William Peace University Celebrates Founder’s Day of Giving and Grand Opening of Center for Immersive Learning

March 6, 2020
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[March 6, 2020]  

Steeped in tradition and history, William Peace University honors the events of the past and is simultaneously focused on the future, with a clear vision for the success of its students. Our founding father, Mr. William Peace, began Peace as a Women’s institute in 1857 – an innovative idea at the time.

In March, WPU is linking its past to the future and opening another rich chapter in our story of constant innovation: March 12 marks the first Founder’s Day of Giving. As part of this, WPU will also officially open an innovative facility on campus: Center for Immersive Learning.

For several decades, Founder’s Day has been a yearly occasion for the WPU community to honor the legacy of founder, Mr. William Peace. Past events have included concerts, speaker series, food truck rodeos, and more recently, a “Founder’s Walk” to the Peace gravesite at the City Cemetery of Raleigh to learn the history and impact of William Peace University. Alongside this year’s festivities, WPU will extend Founder’s Day and revamp its Day of Giving to establish the Founder’s Day of Giving. This celebration will continue to recognize and encourage the community of friends, alumni, and donors to support the future of the University.

This year’s Founder’s Day of Giving features a special event that embodies the spirit of our new tradition: the grand opening of the campus’ Center for Immersive Learning (CIL). The CIL will serve our students by facilitating opportunities and collaboration to apply their learning in real time, in the real world. Chris Born, Ph.D., WPU’s Director of Immersive Learning, emphasizes, “The purpose of immersive learning is to bridge the gap between the theories students learn in the classroom and how they apply that knowledge.” This philosophy is a focal point of the WPU mission and an integral part of the strategic plan, ‘Believe in Peace.’

The CIL in part was made possible by the generosity of Clancy & Theys Construction Company and is a clear example of what an investment in the University’s future can become, with purpose, planning, and vision. The Center is a shining example of how WPU continues to innovate and push its students into the future through hands-on experiential learning, which wouldn’t be possible without WPU patrons returning to help propel WPU.

The grand opening at Founder’s Day of Giving will feature an invite-only event focusing on WPU’s strong commitment to immersive learning through the lens of innovation. “The Center for Immersive Learning is a revolutionary way to provide the highest quality of education and make a difference in the lives of our students, Raleigh, and the world,” said Dr. Ralph, President at WPU. Raleigh’s Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin, also a WPU Trustee, will be the keynote speaker at this event, to share more about the University’s emphasis on innovative learning.

“I’m proud to be a part of the growth, prosperity, and innovation that Raleigh is experiencing. This energy and explosion of change is evident everywhere you look. It also means that we can’t do things the way we’ve always done them. The leadership of William Peace University understands this. The grand opening of the Center for Immersive Learning is a great example of innovation in action,” said Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin.

How can you join us for Founder’s Day of Giving?

We’d love to see you on March 12 at one or many of the special events happening (see below) throughout the day to remember and celebrate our founder. It’s a time to consider how you will take part in giving to University and being a part of the next step in its future. Notably, unrestricted gifts raised on Founder’s Day will directly support the Believe in Peace Plan, the university’s new strategic plan.

 William Peace gave us a gift to start Peace, will you help us continue his legacy?

You’re Invited!

With so much to celebrate, there is something for everyone at WPU on March 12th. See below for a full list of happenings:

  •  8:00 – 9:30 a.m. Community Coffee: Join our WPU community for coffee and pastries in Flowe Breezeway.
  • 10:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. ‘Give Me Five’: Students can participate in the giving side of Founder’s Day of Giving by giving $5. Students who give will leave their mark, a handprint, on a door to be displayed in the University.
  • 3:00 p.m. Founder’s Walk: The University will honor their founder, William Peace and his lasting legacy with a Founder’s Walk through downtown Raleigh to the City Cemetery of Raleigh and return to the campus. The Founder’s Walk will feature a wreath laying ceremony at William Peace’s gravesite located at City Cemetery of Raleigh (17 S. East St, Raleigh, NC 27601).
  • 4:30 p.m. Cake on the Lawn (Time is Approx.): A long standing Founder’s day tradition! Come enjoy a slice of sweetness with the campus community prior to the kick off of the concert.

As we celebrate our past, make an investment in our future! In honor of our founding, consider making a gift of $18.57, or even $185.70 or how about $1,857.00. William Peace gave us a gift to start Peace, will you join him in his generosity? Unrestricted gifts raised on Founder’s Day will directly support the Believe in Peace Plan, the university’s new strategic plan.

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