White House Chief of Staff to Address Graduates

White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles will speak at Wake Forest University’s 1998 commencement ceremony on Monday, May 18.

Approximately 1,378 undergraduates and graduate students will receive diplomas during the outdoor ceremony, which begins at 9 a.m. on University Plaza.

Bowles was named President Clinton’s chief of staff in November 1996 and assumed his post in January 1997. His previous governmental service includes being the assistant to the president and deputy chief of staff from October 1994 through December 1995. Bowles served as administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration from May 1993 to September 1994.

In addition to governmental service, Bowles has worked in corporate finance and investment banking. He founded and served as chairman and chief executive officer of Bowles Hollowell Conner & Co., a Charlotte-based investment banking firm. He also co-founded Carousel Capital, a merchant banking firm in Charlotte.

Bowles, who serves on the board of numerous companies, is the former president of the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation. About 825 students are expected to receive bachelor’s degrees during commencement. Combined, Wake Forest’s graduate school of arts and sciences, the law school, the medical school, and Babcock Graduate School of Management will award master’s and doctoral degrees to approximately 553 students.

Honorary degree recipients include Bowles; Joan Brown Campbell, general secretary of the National Council of Churches; Henlee Barnette, a Wake Forest graduate, social reformer, and professor specializing in Christian ethics at the Louisville School of Medicine; Eugene F. Corrigan, former commissioner of the Atlantic Coast Conference; Romulus Linney, author and playwright; Anthony S. Fauci, chief of laboratory immunoregulation and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health.

Commencement activities begin Sunday, May 17, with a baccalaureate service at 11 a.m. in Wait Chapel. Campbell will speak during the service. Tickets are required to attend.

Campbell, an ordained minister, provides the National Council of Churches leadership in its work toward greater unity among churches and peace and justice in the United States and around the world. Under Campbell’s guidance, the council has refocused attention on national issues such as violence, health care, welfare reform, the urban crisis and the role of religion in public life. The council works with churches throughout the United States and in 70 countries worldwide.

Hooding ceremonies for the professional schools are also on Sunday, May 17. During the ceremonies, students receive colorful hoods to wear with their caps and gowns.

The law school’s hooding ceremony begins at 1:45 p.m. in Wait Chapel. Frank W. Bullock Jr., chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, will address the graduates. Bullock was appointed a U.S. district judge in 1982 and became chief judge in 1992.

The medical school’s hooding ceremony is scheduled at 4:15 p.m. in Wait Chapel. Fauci, who also will receive an honorary degree, will address the graduates. Fauci devotes much of his time to studying HIV and AIDS. His work has contributed to understanding how the AIDS virus destroys the body’s defense.

The MBA’s hooding ceremony will begin at 7 p.m. in Wait Chapel. G. Kennedy Thompson, managing director of the capital markets group for First Union National Bank in Charlotte, will address the graduates. Thompson is a graduate of Babcock’s MBA program and a member of its board of visitors.

In the event of rain, the commencement ceremony will be moved to Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum. The media will be notified by 7 a.m. on Monday, May 19, if the ceremony is moved to the coliseum.

Categories: Commencement, Events, Speakers