On May 12, Pfeiffer University's 141 newest graduates crossed the stage to receive their undergraduate diplomas. The vast majority of the class of 2012 are from cities and towns across North Carolina. Approximately half of the class earned bachelor's degrees in business administration, criminal justice, elementary education, exercise science, psychology or sports management.
Dr. Michael Brown, senior minister, Marble Collegiate Church in New York City, gave the commencement address. Dr. Brown, a native of Asheboro, graduated from High Point University and Duke Divinity School and received a doctorate of ministry from Drew Theological Seminary. Prior to joining Marble Collegiate, the church served for 52 years by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, he was senior minister to the 4,000-member Centenary United Methodist Church in Winston Salem. He has taught ethics at the College for Seniors at UNC-Asheville, New Testament at High Point University and congregational change at Wake Forest University Divinity School. He is the author of six books and a contributor to 11 others, and awaits publication of two more, Making the Timeless Word Timely and Love Your Way to Happiness. In 1995, he was included in the Great American Preachers book series.
At the ceremony, Dr. Brown received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters in recognition of his writings and contributions to his profession. Pfeiffer also conferred an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts on Dr. Lawrence J. Wheeler, director, North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh. Dr. Wheeler graduated from Pfeiffer University in 1965 with bachelor's degrees in history and French. He earned master's and doctoral degrees in European history from the University of Georgia. From 1970-74, he taught history on Pfeiffer's Misenheimer campus before becoming director of development for the Cleveland Museum of Art and serving as deputy secretary for the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources.
In his remarks, Dr. Brown challenged the graduates to have the courage to live a life that matters through a decision to practice what he calls active loving.
â€œBreak form with the mantras of the world by listening when you prefer to talk, being patient when in a hurry, and standing up to make right a wrong,â€ he said. â€œUltimately, the quality of your life will depend on what you do with the time you have.â€
Photo Caption: President Michael C. Miller conferred honorary degrees upon Dr. Michael Brown and Dr. Lawrence J. Wheeler.