April 29, 2011
Commencement Exercises are Saturday, May 7 at 10 a.m.

Dr. Houck Medford, founder and CEO emeritus of the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, will address approximately 220 Lees-McRae graduates who will have degrees bestowed upon them next Saturday, May 7 at the Williams Physical Education Center at 10 a.m. on the campus in Banner Elk.

On Friday evening, the annual Baccalaureate Service and hooding ceremony for graduates and their families will be held at 7 p.m. in Hayes Auditorium. Baccalaureate Dinner will be held prior to the service at 5 p.m. in MacDonald Dining Hall.

During the ceremony, one 2011 graduate will receive the H.C. Evans Fidelity Award, an award named for the College's ninth president that recognizes academic excellence, campus citizenship, friendliness and service to the College. The recipient is selected by the graduates themselves, approved by the faculty and represents the highest ideals of the graduating class.

Honorary doctorate degrees will be bestowed upon two benefactors and current members of the Board of Trustees, Mr. Edward E. Hood, Jr. and Mr. R. Edwin Shelton. These degrees honor the significant contributions of time, talent and treasure made to the students, faculty and staff of Lees-McRae College.

Designated parking for individuals with disabilities will be available at the Williams Physical Education Center. Shuttles will run from all main campus parking lots to the site of Commencement as parking at the Center is limited.

About the Speaker

Dr. Medford has just completed his second career as Founder and CEO Emeritus of the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation which was established in 1997 for the purpose of identifying and cultivating philanthropic support for the nation's most visited national park - the Blue Ridge Parkway. Since its inception, the Foundation became a national model for endowment support of national park programs, social media advancements, and an innovator in outreach education for the next generation of Parkway supporters - our nation's youth.

Growing up in Waynesville, NC, he was a third generation dentist. In his first career, he helped establish a new department of dentistry at Wake Forest University School of Medicine as its first faculty member, established a national teaching program in dental implant surgery and reconstruction, and was recognized in his specialty field with diplomat status by the American Board of Oral Implantology. He lectured internationally and is widely published in his specialty area of practice.

Dr. Medford received his Bachelor of Science degree from Wake Forest University in 1972 and his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from Emory University in 1976. He completed his hospital residency at Carolina Medical Center in Charlotte, NC and is a recent graduate of the Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro, NC.

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