Livingstone December commencement is Friday

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 12, 2018

SALISBURY – An alumnus and son of one of Livingstone College’s presidents will return to the campus on Friday as winter commencement speaker.

The Rev. Dr. Sheldon R. Shipman will deliver the keynote address on Friday, Dec. 14, when Livingstone confers degrees for the 2018 December graduates. The ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. at Varick Auditorium on campus.

Shipman is the son of Dr. F. George Shipman, the sixth president of Livingstone College, and First Lady Louise McKoy Shipman. Dr. F. George Shipman was a 1939 graduate of Livingstone College and 30 years later, he returned as the school’s president in 1969 and served through 1982.

Shipman was 15 years old and served as mace bearer when his father was inaugurated. In February of this year during a Founder’s Day program at Livingstone, Shipman announced that the Shipman family was establishing a $1 million Endowed Scholarship fund in memory of their father.

“I am the son of the sixth president, 49 years later, presenting you this endowed scholarship in his honor, and we are pleased to do so,” he said at that time.

Livingstone College is also in the process of building a science annex in honor of President Shipman. The new F. George Shipman Science Annex Building will be approximately 16,000 square feet and include labs for biology and chemistry, research spaces and a state-of-the-art planetarium.

Sheldon Shipman is a motivational speaker, community activist, Afrocentric educator, senior minister and pastor for the past 38 years. He is in his 17th year as the pastor of Greenville Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in Charlotte, the denomination known as the “Freedom Church,” the church of Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, Paul Robeson, Booker T. Washington and Harriet Tubman.

Shipman’s pastoral ministry includes a variety of churches across the Western N.C. Conference: Reeves Temple, Columbus Chapel, Clement Memorial and Walls Memorial AME Zion Church.

A 1976 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Shipman double majored in religious studies and political science, and was a men’s basketball scholarship recipient from 1972-76. He received his master’s of divinity from Hood Theological Seminary at Livingstone College in 1980, and completed his doctoral work at the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University in Richmond, Va., in 2002.

A native of Durham, Shipman’s career experiences include being a news reporter, sports commentator and an account manager of sales for IBM. His professional and community services are numerous and include boards and organizations such as the Urban League, United Way, NAACP and UNCC.

He serves as the secretary of the Board of Trustees for Hood Theological Seminary and as a conference trustee of the Western N.C. Annual Conference of the AME Zion Church. In addition to being a Master Mason and a member of the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., he was selected twice as one of the “Outstanding Young Men of America.”

Shipman is married to the former Teresa L. McNair, retired executive director for licensure and personnel staffing for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. They are the parents of 24-year-old twins, Joshua McKoy and Jamiel Baker Shipman, and an 11th grader, Joy Scott Shipman, 16.

He agrees with his father’s favorite quote: “As long as a man has a dream in his heart, he cannot lose the significance of living.” (Howard Thurman, 1971). These words also order his steps on a daily basis: “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

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