WILSON, N.C. — Dr. Assad Meymandi, distinguished psychiatrist, humanist, scholar, and philanthropist, will be the featured speaker at the 111th annual commencement exercises of Barton College in Wilson, N.C., scheduled for Sunday, May 12. Dr. Meymandi frequently writes on diverse subjects relating to his interest in medicine, science, the arts, religion, and philanthropy.
“We are pleased to welcome Dr. Assad Meymandi as Barton’s speaker for this spring’s commencement exercises,” shared Dr. Norval C. Kneten, president of Barton College. “The breadth and depth of his professional expertise and his life experiences provide an educational platform from which Dr. Meymandi can share his wisdom with our graduating seniors. This Renaissance gentleman embodies a singular blend of knowledge, insight, and compassion that manifests itself through his spirit of generosity and goodwill.”
Dr. Meymandi earned a medical degree from George Washington University School of Medicine and also holds Ph.D.s in biochemistry and philosophy, as well as an honorary doctoral degree in the humanities. A longtime resident of Raleigh, he is in private practice as a psychiatrist and neurologist, and serves as adjunct professor of psychiatry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine. Dr. Meymandi also serves as visiting scholar and lecturer in “Medicine and Humanities” at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Heath.
He has endowed a Fellowship dedicated to the task of bridging the gap between the basic sciences and humanities at the National Humanities Center where he serves on the Board of Trustees. Among the NHC Meymandi Fellows is the world renowned neurologist Dr. Oliver Sacks as well as Sir Patrick Bateson, Emeritus Professor of Ethology at Cambridge University and President of the Zoological Society of London; Dr. Helen Vendler, Harvard Professor of English; Nobel Laureate Sir Paul Nurse, President of Rockefeller University; and Edward O. Wilson, Harvard Professor of Entomology, Pulitzer Prize winner and father of Sociobiology.
Dr. Meymandi is currently building 200 housing units for the survivors of the Bam disaster in Iran, where 35,000 people were killed in Jan 2004. Upon completion, he will add a school and a community center.
An ardent supporter of education, he has endowed professorship chairs and also gives scholarships to bright and promising medical and conservatory students.
Dr. Meymandi also is a devoted patron of the arts. The 1800-seat, state-of-the-art Meymandi Concert Hall in Raleigh, which opened in 2001, was named by Dr. Meymandi to honor his mother, and the Meymandi Exhibition Gallery of the North Carolina Museum of Art, which opened in 2010, was named for his father.
Among his many awards and recognitions, Dr. Meymandi was honored in 2000 with the Raleigh Medal of Art, and, in 2002, he was appointed by Governor Easley to the Board of the North Carolina Arts Council. He was the recipient of the distinguished Order of the Longleaf Pine Award in 2004. More recently, The International Affairs Council chose Dr. Meymandi as The Citizen of the World in 2011, and in 2012 the City of Raleigh honored him by inducting him to Raleigh Hall of Fame.