|Public Information Office
310 Owen Hall, Campus PO 1820
Asheville, NC 28804-8507
828/251/6526 FAX: 828/251-6777
|For Immediate Release
May 10, 2001
UNCA to Hold Commencement May 12;
Eminent historian John Hope Franklin will be the featured speaker at UNC Asheville’s 2001 Commencement to be held at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, May 12, on the terrace of Ramsey Library. Franklin, one of America’s most famed living historians, is the James B. Duke Professor Emeritus of History at Duke University. He will be awarded the honorary degree of doctor of humane letters during commencement ceremonies.
Some 509 students will receive degrees at the ceremony. The event is open to the public and no tickets are required for admission.
Commencement activities will begin with a breakfast on the Quadrangle for graduates and their families at 8 a.m. The classes of 1951, 1966 and 1976 will hold their reunions later that day and will lead the graduating class in the procession. Immediately following the ceremony, refreshments will be served on the Quadrangle.
Rain location for commencement ceremonies is the Asheville Civic Center. In case of inclement weather, graduates and their families may call 828/251-6600 or 828/259-3050 for location updates.
Franklin, born in Oklahoma in 1915, earned his doctorate at Harvard University. He has been instrumental in a number of racial turning points in American history. Franklin worked with Thurgood Marshall on Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka. This case, decided by the Supreme Court in 1954, began the process of integration. In 1956, Franklin became the first black historian given a full-time post at a white institution when he joined Brooklyn College as the chairman of the history department.
During the course of his teaching career, Franklin served as professor of history at a number of distinguished academic institutions, including Saint Augustine’s College, North Carolina College for Negroes (later renamed North Carolina Central University), Howard University, Brooklyn College, Cambridge University and Duke University. He is the author of numerous publications, including the landmark "From Slavery to Freedom: A History of African-Americans," now in its seventh edition.
In 1995, Franklin was awarded the Medal of Freedom by President Clinton, the highest honor an American civilian can receive. Franklin has also been called upon for important roles of civic leadership, including his recent past service as chairman of the advisory board of One America: The President’s Initiative on Race. Earlier this year, Franklin’s life was the subject of a multi-part biographical series on UNC-TV.
During commencement ceremonies, honorary doctor of humane letter degrees will also be awarded to Myra Janco Daniels and Adelaide Daniels Key. Greg LeMond, three-time Tour de France winner, who had been scheduled to receive an honorary degree, will not be able to attend this year due to a family wedding.
Daniels, who achieved outstanding success as an advertising industry executive, now serves as chair, president and chief executive officer of the Philharmonic Center for the Arts in Naples, Fla. At age 24, she founded her own advertising agency, rising through the ranks of the industry to become president of the national firm Draper Daniels. She organized a fund-raising drive in 1983 that led to the creation of the $21 million Philharmonic Center, which opened in 1989. Daniels also founded the Naples Museum of Art, a subsidiary of the Philharmonic Center.
Key grew up in Raleigh but has lived in Western North Carolina for most of her adult life. She was the guiding force in the creation of the Lewis Rathburn Center, an innovative facility providing a caring and supportive residential environment in Asheville for serious illness. She also inspired the creation of UNCA’s Key Center for Service Learning, which is named in her honor. Key served two terms on UNCA’s Foundation Board, is currently chair of Western Carolina’s Board of Trustees, and has served on Warren Wilson’s Board of Trustees. In 1999, Key was presented the UNCA Chancellor’s Medallion, one of the most distinguished honors the university can bestow.
For more information about UNC Asheville’s Commencement, call the Office of Academic Affairs at 828/251-6470.
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