William Peace University Announces Raleigh Mayor Nancy L. McFarlane as 2014 Commencement Speaker Along With Honorary Degree RecipientsBy William Peace University on February 11, 2014 2:01 pm
William Peace University Announces Raleigh Mayor Nancy L. McFarlane
as 2014 Commencement Speaker Along With Honorary Degree Recipients
Local Four-Year Baccalaureate to Award Raleigh Mayor,
Alumna, and Late Raleigh Physician with Honorary Doctorates
RALEIGH, N.C., Feb 11, 2014 – William Peace University, a private four-year university located in downtown Raleigh, has announced that Raleigh City Mayor Nancy L. McFarlane will serve as its 2014 Commencement Speaker. The University will also award Honorary Doctorate Degrees in Humanities to McFarlane, Alumna Fay Jackson Anderson, Ph.D., and posthumously to Dr. Annie L. Wilkerson, M.D., Ph.D., the first female doctor of obstetrics and gynecology in Raleigh. This year’s Commencement Ceremony will be held on Saturday, May 3, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. on the University Green, located at 15 E. Peace St.
McFarlane is currently in her second term as Mayor of the capital city, having first been elected in 2011. Before her run for office, McFarlane won a Raleigh City Council Seat in 2007, and later ran without opposition in 2009. She also served on the Budget and Economic Development Committee and was chair of the Comprehensive Planning Committee for the City of Raleigh. Prior to politics, McFarlane launched MedPro Rx, Inc., an accredited specialty pharmacy that provides infusion medications and services to clients with chronic illnesses, which earned several recognitions, including Inc. Magazine’s fastest-growing companies from 2009 to 2011. She has also worked as a drug store pharmacist, and spent 15 years as a pharmacist at Raleigh Community Hospital while raising her family.
A graduate of the Class of 1954, Anderson is a member of the William Peace University’s Foundation Board of Directors and served on the Board of Trustees from 2006 to 2012. She is a longtime benefactor to WPU, holding membership in the prestigious William Peace, Heritage and the President’s Circle Societies and most recently creating the W. Edward Anderson and Fay Jackson Anderson Athletic Endowment Fund, which provides support and enhancement for the athletics program and its facilities. As a student, Anderson served as Senior Class Secretary and Vice President for the Athletics Council. She was also a member of the women’s basketball team, and in 2011 was inducted into the University’s Athletic Hall of Fame. Anderson was also recognized in 2005 with the Distinguished Service Award.
Dr. Wilkerson became involved with Peace during World War II when she taught health at what was then Peace Institute. A long-time benefactor and William Peace Society member, Wilkerson served on the University’s Board of Visitors from 1975 to 1981, and was also a member of The Heritage Society, having made a provision in her estate plans to establish The Annie Royal Farthing Wilkerson Scholarship in honor of her mother in 2008. The Apex native has been recognized with countless awards and honors, including the Distinguished Service Award from the UNC School of Medicine, Rex Hospital’s first Distinguished Physician of Merit, the prestigious North Carolina Award (the highest civilian honor the state can bestow), and in 2005 was inducted into the Raleigh Hall of Fame. After a long, successful life, Wilkerson passed away on September 14, 2005, at the age of 91.
“William Peace University is honored to have Mayor McFarlane as its Commencement speaker,” said Debra M. Townsley, Ph.D., president of William Peace University. “She is an influential policymaker and leader for our city, and I know that she will deliver a message that will impact our graduating students, providing them with something they can reflect on and remember for years to come.”
“It’s difficult to put into words how much Fay and the late Dr. Wilkerson mean to William Peace University and its history,” Townsley said. “Never will you find such influential women in the City of Raleigh as Nancy, Fay, and Annie. We are proud to award honorary doctorates to all of these outstanding women.”
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