Campbell spring commencement ceremonies run May 11-12

BUIES CREEK – Campbell University will host five graduation ceremonies over a two-day span beginning May 11, with the main campus commencement scheduled for 9 a.m. on May 12.

That morning ceremony will be held at the John W. Pope Jr. Convocation Center and will feature graduates of the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education and Lundy-Fetterman School of Business. At 3 p.m. Saturday, the Convocation Center will host commencement for students from Campbell’s extended campuses in Research Triangle Park, Fort Bragg and Camp Lejeune.

Campbell University President Dr. Jerry Wallace will give the commencement address at both ceremonies.

Wallace is the University’s fourth president in 125 years, succeeding Dr. Norman A. Wiggins in 2003. Prior, Wallace was vice president for Academic Affairs and provost from 1984 to 2001.

A native of Rockingham, Wallace earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Government from East Carolina University. An ordained Baptist minister, he received the Bachelor of Divinity and Master of Theology degrees from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest. He also earned the Master of Science and Doctor of Education degrees from North Carolina State University.

Saturday’s ceremonies will wrap up a string of five spring graduation ceremonies, which begin Friday morning. Below is information on graduation and commencement speakers for Campbell’s Law School, College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences and Divinity School.


When: 10 a.m. on Friday, May 11

Where: Progress Energy Performing Arts Center, Meymandi Concert Hall in Raleigh

Commencement Speaker: Maj. Gen. William K. Suter, U.S. Army; Clerk of the Supreme Court of the United States

Maj. Gen. William (Bill) Suter has been the Clerk of the Supreme Court of the United States since 1991. He is the 19 person to hold that position. Prior to coming to the Supreme Court, Suter was a career Army judge advocate. He retired with the rank of Major General.

Suter has served in numerous positions of responsibility around the world, including appellate judge, deputy staff judge advocate of the U.S. Army in Vietnam, staff judge advocate of the 101st Airborne Division, commandant of the JAG School, and the assistant judge advocate general of the Army.

His military awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, the Bronze Star Medal and the Parachutist Badge.

General Suter is a graduate of Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, and the Tulane University School of

Law in New Orleans. He is a frequent lecturer at law schools, bar association meetings and civic functions. His hobbies include skiing, fishing, bird watching, and gardening.


When: 3 p.m. on Friday, May 11

Where: John W. Pope Jr. Convocation Center in Buies Creek

Commencement Speaker: William Atkinson, president, CEO of WakeMed

William K. Atkinson serves as president and CEO of WakeMed Health & Hospitals, the largest private employer in Wake County and one of the largest health care systems in North Carolina.

WakeMed is ranked as one of the nation’s top five hospitals in disaster preparedness, maintaining Wake County’s only Level I Trauma Center and its heart program leads the state in number of procedures.

Atkinson has more than 25 years of experience leading hospitals in both rural and urban settings. Prior to joining WakeMed, he served as president and CEO of New Hanover Health Network in Wilmington, Columbia Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center in Denver and Columbia Aurora Regional Medical Center in Aurora, Colo.

He has served as chairman of the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, North Carolina Institute of Medicine, North Carolina Hospital Association and the North Carolina Center for Hospital Quality and Patient Safety.

Atkinson holds a doctorate in public policy and a master’s degrees in public administration from the University of Colorado at Denver. He also completed a master’s degree in public health from the University of South Carolina and is a graduate of the Executive Management Program from Yale University.

He is a native of Greensboro.


When: 7 p.m. on Friday, May 11

Where: Turner Auditorium, D. Rich Building in Buies Creek

Commencement Speaker: Dr. Daniel Vestal

Dr. Daniel Vestal has been a voice for Christian discipleship for over 40 years. He is a leader within the Baptist denomination and has been involved in ecumenical efforts and interfaith dialogue. He has served on the Executive Committee of the Baptist World Alliance and the Steering Committee for Christian

Churches Together in the U.S.

Since 1996, he has been executive coordinator of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and was instrumental in beginning CBF in 1990-1991. He has been a pastor of Baptist churches in Texas and Georgia for 27 years and has traveled extensively as a preacher and teacher.

Educated at Baylor University (B.A., M.A.) and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Div., Th.D.) he was the founding chairman of trustees for the George W. Truett Theological Seminary and was awarded the George W. Truett Distinguished Church Service Award by the Baylor Alumni Association in 2008.

He was honored by being inducted into the Martin Luther King Jr. International Board of Preachers at Morehouse College in 2000.

Daniel has written numerous articles, contributed to seven books and authored four books, the latest being published by Upper Room Ministries, “Being the Presence of Christ: A Vision for Transformation.”

Photo by Bennett Scarborough