Pfeiffer to honor adult graduates

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Pfeiffer University News Service
As a result of the changing demands in the workplace, the need to revise or acquire job skills, pursue a new career or simply the desire to learn, more than 6 million adult students have returned to college in the last decade. And many make tremendous sacrifices to complete their degrees.
To salute its adult learners, Pfeiffer University will celebrate approximately 535 adult students who have completed programs in the schools of Graduate Studies and Adult Studies. The two graduation ceremonies will be held in Merner Gymnasium on the university’s Misenheimer campus Aug. 2.
As more convenient ways to deliver higher education to adults develop and the interest in lifelong learning persists, Pfeiffer officials say they will continue all graduation ceremonies, which have become equally important to adult learners as the events are to teenagers and 20-somethings.
“Attending college as an adult is often much different and more complex due to family obligations and extremely busy schedules. We recognize that our adult learners make incredible sacrifices to earn their degrees,” said Dr. Tom Leitzel, vice president for the Charlotte campus and graduate enrollment management at Pfeiffer. “As a result of their diligence, commitment and hard work, we will continue to honor our adult graduates in this very special way.”
Degrees representing more than 12 academic disciplines will be conferred upon adult learners, who will be adorned in ceremonial regalia and looked upon by hundreds of family members and friends. One by one, graduates will step onto the stage to receive their diplomas and a handshake from Pfeiffer President Dr. Chuck Ambrose, who will deliver the keynote address.
The 10:30 a.m. ceremony will honor graduates from the School of Religion, School of Education, the School of Business in Charlotte and the Lake Norman, Presbyterian, Carolinas Medical Center-NorthEast and Misenheimer campuses.
Doors will open at 9 a.m., and graduates need to arrive by 9:30 a.m.
A 2:30 p.m. ceremony will honor Triangle and regional-based School of Business graduate students from the Triangle campus, BCBSNC (Durham and Madison Park), Wake Med, First Citizens, Forsyth, Greensboro/Moses Cone/Fire Department Training Center, online students and School of Adult Studies students from all locations and all majors.
For the 2:30 p.m. ceremony, doors will open at 1 p.m., and graduates need to arrive by 1:30 p.m.
During the 10:30 a.m. service, William G. White Jr., a longtime banker, public servant, historian, and philanthropist, will receive an honorary doctor of humanities degree from Pfeiffer.
White served nearly 30 years as president of First Federal Savings Bank of Winston-Salem and continued working with the bank through mergers with Southern National Bank and BB&T.
In addition to his banking career, White has invested a great deal of his energies and resources into the YMCA, having served as a trustee for the YMCA of Greater Winston-Salem, as well as on the national board of the YMCA for ten years.
His involvement with the YMCA led him to travel extensively to the former Soviet Union, where he worked to re-establish the YMCA there and was instrumental in establishing the YMCA in the Ukraine.
As a result of his relationships in the Ukraine, he personally recruited many students for Pfeiffer.