McClarty is a judge on the Tennessee Court of Appeals, and also an associate minister in his A.M.E. congregation in Chattanooga.
McClarty earned a juris doctorate with honors from Southern University School of Law and a bachelor of science from Austin Peay State University. He also attended the National College of Criminal Defense Lawyers and Public Defenders, as well as the National Judicial College and the Tennessee Judicial Academy.
From 1971-73, McClarty served in the U.S. Army 3rd Infantry Division in the training office on the general’s staff. He received the Army’s Good Conduct Medal as well as the Commendation Medal.
Before his appointment to the Tennessee Court of Appeals, McClarty practiced law and served as the Juvenile Court Referee for Hamilton County.
He holds memberships in the Chattanooga Bar Association, the Chattanooga Bar Foundation, and was the 1996 president of the Chattanooga Trial Lawyers Association.
His service as a judge for the Tennessee Court of Appeals distinguishes McClarty as the first African-American to be elected to a Tennessee statewide judicial position.
McClarty has also worked in numerous capacities in community service and development, and is an ordained elder and associate pastor of Warren Chapel A.M.E. Church in Chattanooga.
The December commencement is one of three graduation exercises each year at Lee.
This annual event is a colorful ceremony which combines the music and decorations of the Christmas season with the traditional commencement activities. Some 240 graduates will receive bachelor’s and master’s diplomas in Saturday’s event.
Before McClarty’s address, the Lee Chorale will sing. Activities will begin on Friday evening with a Commissioning Service, when guests and graduates will hear from six class representatives who will reflect on their experiences as Lee students.