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Pfeiffer University News

Dr. Michael Brown of Marble Collegiate Church, New York City, will address new graduates and guests at Pfeiffer University's spring commencement

Michael Brown commencement2012 2Dr. Lawrence J. Wheeler, Director, North Carolina Museum of Art,
to Receive Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts

Dr. Michael Brown, senior minister, Marble Collegiate Church in New York City, is scheduled to give the 2012 spring commencement address at Pfeiffer University's Misenheimer campus on
Sat., May 12, 10:30 a.m.

Dr. Brown, a native of Asheboro, graduated from High Point University and Duke Divinity School and received his 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.

Recipient of the Harry Denman Award from the United Methodist Church and the John L. Borchert Award for Christian Communications, Dr. Brown is host of a weekly radio program titled Simple Faith on WOR radio that has a listenership stretching from Boston to Washington D.C. , and has appeared on the radio program, The Protestant Hour. Marble Collegiate's worship services, which are telecast in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey, are web-streamed globally. He is a frequent lecturer and motivational speaker, addressing religious and secular audiences. He and his wife, Page Plummer Brown, are parents to four children.

“Michael Brown's professional and life achievements reflect the high standards that Pfeiffer University prepares its students to establish for themselves as they embark on their careers or professional training,” said President Michael C. Miller.  “He provides a living example of ‘doing well by doing good' that will guide graduates as they begin to make decisions about the course of their lives.”

At the graduation ceremony, Dr. Brown will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters in recognition of his writings and contributions to his profession.

Pfeiffer will also confer an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts on Dr. Lawrence J. Wheeler, director, North Carolina Museum of Art (NCMA), 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.

“Larry Wheeler's commitment the arts and culture enriches the lives of North Carolinians and makes our state a great place to live and conduct business,” said Mike Miller.

Since Dr. Wheeler joined NCMA in 1994, the museum has become one of the leading art museums in the American South. Its programs of major exhibitions, ranging from presentations of the works of Rodin, Monet, Rembrandt, and the School of Paris to ancient Egyptian art, have attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors from across the nation and around the world.

Under his leadership and vision, the museum completed construction in 2010 of the 127,000 square foot West Building, a light-filled structure surrounded by sculpture gardens and reflecting pools, which houses the museum's permanent collection. The collection itself has grown to include 29 Rodin sculptures from the Cantor Foundation as well numerous new acquisitions to the museum's modern and contemporary collections.

Dr. Wheeler's awards include the Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters from the Republic of France, Medal of Arts from the City of Raleigh, Leadership Award from the Triangle Business Journal, Design Guild Award from the North Carolina State University College of Design and Thad Eure Memorial Award from the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau. In 2006, he was named Tar Heel of the Year by the Raleigh News & Observer.

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