Western to award honorary doctorates during summer commencement

CULLOWHEE – Western Carolina University will bestow honorary doctorates upon an award-winning writer and a business icon as the university holds summer commencement exercises at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 5, at the Ramsey Regional Activity Center.

An honorary doctorate of letters will be awarded to Sue Ellen Bridgers, a Sylva resident and writer of novels for young adults, while Raymond E. Kinsland, a mainstay for almost half a century in the enterprises of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, will be the recipient of an honorary doctorate of humane letters.

Commencement is open to everyone and no tickets are required for admission. Approximately 500 students are candidates for undergraduate and graduate degrees, pending final examinations and review.

Western Chancellor John W. Bardo will preside over commencement and deliver the charge to the degree candidates.

A required rehearsal for the students will be held from 3 to 4:30 p.m. the day of commencement in the main arena of the Ramsey Center . Students will line up for the processional at 6:15 p.m. in the auxiliary gymnasium on the lower level, west side of the Ramsey Center . The processional will begin at 7 p.m.

Receptions for the degree candidates and their families and friends will be held in the Ramsey Center following commencement. Receptions for undergraduate students will be held on the Ramsey Center concourse in a designated area for each college, while a reception for graduate students will be held in the Ramsey auxiliary gymnasium.

Spectators should enter the Ramsey Center through one of four upper concourse doors. Those with physical disabilities should use the northeastern upper entrance, adjacent to the stands of E.J. Whitmire Stadium.