General Colin L. Powell to Give HPU’s 90th Commencement Address

HIGH POINT, N.C., April 16, 2014 – High Point University will host General Colin Powell, former secretary of state, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and national security advisor, as its 2014 Commencement speaker on Saturday, May 3. The university will award 936 degrees.

The Graduation Ceremony will highlight a weekend of events to celebrate the 2014 Commencement Weekend, to be held May 2-3. The Graduation Ceremony is not open to the general public but will stream live at Media are invited to attend.

Scheduled events for May 2 include:

  • Commencement Luncheon, 11:30 a.m. in the Millis Athletic and Convocation Center on the HPU campus. HPU President Dr. Nido Qubein will be the featured speaker
  • Baccalaureate, 4 p.m. at Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church, located at 1225 Chestnut Drive in High Point. Bishop Sandra Steiner Ball will speak at the event.


Scheduled events for May 3 include:

  • Graduation Ceremony, 9 a.m. on the Roberts Hall Front Lawn. General Colin L. Powell will be the featured speaker. The rain site for the ceremony will be in the Millis Athletic and Convocation Center.
  • Each year, a bald eagle soars across the crowd at the end of the ceremony to symbolize the ideals of free enterprise, independence and the ability to pursue new opportunities in America.

Every year, High Point University makes a special effort to bring inspiring national and international speakers to campus. Past speakers at HPU have included Apple Co-Founder Steve Jobs; Former First Lady Laura Bush; Chairman of the Board and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company Muhtar Kent; NASA Astronaut Dr. Buzz Aldrin; Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas; Dr. Bill Cosby; Queen Noor of Jordan; and form New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.


About the 2014 Commencement Speaker

For more than 50 years, General Colin L. 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 Bachelor of Science in geology. He also joined the ROTC program and 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 Chief 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.


Bishop Steiner Ball

Bishop Steiner Ball

About the 2014 Baccalaureate Speaker

Sandra Steiner Ball, resident bishop of the West Virginia Area Conference of the United Methodist Church, graduated with honors from Dickinson College, where she earned a degree in religion. She attended seminary at Duke University, and earned a doctorate of ministry from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. She was ordained Deacon and Elder by Bishop Joseph H. Yeakel in the Peninsula-Delaware Conference. She served as the first full-time associate pastor of Kent Island United Methodist Church in Chester, Md. At St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in St. Michaels, Md., Steiner Ball served as the church’s youngest and first female pastor. She was also groundbreaking in many other positions, including becoming the first female Dover District superintendent, as well as the first female director of Connectional Ministries in the Peninsula-Delaware Conference.

Bishop Steiner Ball was a first reserve delegate to the 2004 and first elected delegate to the 2008 and 2012 General Conferences of The United Methodist Church and to the Northeastern Jurisdictional Conferences. She has served the general church in a variety of areas, including the Interjurisdictional Episcopacy Committee, the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, the United Methodist Endorsing Agency and the Jurisdictional Committee on Episcopacy.

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