Three to receive honorary degrees from ECU
(May 8, 2008)
East Carolina University will award honorary doctor of letters degrees at Saturday’s spring commencement to three residents of Eastern North Carolina: Felix Harvey, Valeria Lee and Walter Williams.
The 10 a.m. ceremony at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium will follow a 9:30 a.m. concert by the ECU Wind Ensemble. The three recipients will be among the 3400 students eligible to graduate this spring. Thomas J. Spaulding, Jr., head of the non-profit organization Up With People, and an East Carolina alum, will deliver the keynote address.
Harvey, of Kinston, is a philanthropist and one of the most successful businessmen in North Carolina.
Lee, of Rocky Mount, is president of the Golden LEAF Foundation, which distributes tobacco-settlement funds to help ease the transition from a tobacco-dependent economy.
Williams, an alumnus and longtime benefactor of the university, is the founder of Trade Oil Co., which merged with WilcoHess in 2005. He is a lifelong resident of Pitt County.
In addition to the graduation ceremony, several programs are celebrating their first graduating classes. ECU’s marriage and family therapy program in the Department of Child Development and Family Relations will graduate the nation’s first three medical family therapy doctoral students. ECU’s engineering program also will graduate its first class of 22 students.