WPU Announces Assad Meymandi, MD, Ph.D., DLFAPA, as 2015 Commencement Speaker Along with Honorary Degree Recipients

February 25, 2015
Every year, student throw their graduation roses into the historic Main Fountain

William Peace University is proud to announce that Assad Meymandi, MD, PhD, DLFAPA (Distinguished Life Fellow, American Psychiatric Association), will serve as its 2015 Commencement Speaker. The University will also award Honorary Doctorate Degrees in Humanities to Dr. Meymandi and Alumna Sara Jo Allen Manning ’58 ‘60. This year’s Commencement Ceremony will be held on Saturday, May 2, 2015 at 10 a.m. on the University Green, located at 15 E. Peace Street.

“We value Dr. Meymandi’s dedication to medicine, education, and the arts, and we cherish his friendship and loyalty to Peace.”

Philanthropist Dr. Assad Meymandi is a noted psychiatrist and neurologist in private practice in Raleigh. He is an Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill. Also, he serves as a Visiting Scholar and lecturer on Medicine, the Arts and Humanities at his alma mater, the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health. Among his many awards and recognitions, Dr. Meymandi has been honored with the Raleigh Medal of Art, appointed to the Board of the North Carolina Arts Council, awarded the distinguished Order of the Longleaf Pine Award, and selected as Citizen of the World by the International Affairs Council. He was also inducted into the Raleigh Hall of Fame. A major proponent of the arts, Dr. Meymandi has made significant gifts through Meymandi Concert Hall, home of North Carolina Symphony in Raleigh, named for his late mother, and the Touring Exhibit Gallery, NC Museum of Art, for his late father.

In addition, he has endowed a Fellowship at the National Humanities Center in Research Triangle Park, where he formerly served as a Trustee, and continues to serve as Trustee Emeritus. The Fellowship is dedicated to bringing the basic sciences, the arts and humanities together. Dr. Meymandi has also endowed the Dr. Assad Meymandi Distinguished Chair of Psychiatry at UNC School of Medicine. His medical training was performed at the George Washington University School of Medicine and psychiatric residency training at Dorothea Dix Hospital in Raleigh. He is an honorary member of Phi Beta Kappa – Alpha chapter of North Carolina, and Alpha Omega Alpha Honorary Medical fraternity. Dr. Meymandi’s wife, Emily, served as a Peace Trustee from 2005 to 2008.

“Sara Jo is one of our outstanding and dedicated Alumni. She has given so much to our University.”

A graduate of the classes of 1958 and 1960, Manning is a dedicated Alumna and philanthropist to her Alma Mater. She currently serves on the Alumni Board, and has previously served as a member of the Board of Visitors, the Sesquicentennial Commemoration Committee, and as a Class Agent, helping to secure giving from her class for The Loyalty Fund. Additionally, Manning is a member of the prestigious William Peace Society, having made lifetime gifts to the University totaling more than $100,000. Her other Peace memberships include the Heritage Society and the President’s Circle Society, where she is known for her work with the Manning Music Series, which she endowed during the Promise of Peace campaign in 2007.

Manning was born in Pinehurst and graduated from Peace Preparatory in 1958, then later earned an A.A. from Peace College in 1960. She also holds a B.A. in English Education and a M.Ed. in Guidance from UNC-Chapel Hill. Locally, she has served on the board of directors of the United Arts Council, North Carolina Prevention of Blindness, and as president of the Junior League of Raleigh. In 2008, she received the Alumni Distinguished Service Award for her longstanding service to Peace.

“We are honored to have these two outstanding people participate in our Commencement,” said Debra M. Townsley, Ph.D., President of William Peace University. “We value Dr. Meymandi’s dedication to medicine, education, and the arts, and we cherish his friendship and loyalty to Peace. We know that he will deliver an impactful message to our graduates.”

“Sara Jo is one of our outstanding and dedicated Alumni,” Townsley said. “She has given so much to our University, and she has demonstrated time and time again what it means to be an outstanding Peace graduate. We are proud to award her an honorary doctorate.”

For more University news, please visit: www.peace.edu/news.