Top leaders in North Carolina among Campbell commencement speakers

Two of North Carolina’s most influential government officials will bookend five graduation ceremonies hosted by Campbell University on May 10-11.

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory will serve as commencement speaker for the 10 a.m. May 10 commencement for the Norman A. Wiggins School of Law, and N.C. Superintendent of Public Instruction June St. Claire Atkinson will speak at the 3 p.m. May 11 service for the School of Education and Lundy-Fetterman School of Business.

In between, Dr. Michael Nnadi, corporate vice president and chief pharmacy officer of Novant Health, will speak at the College of Pharmacy & Health Science’s graduation at 3 p.m. on May 10; Dr. Daniel O. Aleshire, executive director for the Association of Theological Schools, will speak at the Divinity School’s ceremony at 7 p.m. on May 10; and Janelle A. Rhyne, medical director of Cape Fear HealthNet, will speak to the College of Arts & Sciences at 9 a.m. on May 11.

Ceremonies include graduates of Campbell’s schools in Buies Creek, its law school in Raleigh and graduates of extended campuses at RTP, Fort Bragg and Camp Lejeune. 

Details of each ceremony are below:


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

Where: Raleigh Convention Center

Speaker: North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory

Gov. Pat McCrory was elected as North Carolina’s 74th governor in November and was sworn into office on Jan. 5.

A native of Guilford County, McCrory attended Catawba College and earned degrees in education and political science. Upon graduation he worked for Duke Energy before winning an at-large seat on the Charlotte City Council in 1989. McCrory then went on to win two more elections to the council in 1991 and 1993, serving as mayor pro tem from 1993 to 1995.

“We are honored that Gov. McCrory will be delivering the commencement address to our graduates,” said Campbell Law Interim Dean Keith Faulkner. “As our students successfully leave law school and begin a new chapter of their professional lives by preparing for the bar exam, it’s important that they hear from a proven leader with a track record of success. Gov. McCrory certainly fits that bill.”


When: 3 p.m., Friday, May 10

Where: John W. Pope Convocation Center in Buies Creek

Speaker: Dr. Michael Nnadi, corporate vice president and chief pharmacy officer of Novant Health

Dr. Michael Nnadi is responsible for pharmacy services at all 13 acute care hospitals under the Novant Health system, a medical group consisting of 1,124 physicians in 355 clinic locations, as well as numerous outpatient surgery centers, medical plazas, rehabilitation programs, diagnostic imaging centers and community health outreach programs.

Nnadi received a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy from Howard University and a Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Maryland. He enrolled in the Master of Health Science program at Johns Hopkins University and completed an administration residency with Memorial Hospital in York, Penn.

He serves on several boards including the Dean’s Advisory Board for the College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences at Campbell University. He is active in numerous professional/community service affiliations and has received a number of honors and awards including the “Diversity MBA Top 100 Executives Under 50 Award” in 2012.

Nnadi is married to Victoria Nnadi and is the father of three children: Serena, Victor and Micah.


When: 7 p.m., Friday, May 10

Where: J. Clyde Turner Auditorium in Buies Creek

Speaker: Dr. Daniel O. Aleshire, executive director for the Association of Theological Schools

Daniel Aleshire was elected executive director of The Association of Theological Schools in 1998. He first joined the staff in 1990 as an associate director for accreditation and was named associate executive director in 1996 with the responsibility of overseeing the range of the Association’s programs and services to its member institutions, in addition to accreditation.

An ordained minister, Aleshire holds a BS degree from Belmont College, the M.Div. degree from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., and an MA degree and PhD in psychology from George Peabody College for Teachers in Nashville. He served on the faculty of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary from 1978 to 1990 and, before that, as a research scientist at Search Institute in Minneapolis, where he worked on projects related to theological education, church-related higher education, and youth service agencies. Prior to that appointment, he was pastor of Bergen Baptist Church in Waldwick, New Jersey.

Aleshire has written extensively on issues of ministry and theological education, Christian spirituality and Christian education. He and his wife, Jo, are the parents of two children and reside in Pittsburgh.


When: 9 a.m., Saturday, May 11

Where: John W. Pope Convocation Center in Buies Creek

Speaker: Dr. Janelle A. Rhyne, medical director of Cape Fear HealthNet

Dr. Janelle A. Rhyne is medical director of Cape Fear HealthNet, a coordinated system of health care for the poor and uninsured in North Carolina’s Brunswick and New Hanover counties. A resident of Wilmington, Rhyne received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, her Master of Arts from Arizona State University and her Doctor of Medicine from the Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

In addition to her professional responsibilities with Cape Fear HealthNet, Rhyne invests her life in service to the medical profession and her community. Her most notable service to the medical profession has been through her service as immediate past chairman of the Federation of State Medical Boards of the United States, the North Carolina Medical Society and the North Carolina Medical Board.

In 2013, Rhyne is celebrating her 30th wedding anniversary to Marshall Milton, artist, sculptor, jeweler and owner of Wilmington Art Galleries. An active member of the First Baptist Church of Wilmington, Dr. Rhyne is devoted to the church’s ministry to Burmese refugees settling in the greater Wilmington area.

She is the daughter of the late Clyde J. and Eunice Rhyne both of whom were zealous advocates for Campbell University. Nominated to the Campbell University Board of Trustees in 1972, her father served eight four year terms, serving as chairman of the Board of Trustees for six of those terms.


When: 3 p.m., Saturday, May 11

Where: John W. Pope Convocation Center in Buies Creek

Speaker: June St. Clair Atkinson, N.C. Superintendent of Public Instruction

A native of Bedford County, Va., June St. Clair Atkinson’s tenure as state superintendent of public instruction began in 2005. As state superintendent, she manages a staff of more 800 employees serving almost 1.5 million students and 2,500 public schools.

Prior to assuming her current responsibilities, she served as a chief consultant and director in the areas of business education, career and technical education and instructional services within the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. Dr. Atkinson also taught business education in high schools in Charlotte and Roanoke, Va.

Atkinson received a bachelor’s degree in business education from Radford University, a master’s degree in vocational and technical education from Virginia Tech and a doctorate in educational leadership and policy from North Carolina State University.

A highly coveted national and international speaker, Atkinson’s expertise in education has taken her across North Carolina and around the globe presenting on a wide array of topics germane to current issues in education. Atkinson is married to Dr. William Gurley, a Cary orthodontist and former assistant professor at the University of North Carolina School of Dentistry. They are members of the First United Methodist Church of Cary.