Arnold Palmer to give commencement address at WFU May 16

By Jacob McConnico
April 1, 2005

Arnold Palmer, one of the most beloved golf legends of all time and a Wake Forest University alumnus, will deliver the university's commencement address May 16.

Palmer will address approximately 1,450 Wake Forest graduates during the 9 a.m. outdoor ceremony on University Plaza (the Quad). The ceremony is not open to the public.

A native of Latrobe, Pa., Palmer played golf for Wake Forest from 1948 to 1950. After a stint in the U.S. Coast Guard, he returned briefly to Wake Forest, winning the first-ever Atlantic Coast Conference Championship in 1954. His storied professional career includes a record of 92 national and international championships and 12 Senior Tour titles.

Throughout his life, Palmer has maintained strong ties to Wake Forest, serving on its board of trustees from 1983 to 1986, 1988 to 1991 and 1993 to 1997. He was a tri-chair of the university's Heritage & Promise Capital Campaign, which raised more than $170 million for the university. He was elected a lifetime trustee of the university in 1997.

Palmer endowed Wake Forest with its first golf scholarship in 1960 in honor of his close friend and teammate Marvin "Buddy" Worsham, who died in a car accident in 1950.

The university honored Palmer with the Distinguished Alumni Award in 1962 and an honorary doctor of laws degree in 1970. A university residence hall was named in his honor in the early 1980s. He is a member of the Wake Forest Sports Hall of Fame.

Media Note: Media are invited to cover Palmer's address. Passes and reserved seating will be available for members of the media. Downloadable audio files and beta video clips from his address will also be available. Contact Jacob McConnico at 336-758-5238 or 336-758-5237, or to arrange coverage or request more information.

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