Commencement story ideas

NYC MAYOR BLOOMBERG WILL GIVE ADDRESS — New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will give Wake Forest’s 161st commencement address May 19 on University Plaza (the Quad). The processional begins at 9 a.m. Approximately 12,000 friends and family are expected for the event. In case of rain, the ceremony will be moved to the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum and media will be notified by 7 a.m.

U.S. SURGEON GENERAL TO GIVE MEDICAL SCHOOL ADDRESS — U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona will deliver the address for the Wake Forest School of Medicine’s centennial hooding ceremony at 4:15 p.m. May 18. The medical school has celebrated its centennial throughout the 2002-2003 academic year.

RENOWNED AUTHOR AND THEOLOGIAN TO ADDRESS DIVINITY GRADS — Author and historian of modern Christianity Martin E. Marty will address Wake Forest’s 20 Divinity School graduates May 19 following the conferring of degrees on the Quad. Marty’s address will be in Benson University Center, Room 401.

GRADUATES DINE TOGETHER ONE LAST TIME — Graduating students and their families will gather in the Reynolda Hall cafeteria (the Pit) early Monday morning for Wake Forest’s traditional graduation breakfast. Approximately 478 tickets have been purchased for the event, which begins at 6:30 a.m.

MOTHER AND DAUGHTER TO GRADUATE TOGETHER — Nancy Metcalf, the administrative assistant in Wake Forest’s International Studies office, and her daughter, Amy, will graduate from Wake Forest on the same day. Nancy will earn a bachelor’s degree in religion, while Amy will earn a bachelor’s degree in sociology. They will sit side by side during the ceremony.

COMMISSIONING OFFICER’S DAUGHTER AMONG ROTC GRADS — Retired Col. Walter Chrietzberg will commission Wake Forest’s 13 ROTC graduates during the commencement ceremony May 19. Among them will be his daughter, Anna. Col. Chrietzberg served for nine years in the U.S. Army’s Delta Force; was awarded jump wings from the United States, Thailand, Venezuela, France, Jordan and Argentina; and is the oldest and most senior officer to graduate from the Special Forces Qualification Course, at age 45.

BLENDING SERVICE AND BUSINESS IN A MEDICAL CAREER — Is medicine a business or a service-oriented field? For Greg Friedel, it is both. Recognizing the importance of business entrepreneurship in the medical field, Friedel will graduate from the university’s joint MD/MBA degree program. He will be available for interviews before the medical school’s hooding ceremony on May 18.

SENIOR ENTREPRENEUR WILL TAKE BUSINESS TO SUNNY SAN DIEGO — He’s launched two Web sites, won a highly competitive entrepreneurship award and starred in a college-circuit TV show – now Wake Forest senior Ricky Van Veen plans to move to San Diego to continue work on Connected Ventures, the company he co-founded with a longtime friend. An information systems major in the Calloway School of Business and Accountancy, Van Veen co-created the profitable Web site in 2000. The site now receives an estimated 1.6 million visitors a month.

Ph.D. GRADUATE HONORED BY AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION — Melissa Hubbert will graduate from Wake Forest May 19 with a Ph.D. in molecular and cellular pathobiology – but what she’s particularly interested in is cholesterol. Hubbert’s studies have involved the movement of cholesterol in cells of the body and how enzymes work in cholesterol transport. Her research has earned her numerous national awards, including the recent junior investigator award from the American Heart Association. She plans to continue her research after her Wake Forest graduation. Hubbert will be available for interviews at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences hooding ceremony at 3 p.m. May 18.

FOR WHOM THE BELLS RING — The sound of Wait Chapel’s bells echoing across the Quad is as much a part of Wake Forest as the chapel itself. No one knows that more than senior Matt Webb, University Carillonneur for the past two years. Webb has played the chapel bells since his sophomore year, earning the title of University Carillonneur for his junior and senior years. Webb is also director of the Wake Forest men’s a cappella group, Chi Rho. The music and philosophy double major will go on to the North Carolina School of the Arts after graduation to earn a master’s degree in music. He spent part of this year training the new University Carillonneur.

STUDENT OVERCOMES ACCIDENT TO GRADUATE WITH HONORS — Two days before Christy Wade’s high school graduation, she was in a car accident on a rain-slicked road that left her in a coma for 16 days. When she woke up, the Wise, Va., native had to learn to walk again, how to write again – how to do most things all over again. The teenage girl with high aspirations suddenly found herself wondering if she would be able to go to college at all. But on May 19, Wade will walk across the stage at Wake Forest with a bachelor’s degree in communication and a minor in political science, having earned a spot on the Dean’s List the entire way. “I’m a much better person than I was before my accident,” Wade says. “Knowing that your life can be taken away at any time has made me a better person.” Wade will apply for the U.S. Foreign Service after graduation and if that doesn’t work out, she plans to go to law school.

CAMPUS, CITY TECH WORK HELPS SENIOR LAND IBM JOB — Lumberton native Derrick Thompson won’t be searching for a job on May 20. Thompson will move to New York, where he will be on the Global Small and Medium Business Teleweb Strategy Team at IBM. He credits his many Wake Forest experiences for connecting him to IBM. In 2000, Thompson helped start Knowledge2Work, a student-run information technology solutions organization that offers services like Web page design, corporate intranets and IT consulting to local businesses. It was through this position that Thompson was connected with IBM and interned with the company for the past two summers. “The Wake Forest community has taught me how to overcome obstacles, be open to change and utilize these new experiences to my advantage for future situations,” Thompson says. “Because of my involvement on campus I really feel that I have grown as a student, but more importantly as a person.”


Dana Lindemann, a senior physics major from Pleasantville, N.Y., plans to share her physics knowledge with high school students in the Baltimore area as part of Teach for America. Her students will be learning from one of the best; Lindemann was part of the Wake Forest team that recently took top honors at an international math modeling contest.

The Calloway School of Business and Accountancy recently named James Evans the recipient of the school’s Levar Hairston Courage Award. Evans, from Kernersville, was raised by his older sister after his mother died of cancer and his father died of heart failure, all before he was middle-school age. Evans will graduate with a master’s degree in accountancy.

Senior Tiffany Cummins from Orlando gets a kick out of the current wave of reality talent shows. Cummins, who is minoring in dance, was a repeat winner on Star Search when she was 12. She’ll dance her way into law school after leaving Wake Forest.

Editors’ Note: To arrange coverage or interviews, contact the News Service.

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