Gov. McCrory to speak at Catawba graduation
N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory will be the speaker for Catawba College’s 10 a.m. graduation exercise to be held Saturday, May 11, in Keppel Auditorium of the Robertson College-Community Center. McCrory is a 1978 alumnus of the college and a former seven-term mayor of Charlotte.
McCrory’s schedule will only permit him to speak at the college’s 10 a.m. exercise at which the college will award baccalaureate degrees to 193 students who are graduating from the traditional day program. The college will also award 86 baccalaureate degrees and eight master’s degrees in a 2 p.m. ceremony for graduates of the School of Evening and Graduate Studies.
Seating is limited for both exercises and those planning to attend will need a ticket to enter the 1,450-seat venue. Each ceremony is expected to last approximately two hours and Catawba President Brien Lewis will deliver the charge to each group of graduates.
Lewis said the college was honored to have McCrory participate in the commencement exercises. “He is a great example of Catawba’s mission statement to prepare people to ‘reach their highest potential…with a zeal to enrich human life.’ I know our graduates will be delighted to have him play a role in their special day.”McCrory served as a member of the Catawba College board of trustees from 2005 until his election as governor in November. Prior to the election, he returned to his alma mater to stump for votes accompanied by New Jersey’s Republican Gov. Chris Christie, and other state Republican candidates.
The Whitener Awards, given annually to the top academic male and female in the traditional program’s graduating class, will be presented during the 10 a.m. exercise, while the Barbara Andrews Award, given annually to the top academic student in the evening program, will be presented during the 2 p.m. exercise.
The O.B. Michael Award will be presented to 1961 Catawba alumnus Dr. William Guy Rich during the 10 a.m. exercise. The O. B. Michael Award has been presented annually since 1938 by the Catawba College board of directors of the Alumni Association. It is given to a graduate of the College who has made an outstanding contribution to the college and/or the larger society. Rich, who earned his master’s degree from Wake Forest College (now a university) and his doctorate from the College of William & Mary, is a retired electronics engineer from the Naval Surface Weapons Center.
Graduates and their families are invited to gather and visit over lemonade on the front lawn of the Robertson College-Community Center following each ceremony, weather permitting.