Catawba College is set to host two graduation exercises
on Saturday, May 13 in Keppel Auditorium of the Robertson College-Community Center on campus. But you will need a ticket if you plan to attend.
On that day, more than 170 students in the College's traditional day program (undergraduate degree candidates and master's of education degree candidates) will participate in a 10 a.m. exercise, while more than 100 adult students in the College's Lifelong Learning program will receive their diplomas in a 2 p.m. ceremony. Each prospective graduate is being given a limited number of tickets for their friends and family, and college officials note that persons without a ticket should not expect to be admitted to the 1450-seat auditorium. A video simulcast of both ceremonies will be available in Hedrick Theatre to accommodate any overflow of visitors.
Dr. Robert Knott, Catawba College president, will deliver his charge to each group of graduates and the duration of each ceremony on May 13 is expected to be approximately two hours. The Whitener Awards, given annually to the top academic male and female in the traditional program's graduating class, will be presented during the 10 a.m. exercise, while the Barbara Andrews Award, given annually to the top academic student in the evening program, will be presented during the 2 p.m. exercise. Additionally, during the 10 a.m. exercise, two honorary degrees will be conferred and the annual O.B. Michael Distinguished Alumnus Award will be presented.
Honorary Degree Recipients
The two alumni receiving honorary degrees are Ned A. Cline '64 of Greensboro and Bruce E. Stuck '67 of San Antonio, Texas. Cline will receive a Doctor of Humane Letters degree and Stuck, a Doctor of Science degree.
Cline, a native of Cabarrus County, came to Catawba in 1960 after several years of working as a reporter for the Concord Tribune. He earned a degree in political science and following his Catawba graduation, he worked for six years with the Salisbury Post.
During the 1970s, he worked in various capacities for the Greensboro Daily News, rising to be a managing editor. Later, he was Raleigh bureau chief for The Charlotte Observer. He returned to Greensboro in 1982 as managing editor for the Greensboro News & Record, and remained there until his retirement in 1997 as associate editor.
He received numerous awards from the N.C. Press Association and his work resulted in a year at the Washington Journalism Center. He also spent a year at Harvard University as a Nieman Fellow, one of the most prestigious honors given an American journalist.
He retired from newspapers in 1997, but since that time, he has researched and published three biographies of worthy N.C. philanthropists and is in the process of completing a fourth. He just published a history of the first Lutheran Church in North Carolina, St. John's Lutheran Church of Mt. Pleasant, and has also written for two North Carolina monthly magazines. Cline teaches a newspaper editing course in the English Department at UNCG each spring and works as a part-time consultant in public relations and fund-raising.
He is married to Linda Kelly Cline, a 1964 Catawba alumna, and the couple has two adult children and two grandchildren.
Bruce Stuck was a magna cum laude graduate of Catawba with a double major in physics and mathematics. He received a National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA) fellowship (a NASA traineeship at the time) to go to Virginia Tech where he received a master's degree in science.
A leading world expert in laser hazards research, Stuck is the director of the U.S. Army Medical Research Detachment of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. He travels throughout the world serving as one of three U.S. Commissioners on the International Commission of Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection where his expertise is brought to bear on addressing the importance of possible adverse effects of human health of exposure to non-ionizing radiation.
He has 32 years experience in laser hazards and is the author/co-author of numerous papers on ocular and cutaneous effects of laser and radio frequency radiation. His primary interests are in the biological effects of visible and infrared laser radiation on the retina and cornea and the assessment of laser-induced eye injuries and their treatment.
He is the chair of the biological Effects and Medical Surveillance Technical Subcommittee of the American national Standards Institute's (ANSI) Z136 Standard for the Safe Use of Lasers. He is a member of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, the Laser Institute of America, the Biomedical Optical Society of the SPIE and the editorial board of the Journal of Laser Applications. He represented the U.S. at the Vienna Protocol on "Blinding Laser Weapons" in 1995 and has served on the ICNIRP SC IV since 1999 and has been elected to the Main Commission 2004-2008.
O.B. Michael Distinguished Alumnus Recipient
Catawba College Alumnus Leo Wallace '34 of Salisbury will receive the College's annual O.B. Michael Distinguished Alumnus Award. A model of both commercial leadership and civic responsibility, he is a longtime area real estate broker and commercial property developer and manager.
A U.S. Navy veteran of World War II, he started his real estate brokerage business, Wallace Realty, in Salisbury in 1950. He is one of the oldest active realtors in the state and has been involved in the development and construction of more than 35 residential subdivisions. He has also developed other notable properties in Salisbury including property adjacent to the Salisbury Mall and the Holiday Inn.
He was active in the Chamber of Commerce; and on two occasions was elected to the presidency. He served many years on the downtown property owners association and served for 35 years on the local library board.
He and his wife of 64 years, Virginia Shaver Wallace, are members of First Presbyterian Church in Salisbury and parents of three adult children – sons Lee and Victor and daughter Suzanne Casey.
Graduating seniors from both the traditional day and the Lifelong Learning programs will attend Catawba's Baccalaureate Service at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 12 in the Omwake-Dearborn Chapel on campus and tickets are not required.
Catawba College Alumnus Charles Vaughan '72 of Virginia Beach, Va., will be the speaker with remarks entitled, "Good to Great."
Vaughan earned his undergraduate degree in German and history from Catawba and his master's of education degree from the UNCC. He has taught school, studied overseas as a Fulbright scholar, worked as a business consultant and a retail general manager, and has served as a naval military officer. Currently, he is the director of the Ships Store Program for the Navy Exchange Service Command, a Supply Corps Captain in the U.S. Navy Reserves, and a trustee for the Navy Exchange Pension Fund.
Following the Baccalaureate Service, the graduating class will process by candlelight in the traditional Marshal's Walk from the chapel, along Oliver's Way, to the exterior of the Robertson College-Community. A reception for families in the Peeler Crystal Lounge will close the evening.
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