Three to receive honorary degrees at WFU commencement ceremony

By Maggie Barrett
April 26, 2005

A famed civil rights attorney, the physician who developed the defibrillator and the founder and president of the Inner City Education Foundation (ICEF) will receive honorary degrees during Wake Forest University's May 16 commencement on Thomas K. Hearn Jr. Plaza (the Quad).

The 9 a.m. outdoor ceremony will feature a keynote address by golf legend and Wake Forest alumnus Arnold Palmer. Palmer is scheduled to address approximately 1,450 graduates. Commencement is not open to the public.

The graduation ceremony will be Thomas K. Hearn Jr.'s last as president of Wake Forest. Hearn will retire June 30.

Oliver White Hill, a famed civil rights attorney and Presidential Medal of Honor recipient, will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree. Hill's most famous case, Davis v. Prince Edward County Schools, became part of the Supreme Court's decision on Brown v. Board of Education.

An honorary doctor of science degree will be awarded to Dr. Bernard Lown, developer of the defibrillator, professor of cardiology emeritus at Harvard School of Public Health and Nobel Peace Prize recipient.

Wake Forest graduate Michael Dennis Piscal, president and founder of the Inner City Education Foundation, will receive an honorary doctor of humanities degree. Piscal is also head of View Park Preparatory Accelerated Charter Schools in Los Angeles, Calif.

Approximately 850 undergraduates and 600 graduate and professional school students will receive degrees. Each of the university's graduate and professional schools will hold private ceremonies on either May 14 or 15 in Wait Chapel where graduating students will receive their school's hood to wear at commencement.

The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the Divinity School will hold their hooding ceremonies May 14. The Graduate School ceremony will begin at 3 p.m. and will feature speaker Mitchell Robinson. Robinson holds a doctorate in biochemistry from Wake Forest and is associate dean for graduate studies and professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at the James H. Quillen College of Medicine at East Tennessee State University. At 7 p.m., Diane Wudel, assistant professor at Wake Forest's Divinity School, will address graduates of the Divinity School.

On May 15, the Wake Forest School of Law, Babcock Graduate School of Management and Wake Forest School of Medicine will hold their hooding ceremonies. The law school's hooding ceremony will be at 1:45 p.m. and will feature Dennis W. Archer, former president of the American Bar Association, as speaker. At 4 p.m., Lown will address graduates of the medical school. Mackey J. McDonald, chairman, chief executive officer and president of VF Corporation, will deliver the address for the Babcock School's hooding ceremony at 7 p.m.

Editors' Note: Media are invited to cover commencement; media credentials and parking passes will be required. Contact the News Service to request passes.

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