magic, I think, still exists if you can tap into it.”
Lawhead has authored more than 20 fictional titles, multiple children’s books and non-fictional works, and is currently working on a multimedia project called !Hero. He has won several writing awards, including Campus Life Editor’s Choice Award for The Search for Fiera and the 1984 C.S. Lewis Medal Honor Books for the Dragon King Trilogy.
Lawhead, his wife and their two children, now live in Austria. His mother Lois Lawhead lives in Kearney.