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Astronaut Buzz Aldrin Headlines Memorable HPU Graduation Ceremony

May 09th, 2009

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin Headlines Memorable HPU Graduation Ceremony

HIGH POINT, N.C., May 9, 2009 – High Point University held an inspiring and memorable Graduation Ceremony on May 9, with 657 graduates marching across the Roberts Hall Front Lawn to receive their degrees.

The event featured NASA Astronaut Dr. Buzz Aldrin as the Commencement speaker. In fact, 2009 marks the 40th anniversary of Aldrin’s historic walk on the moon with fellow astronaut Neil Armstrong on the Apollo 11 mission.

During the ceremony, Kelly King, CEO of BB&T, was presented with an honorary doctorate. Also making a special appearance was Challenger, a bald eagle who soared over the graduates and guests during the playing of “America the Beautiful.” The eagle is named in honor of the Challenger space shuttle crew and is cared for by the nonprofit American Eagle Foundation, headquartered in Tennessee.

Also during the ceremony, Dr. Frederick C. Schneid, professor of history, was presented with the Ruth Ridenhour Scholarly and Professional Achievement Award. Dr. James B. Wehrley, dean of the Earl N. Phillips School of Business, received the Meredith Clark Slane Distinguished Teaching-Service Award.

Every year, HPU brings inspiring national and international speakers to campus. Past Commencement speakers at HPU have included: Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas (2008); Dr. Bill Cosby (2007); Queen Noor of Jordan (2006); and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani (2005).

At High Point University, every student receives an extraordinary education in a fun environment with caring people. HPU, located in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina, is a liberal arts institution with 3,500 undergraduate and graduate students from more than 50 countries and more than 40 states at campuses in High Point and Winston-Salem. It is ranked by US News and World Report No. 5 among comprehensive universities in the South and No. 1 in its category among up-and-coming schools. ranks HPU in the top 6 percent among “America’s Best Colleges.” The university offers 66 undergraduate majors, 40 undergraduate minors and seven graduate-degree majors. It is accredited by the Commission of Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and is a member of the NCAA, Division I and the Big South Conference. Visit High Point University on the Web at

Chris DudleyVice President for