High Point University continues its tradition of bringing renowned thought leaders to campus by featuring General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.), former secretary of state, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and national security advisor, as its 2014 Commencement speaker.
For more than 50 years, Powell has devoted his life to public service. Having held senior military and diplomatic positions across four presidential administrations, Powell’s deep commitment to democratic values and freedom has been felt throughout the world.
The son of Jamaican immigrants, Powell was born in Harlem and was raised in the South Bronx. He attended the City College of New York where he earned a B.S. in Geology. He also joined the ROTC program at CCNY where he discovered his calling and launched his military career. He received a commission as an Army second lieutenant upon graduation in 1958 and went on to serve in the United States Army for 35 years, rising to the rank of four-star general.
From 1987-1989, Powell served as President Ronald Reagan’s national security advisor. He served from 1989-1993 as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for both President George H.W. Bush and President Bill Clinton. He was not only the youngest officer and first ROTC graduate to ever serve in the position, but also was the first African-American to do so.
Under President George W. Bush, Powell was appointed the 65th Secretary of State. He led the State Department in major efforts to address and solve regional and civil conflicts in the Middle East, Sudan, Congo and Liberia, in the Balkans, Cyprus, Haiti, Northern Ireland, Afghanistan and Iraq, and elsewhere.
Today, Powell is a strategic limited partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, the renowned Silicon Valley venture capital firm, and is on the board of Bloom Energy. He is also the honorary chairman of the Colin L. Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership at the City College of New York and chairman of the advisory board of Leeds Equity Partners, a private equity firm focused on investments in the education, training, information and business services industries.
He has received numerous military awards, including the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart, and has published two best-selling books, “My American Journey” and “It Worked for Me.”
The Graduation Ceremony is for High Point University candidates for graduation, their families and guests, and university faculty, staff, students and special guests. It is not open to the general public.
In the event of inclement weather, the Graduation Ceremony will be held in the Millis Athletic/Convocation Center and will be delayed until 9:30 a.m. Due to space limitations in the Millis Center, each candidate for graduation is permitted a maximum of three rain tickets (the graduate and two guests).
Please cooperate as HPU employs heightened security measures due to the prominence of the speaker at the graduation ceremony. Guests may be inconvenienced with additional security checks. Thank you for being considerate and respectful of the ceremony.
Since large crowds are expected for this event, plan to arrive early to find a seat. Guests will be seated on a first come basis.
Handicapped parking will be available in the parking lot behind Roberts Hall. To access the Handicapped parking, please enter campus through University Avenue at Montlieu Avenue.
Please observe the rope barricades and closed areas. Guests are asked to honor requests made by Junior Marshals.
Due to the formality of the ceremony, noisemakers and pets will not be permitted.
Temperatures vary widely in May, so be prepared for various weather scenarios.
Appropriate dress for this event is business attire.
Regardless of the weather, the Graduation Ceremony will be broadcast via closed-circuit television at the Hayworth Fine Arts Center. In the event of rain, the Graduation Ceremony will also be broadcast via closed-circuit television at the Hayworth Fine Arts Center, the University Center Extraordinaire Cinema, and Phillips Hall Francis Auditorium.
Roberts Hall and Wrenn Hall will be closed to the public during the Graduation Ceremony.
Restrooms will be available at Hayworth Fine Arts Center, Slane Student Center, and portable restrooms beside Wrenn Hall.
Guests are encouraged to take advantage of the shuttle service to the Graduation Ceremony. Shuttles will begin running at 6:30 a.m. from Oak Hollow Mall on Eastchester Drive in High Point. The shuttles will make a continuous loop from the pick-up location to the High Point University campus. A map is available online at highpoint.edu/commencement.
Bottled water will be available.
A photographer from GradImages will be on site to take photographs of each candidate for graduation at their special moment of recognition. Prior to the ceremony pre-register your permanent email address by visiting gradimages.com and clicking on Pre-Event Registration. After the ceremony you may order prints online at gradimages.com by calling toll-free at 800-261-2576.
Photographing candidates for graduation during the Graduation Ceremony is permissible. The platform area is restricted and may not be used for photographs. Please be respectful of boundaries; they have been put in place to prevent injury.
First Aid services will be available during the Graduation Ceremony. Anyone in need of assistance should contact uniformed officers or security personnel.
Day undergraduate candidates for graduation must submit a graduation application to the Registrar’s Office by March 14, 2014. Applications are available in the Registrar’s Office and online at highpoint.edu/registrar.
Evening Degree candidates should remit a graduation fee of $85 payable to the Student Accounts Office by April 15, 2014.
Graduate School candidates for spring completion should apply for graduation in the Graduate School by February 17, 2014.
Candidates for graduation must notify the Office of the Registrar if they do not plan to attend the Graduation Ceremony. Any candidate for graduation who is unable to attend the Graduation Ceremony must provide the Registrar a current address so that their diploma may be mailed.