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Higher Education Notebook

Higher Education Notebook

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Astronaut to speak at Salem commencement

Stephanie D. Wilson, a NASA astronaut and a veteran of three spaceflights, will be Salem College’s 2019 commencement speaker.

The ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. May 25 at Joel Coliseum at 2825 University Parkway in Winston-Salem.

“Astronaut Stephanie Wilson is the perfect commencement speaker for Salem College,” Salem College President Sandra J. Doran said. “As a woman at the top of her field, one of our country’s best and brightest, she is a role model who exemplifies Salem’s focus on intelligence, courage, leadership and resilience.”

Wilson, who has logged more than 42 days in space, has a bachelor’s degree in engineering science from Harvard University, and a master of science in aerospace engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.

WFU honors alumni

Wake Forest University presented its 2019 Distinguished Alumni Awards to Buck Cochran, a 1982 graduate, former U.S. Rep. Donna F. Edwards, a 1980 graduate, and Anil Rai Gupta, a 1992 and 2017 graduate, WFU said in a news release.

Cochran is executive director of Peacehaven Community Farm, a nonprofit in Whitsett with a mission to connect people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to the larger community through shared living and the work of a sustainable farm, WFU said.

Edwards became the first African-American woman to represent Maryland in Congress, after a special election in June 2008. She won four full terms, leaving in 2017.

Gupta is chairman and managing director of Havells India Limited, one of India’s largest electrical equipment companies. In 2005, Havells began offering students in Alwar district a midday meal to alleviate hunger; now the project feeds more than 60,000 students a day.

Walton named dean of WFU divinity school

Wake Forest University has appointed Jonathan L. Walton as dean of its School of Divinity, WFU said in a statement.

Walton is currently at Harvard University, where he serves as the professor of Christian morals and a Minister in Harvard University’s Memorial Church. He is also professor of religion and society at the Harvard Divinity School. Walton will serve as dean and presidential chairman of religion and society at Wake Forest.

Walton is nationally known for the practice of ministry and his religious scholarship. He studies the intersections of religion, politics and media culture. Walton is an ordained Baptist minister with a doctorate and master of divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary.

Walton will succeed Jill Crainshaw, who has been serving as interim dean.

Foundations give $2 million to UNCSA

The UNC School of the Arts has received gifts and pledges with a combined value of $2 million from two foundations associated with members of the Hanes family.

“We are extraordinarily grateful for the generosity these two great foundations have demonstrated toward UNCSA and our emerging artists,” UNCSA Chancellor Lindsay Bierman said.

The John Wesley and Anna Hodgin Hanes Foundation’s gift of $1.25 million includes $750,000 for the Melissa Hayden Endowed Scholarship, a merit-based scholarship in the School of Dance. The scholarship, established in 2000, is named for the UNCSA faculty member whom The New York Times once called “one of American ballet’s greatest ballerinas.” One of New York City Ballet’s first international stars and a favorite of George Balanchine, Hayden died in 2006 at the age of 83.

The remainder of the John Wesley and Anna Hodgin Hanes Foundation’s gift, $500,000, supports the university’s strategic real estate acquisition efforts.

The James G. Hanes Foundation has made a gift of $750,000 to establish the John Ehle and Rosemary Harris Distinguished Visiting Artist Endowed Professorship. The fund, which will support guest artists at UNCSA, was named for novelist John Ehle and actress Rosemary Harris.

Compiled by John Hinton




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