Former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner to address Wake Forest grads;
C-SPAN to broadcast ceremony

By Jacob McConnico
May 12, 2006

Former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner will deliver Wake Forest University's 164th commencement address and receive an honorary doctor of laws degree during the university's May 15 commencement ceremony.

More than 1,500 undergraduate, graduate and professional school students will receive diplomas at the 9 a.m. outdoor ceremony on Wake Forest's Hearn Plaza (the Quad).

Warner, a Democrat who served as Virginia's governor from 2002 to 2006, was featured March 12 on the cover of The New York Times Magazine, which described him as "the bright new star in the constellation of would-be candidates" for president of the United States. Although he has yet to decide if he will run, the story states that, "Warner is being mentioned near the top of every list of candidates vying for the (Democratic) nomination in 2008."

Wake Forest commencement is not open to the public and parking passes will be required to enter campus on commencement day. Tickets to the ceremony and all commencement weekend events are reserved for graduates and their guests.

The commencement ceremony will be taped by C-SPAN for later broadcast on its "Road to the White House" series. The 9 a.m. ceremony will also be broadcast live on the Internet at In the event of rain, the ceremony will be moved to Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum and will not be available on the Internet. If moved to the coliseum, the ceremony will begin at 9:30 a.m.

WFDD (88.5 FM), the local National Public Radio affiliate at Wake Forest, will broadcast Warner's speech at 7 p.m. May 15.

The Rev. Barbara Brown Taylor, a religion professor at Piedmont College in Georgia and author of several books, will deliver the baccalaureate address at 11 a.m. May 14 in Wait Chapel. Taylor will receive an honorary doctor of divinity degree during the commencement ceremony.

Other honorary degrees to be awarded during the ceremony include: doctor of science degree to Walter A. Orenstein, associate director of the Emory University Vaccine Center, former assistant surgeon general of the U.S. Public Health Service and former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) National Immunization Program; and a doctor of science degree to Elias A. Zerhouni, director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Approximately 890 undergraduates and more than 600 graduate and professional school students will receive their degrees. Each of the university's graduate and professional schools will hold private ceremonies on either May 13 or 14 in Wait Chapel where graduating students will receive their school's hood to wear during the commencement ceremony.

The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the Divinity School will hold their hooding ceremonies May 13. The Graduate School ceremony will begin at 3 p.m. and feature Debra W. Stewart, president of the Council of Graduate Schools, as speaker. At 7 p.m., Jill Y. Crainshaw, associate dean for vocational formation and assistant professor of ministry studies at Wake Forest, will address graduates of the Divinity School.

On May 14, 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 feature E. Norman Veasey, a senior partner with the law firm Weil, Gotshal and Manges and the former chief justice of the Delaware Supreme Court, as speaker. At 4:15 p.m., Zerhouni will address graduates of the medical school, and at 7 p.m., Thomas Dingledine, a Wake Forest graduate and president of Exploration Partners LLC in Charlottesville, Va., will deliver the address for the Babcock School's hooding ceremony.