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Appalachian’s commencement ceremonies held May 10-12

BOONE—Spring commencement will be held May 10-12 at Appalachian State University with the university’s colleges and schools holding individual ceremonies over the three days.

Commencement for graduates of the Cratis D. Williams Graduate School will be held on Friday, May 10, at 6 p.m. in the Holmes Convocation Center. Jason Stockbridge, president of Appalachian’s Graduate Student Association Senate (GSA) and a master’s degree candidate in higher education, will deliver remarks. Stockbridge earned a B.S. degree in history from Lander University in 2006.  He was accepted into AmeriCorps where he worked with City Year Boston and City Year Columbia. In 2009, he began classes at the University of South Carolina. He entered Appalachian’s graduate program in higher education in fall 2011.

Ceremonies for the College of Health Sciences, Reich College of Education and the Walker College of Business will be held Saturday, May 11. Ceremonies for the College of Arts and Sciences and University College, Hayes School of Music, and College of Fine and Applied Arts will be held Sunday, May 12.

Dr. Brenda White Wright, a member of Appalachian’s Board of Trustees will deliver remarks to the College of Health Sciences’ graduates at a 9 a.m. ceremony in Holmes Convocation Center.

Wright is a motivational speaker, storyteller and diversity consultant with more than 40 years of experience in business management, board and organizational development, human resources, multicultural issues, race relations, youth initiatives, community relations, resource development, and radio and television. In recognition of her long-term service to students, East Tennessee State University recently initiated the Dr. Brenda White Wright Emerging Leaders Academy for students who have demonstrated outstanding character, leadership potential and a commitment to campus involvement.

Reich College of Education graduates will participate in ceremonies beginning at 12:30 p.m. in the Holmes Convocation Center. Dr. Charles Duke, who is retiring after 18 years as dean of the college, will deliver remarks. Duke has had a 51-year career in public education, including time in the public school classroom as an English teacher. During his tenure, Duke helped guide the design of the 124,547 square-foot Reich College of Education building that opened in August 2011, and helped expand the college’s outreach and off-campus degree offerings. He also helped the college plan for and implement the doctoral program in educational leadership.

Frank Stewart will speak to graduates of the Walker College of Business commencement which begins at 4 p.m. in Holmes Convocation Center. Stewart is president of Ultra Machine and Fabrication, a company he founded in 1989. Stewart is a member of the Walker College of Business Advisory Council. He received the Cleveland County Entrepreneur of the Year 2007 and Ultra was awarded the Cleveland County Chamber Small Business of the Year 2007. In 2010 he received the Patriot Award, given by the Department of Defenses’ Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) committee, for his support of the U.S. Guard and Reservists.

Dr. Henry Perry, a member of the faculty at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, will speak at the College of Arts and Sciences and University College ceremony beginning at 9 a.m. in the Holmes Convocation Center. Perry is the great-grandson of D.D. Dougherty, co-founder of Watauga Academy which grew to become Appalachian State University. His research addresses the impact of community-based primary health care programs on health improvement, especially on the health of mothers and children. Perry founded the NGO Andean Rural Health Care (now Curamericas) and later worked in a variety of underserved areas of the world, including Bolivia, Bangladesh, Haiti and Appalachia.

Ceremonies for Hayes School of Music graduates begin at 1 p.m. in Broyhill Music Center. The guest speaker will be Jack L. Renner, retired chairman, CEO and chief recording engineer of Telarc Records. Renner has received 23 Grammy nominations and won 11 Grammy awards for recording engineering in both classical and jazz. He is a pioneer in using the digital recording process to commercially record jazz and classical/symphonic music. He engineered the first commercial U.S. symphonic digital recording in 1978.

Amy Armstrong will address College of Fine and Applied Arts graduates at 3:30 p.m. in Holmes Convocation Center. Armstrong is president/executive director of the South Carolina Environmental Law Project. She represents environmental and citizens groups before state and federal courts and agencies in their efforts to protect and preserve natural resources. Armstrong has litigated cases involving protection of freshwater and saltwater wetlands, endangered species, citizens’ rights, water quality, air quality and coastal management.

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