WILSON, N.C. – Barbara Lyons Goodmon of Raleigh, president and executive director of the A.J. Fletcher Foundation, will be the featured speaker at the 107th annual commencement exercises of Barton College in Wilson, scheduled for Sunday, May 24, on center campus at 1:30 p.m. Wilson Gymnasium is the rain site. Dr. Norval C. Kneten will preside over his sixth commencement program as president of Barton College. Dr. Terrence L. Grimes, vice president for academic affairs, will present the graduating class of 230 seniors.

Born in Meridian, Miss., Goodmon was raised in Memphis, Tenn. She moved to Raleigh upon her marriage in 1969 to James Fletcher Goodmon, president and CEO of Capitol Broadcasting Company and chair of the board for the A.J. Fletcher Foundation and The Fletcher Academy School of Achievement. The Goodmons have three children and three grandchildren.

Goodmon graduated from the St. Joseph’s School of Nursing in Memphis in 1965, earning her Registered Nurse licensure. In 1994, she graduated magna cum laude from Meredith College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and later completed a Master of Liberal Studies degree from North Carolina State University in 2000.

In addition to myriad responsibilities with the Fletcher Foundation, Goodmon is an ardent supporter of numerous community organizations. She has served on a variety of community boards in the Wake County area and has brought a wealth of experience to her administrative appointment with the Foundation as well as her leadership roles among the community organizations.

With primary interests in the field of human service, she has served as chair of the Wake County Human Services Board and the Salvation Army Advisory Board, and vice chair for The Healing Place of Wake County, a substance abuse treatment center of which she was one of the three principal founders. She also has served on the Meredith College Board of Trustees and Board of Visitors, the North Carolina State University Veterinary Medical Foundation, the North Carolina State University Advisory Board for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the Parents Council for Hampden Sydney College, Ravenscroft School Board of Trustees, and the Board of Visitors for the School of Social Work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Goodmon currently serves on the Pamlico Community College Foundation Board of Directors and the North Carolina School of the Arts Board of Trustees.

A true humanitarian, Goodmon’s service to community has been recognized with numerous awards including, but not limited to, the William Booth Award, the “Others” Award, and the Life Membership Award by the Salvation Army. She was inducted into the Academy of Women of the Raleigh YWCA and listed among the Top 100 Distinguished Graduates of Meredith College. Goodmon also has received the Leadership By Example Award from the Rotary Club of Raleigh, the Women’s Center of Wake County Star Award, the Sisters Delany Honor Society Achievement Award/N.C. Women of Distinction from Saint Augustine’s College, the North Carolina State University 2005 Distinguished Alumni Award, and the 2008 Sertoma Club Regional Service to Mankind Award.

Goodmon and her husband were honored with the Methodist Children’s Home 2001 Guardian Angel Award, the Outstanding Volunteer Fundraisers of 2001 Award presented on National Philanthropy Day by the Triangle Chapter of the Association of Professional Fundraisers, the United Arts 2000 Paladin Achievement Award for business support, the Marty Prairie Award at the 2005 North Carolina World AIDS Day Awards, and the 2008 Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Award. The Goodmons were also inducted into the Raleigh Hall of Fame in 2008.

In 2002, Goodmon was featured in Metro Magazine Who’s Who and, in December 2003, she was listed in Business Leader Magazine as one of the 10 effective women of the Triangle. Goodmon and her husband were featured in the 2006 Edition of Business Leader as distinguished business leaders of 2005.

Goodmon will receive the Doctor of Laws degree, honoris causa, from Barton College during this year’s commencement.

Participating in this year’s commencement ceremony will be students who completed their baccalaureate degree requirements in December 2008 and May 2009, as well as candidates who expect to fulfill requirements over the summer. The three highest honors presented to Barton students: the Coggins Cup, the Hilley Cup, and the Hemby Leadership Cup, will be awarded. The Coggins Cup is presented annually to the student voted best all-around by the Barton faculty and staff. The Hilley Cup is presented annually to the graduating senior with the highest cumulative grade point average. The Hemby Leadership Cup is presented to the graduating senior, who in the estimation of the college community (including students, faculty and staff) has demonstrated outstanding leadership throughout a career at Barton College.

The Jefferson-Pilot Faculty Member of the Year awards will also be presented. The awards, given annually to two faculty members, include a cash stipend for international study.

Dr. Phillip H. Warren, class of 1971, president of the Barton College Alumni Association and its Alumni Board, will bring greetings to graduating seniors on behalf of the Alumni Association.

Barton’s Commencement Day program will begin with the baccalaureate sermon Sunday morning at 11 a.m. in Howard Chapel. The Reverend Hollie E. Woodruff, chaplain of the college, will deliver the address. Lunch will be served in the Hamlin Student Center Dining Hall from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. at no charge for seniors and $5.00 each for family members and guests.

The Commencement festivities will include a luncheon for seniors and their parents on Saturday afternoon, May 23 from noon to 1:30 p.m., hosted by Dr. and Mrs. Norval C. Kneten at the Barton-Graves House. The pinning ceremony for the graduates of the School of Nursing will follow at 6 p.m. on Saturday evening at First United Methodist Church.

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Questions?  Please contact Kathy Daughety, director of public relations, at 252-399-6529 or email: kdaughety@barton.edu.