Commencement ceremonies at Western North Carolina colleges and universities begin this week and continue through the month. Here are some of the plans announced so far:
Spring commencement begins at 9 a.m. May 10 on the main quad (or in the Sherrill Center, in case of inclement weather). It’s free and open to the public. A reception will follow the ceremony. To learn more, visit http://bit.ly/1lpku0d or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Arthur Levine will deliver the commencement address and receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree. Southern Jewish historian Eli Evans also will receive an honorary degree, and civil rights pioneer Franklin McCain will be honored posthumously.
Levine, president of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, is an expert on higher education and the way the beliefs and needs of college students have changed over generations. The author of many books, including his most recent, “Generation on a Tightrope: A Portrait of Today’s College Student,” Levine also has written commentaries for leading national publications.
For “Generation on a Tightrope,” Levine and co-author Diane Dean analyzed surveys and interviews with students and officials at 31 campuses.
Levine told The New York Times that today’s students “come with real digital skills … are interested in global issues and … deal with diversity better than any generation before them.”
Historian Evans, a native of Durham, has chronicled the Jewish experience in towns throughout the American South. His book “The Provincials: A Personal History of Jews in the South” has been in print since its publication in 1973, with updates in 1997 and a second edition in 2005 by UNC Press.
McCain, who died earlier this year, became a civil rights pioneer when, as a freshman at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, he was a member of the “Greensboro Four” who began a sit-in at the then-segregated Woolworth’s lunch counter in Greensboro. He went on to become a chemist, a member of the board of trustees of his alma mater, a trustee for N.C. Central University and a member of the UNC Board of Governors.
Warren Wilson College
Peter Sagal, host of NPR’s long-running “Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me,” is returning to Asheville to deliver a commencement address — his first — at the Warren Wilson College graduation ceremony, which begins at 10 a.m. May 17 on Sunderland Lawn.
The ceremony is free and open to the public. A reception will follow in Morris Pavilion.
Sagal became host of “Wait Wait” in May 1998, just a few months after its debut as a news-quiz show produced by WBEZ Chicago. The NPR show is heard by more than 4 million people each week via 600 public radio stations and a popular podcast.
Rehearsal for commencement will be at 5 p.m. May 15 in Kittredge Theatre. The annual service awards ceremony will be at 2 p.m. (location to be be determined), followed by the honors and awards ceremony at 4 p.m. in College Chapel.
Spring commencement will be 2-4 p.m. May 10 on the campus in Montreat.
For details, visit www.montreat.edu or call 800-622-6968.
Western Carolina University
Western Carolina University will hold a trio of commencement ceremonies May 9-10 in Cullowhee to recognize the academic achievements of what is expected to be a record-breaking spring class of nearly 1,400 undergraduate and graduate students, nearly 1,300 of whom are expected to participate in ceremonies.
Commencement for WCU’s Graduate School will be at 7 p.m. May 9. Commencement for the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Education and Allied Professions and Fine and Performing Arts will begin at 10 a.m. May 10, followed by a 2 p.m. ceremony for the College of Business, College of Health and Human Sciences and Kimmel School of Construction Management and Technology.
All ceremonies will take place at Ramsey Regional Activity Center and are free and open to the public.
WCU Chancellor David O. Belcher will preside over all three ceremonies. The Saturday afternoon commencement will include the presentation of an honorary doctor of business degree to David A. Woodcock Jr., a Flat Rock resident who has earned a reputation as an icon of entrepreneurship during a career that has spanned more than 60 years.
WCU faculty member Annette Debo, the university’s recipient of the 2014 UNC Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching, will deliver the primary address at the Friday night event and will be presented the award during the Saturday morning ceremony.
About 126 seniors will participate in Brevard College’s 161st commencement exercises this Friday and Saturday in Brevard.
A baccalaureate and hooding ceremony for graduates will be at 4:30 p.m. Friday in the Porter Center for Performing Arts. Commencement exercises are set for 10 a.m. Saturday on the Betty Neale Academic Quadrangle.
As is a tradition at Brevard College, the ceremony will feature two speakers from the graduating class: Elyse Santorso of Torrington, Connecticut, and Addison Dent of Charleston, South Carolina. A reception for graduates and their guests will follow the ceremony.
Mars Hill University
Mars Hill University’s first spring graduation ceremony as a university will begin at 9:30 a.m. May 10 in Moore Auditorium in Mars Hill.
A reception will follow immediately on the quad, sponsored by the Office of Alumni Relations. Both events are free and open to the public.
Graduates must report to Spainhour Hall in Moore auditorium by 8:30 a.m. for lineup.
Haywood Community College
Haywood Community College will hold a joint High School Equivalency Diploma (formerly known as GED) and Adult High School Graduation Ceremony at 7 p.m. Friday in the HCC Charles Beall Auditorium on the Clyde campus. More than 130 students will be honored.