G.R. Kindley, a longtime mayor of Rockingham, was awarded an honorary doctorate from Wingate University during the college’s 117th Commencement ceremony Saturday, May 11, on the Academic Quad in Wingate.
Nearly 445 students graduated from Wingate, including graduates from 32 different states and 15 different countries. The Class of 1963 celebrated its 50th anniversary by leading the Class of 2013 in the procession.
Along with Kindley, a second honorary doctorate was awarded to Frank Davis, a special friend of the university and the Executive Director of the Cannon Foundation.
Kindley served as Mayor of Rockingham for 20 years, and served on the North Carolina Board of Transportation for 16 years. He also established the Richmond County Scholarship that has helped more than 100 students attend Wingate.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation named the U.S. 74 bypass of Rockingham and Hamlet in honor of Kindley, 8th Division representative on the state transportation board. Kindley was honored at a ceremony featuring then Gov. Jim Hunt, Transportation Secretary David McCoy and Lt. Gov.-elect Beverly Perdue. Hunt also presented Kindley with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine.
At Saturday’s commencement, the guest speaker was John Kasay, former Carolina Panthers kicker who begins as the new Athletic Director for Charlotte Christian School in July.
“Getting off the sidelines and getting out into the field gives your life length,” he told the crowd of about 2,700 people. “It is my hope and my prayer that you have a long, wide and fulfilling future.”
Wingate University, ranked as the 6th “best value” in the South by U.S. News & World Report, serves nearly 2,700 students on three campuses in Wingate, Matthews and Hendersonville, N.C. Founded in 1896, the university offers 35 undergraduate majors, 37 minors and career concentrations, numerous pre-professional programs, graduate degrees in business, accounting, education, physician assistant studies and sport administration, and doctorates in pharmacy, physical therapy and education.
For more information, visit www.wingate.edu.