William Peace University To Award Three Individuals With Honorary Degrees At May 5 Commencement
Burley B. Mitchell, Jr., Josephine Beatty Chadwick '43 And Harvey A. Schmitt To Receive Recognition From Four-Year Baccalaureate University.
- Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, NC (1888PressRelease) April 26, 2012 - William Peace University (http://www.peace.edu), a private four-year university located in downtown Raleigh, has announced that Burley B. Mitchell, Jr., Josephine Beatty Chadwick '43 and Harvey A. Schmitt will receive honorary degrees during the commencement ceremony to be held Saturday, May 5. Mitchell and Chadwick will receive Doctors of Humanities honors at the event, and Schmitt will receive a Doctor of Business.
Mitchell, a former N.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice who will serve as commencement speaker at the event, will be honored for his longtime support of the university and distinguished legal career. His wife, Lou Willett Mitchell '62, is an active university alumnae, and the couple co-chaired the largest fundraising campaign in the university's history - the $30 million Promise of Peace Campaign, which ran from 2008 through 2011. A veteran of the U.S. Navy, Mitchell served as an assistant attorney general of North Carolina from 1969 to 1972, as district attorney for Wake County from 1972 to 1977, as a Judge of the Court of Appeals from 1977 to 1979, and as N.C. Secretary of Crime Control and Public Safety under Gov. Jim Hunt from 1979 until 1982, when he joined the N.C. Supreme Court and became its 24th chief justice in 1995. He retired in 1999 to head Womble Carlyle's appellate advocacy and government relations groups at the law firm's Raleigh office. Mitchell continues to dedicate his time to serving the North Carolina community through his seat on the board of trustees for NC State University, the University of North Carolina's board of governors, and a chairman of the advisory panel on federal judicial nominees for U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan.
Chadwick is a distinguished longtime supporter of her alma mater, having served as a member of the university's board of trustees (1986-1995), the alumni board (1962-1970 and as president from 1971-1973) and the board of visitors (1979-1982, 1983-1985). After earning an A.A. degree from Peace in 1943, Chadwick earned a B.A. in history from Longwood University in Farmville, Va., and returned to North Carolina to teach school in Elizabethtown and Wilmington before becoming a homemaker in 1950. Active as a community volunteer for the Daughters of the American Revolution, Chadwick has been a charter member of the Wilmington branch of American Association of University Women and a director of the Friends of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. She is an elder and honorary member of the Women of the Church of St. Andrews-Covenant Presbyterian Church, where she attends, a member of the Lower Cape Fear Hospice Board, and a member of the Cape Fear Garden Club for more than 50 years. Chadwick is the recipient of the university's Distinguished Alumna Award (1974), Distinguished Service Award (1992) and William Peace Medallion (2007), the university's highest award. She was named an honorary trustee during Peace's sesquicentennial year and is a member of the President's Circle and Heritage societies, as well as the prestigious William Peace Society. She is one of the university's largest financial supporters. Other members of her family have assisted William Peace University through service as well, including her late husband, George Chadwick, as a member of the board of trustees and the board of visitors.
Schmitt, president and CEO of the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce since 1994, has assisted the university by introducing officials with civic and business leaders who have helped its efforts to expand and prosper. He has successfully promoted William Peace University's message of academic excellence to the community as well. A former member of the executive committee for the American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE), he served as chairman of the board from 1995 to 1996 and as chairman of the ACCE Trustees from 2002 to 2004, Schmitt participates as well on the US Chamber of Commerce Committee of 100, where he has served since 2004. He belongs to the boards of the Research Triangle Regional Partnership, Carolina Hurricanes Kids N' Community Foundation and the Downtown Raleigh Alliance, and is the founding board member for the 200 Club of Wake County and a trustee for the Wake Education Partnership. Previously, Schmitt served six years as president and CEO of the Greater Greenville (S.C.) Chamber of Commerce, where he was named Executive of the Year from the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce Executives.
"We are delighted to salute the professional accomplishments of these distinguished individuals," said Debra M. Townsley, Ph.D., president of William Peace University. "Burley, Josephine and Harvey are strong believers in our mission and goals, as well as outstanding individuals in our community. These honorary degrees are our way of acknowledging and thanking them publicly for their professional accomplishments, unwavering devotion and respect for William Peace University, as well as their lifetimes of service."
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ABOUT WILLIAM PEACE UNIVERSITY:
William Peace University is located in the heart of Raleigh, North Carolina. It was founded in 1857 as Peace Institute, offering education for boys and girls in primary grades and to women from high school to college. Peace, an all women's college, became a four-year baccalaureate college and graduated its first bachelor's students in August of 1996. Exclusively an all-women's institution for its first 152 years, Peace began offering coeducational evening courses through the William Peace School of Professional Studies in 2009. In 2011, Peace College transitioned to William Peace University and will begin admitting male students to its day program in fall 2012. Its mission is to prepare students for careers in the organizations of tomorrow. On average, more than 90 percent of the university's graduates are placed in jobs or graduate school within one year of graduation. For more information, please visit http://www.peace.edu.
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