Exercises Scheduled for Sunday, May 17, at 1:30 p.m.
WILSON, N.C. — May 11, 2015 — The Honorable Sidney S. Eagles, Jr., will be the featured speaker at the 113th annual commencement exercises of Barton College scheduled for Sunday, May 17, on center campus at 1:30 p.m. Wilson Gymnasium is the rain site. Dr. Norval C. Kneten will preside over his twelfth commencement program as president of Barton College. Dr. Gary Daynes, provost and vice president for academic affairs, will present the graduating class of 257 seniors.
Judge Eagles will receive the Doctor of Laws degree, honoris causa, from Barton College during the commencement ceremonies.
Participating in this year’s commencement ceremony will be students who completed their baccalaureate degree requirements in December 2014 and May 2015, 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 Lincoln Financial 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.
Brenda Hobbs Whaley, class of 1998, 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 service Sunday morning, May 17, at 11 a.m. in Howard Chapel. The Reverend Jamie C. Eubanks, chaplain of the college, will officiate at the service, and the Reverend Shelton R. Keyes, pastor of Hickory Grove Church of Christ (Disciples of Christ), and uncle of graduating senior Charmayne Simpson, will deliver the baccalaureate sermon.
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 $6.00 each for family members and guests.
The Commencement festivities will include a picnic for graduating seniors and their families on Saturday morning, May 16, at 11:30 a.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 be held in Howard Chapel on the Barton College campus earlier on Saturday morning, May 16, at 10 a.m.
About the speaker —
The Honorable Sidney S. Eagles, Jr., now retired as Chief Judge for the North Carolina Court of Appeals, has served as a judge of the North Carolina Court of Appeals for over 20 years. He currently practices law in the Raleigh office of Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP. A past chair and vice chair of the Barton College Board of Trustees, he served on the College’s Board of Trustees for 24 years, retiring in fall 2014.
Born in Asheville and reared in Saratoga, Judge Eagles is the son of the late Mildred Truman Brite Eagles and the late Sidney S. Eagles. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wake Forest University and a Juris Doctor degree from the Wake Forest University School of Law.
Early in his professional career, Judge Eagles served in roles as Revisor of Statutes, special deputy attorney general, and as Counsel to the N.C. Speaker of the House. He regularly argued cases before the N.C. Court of Appeals and Supreme Court. He also has argued in the 4th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court of the United States. In addition, he served for 32 years as an adjunct professor in the Campbell University School of Law.
Judge Eagles has served in distinguished leadership roles for numerous organizations including, but not limited to, the American Bar Association, the Executive Club of Raleigh, the North Carolina Bar Association, and the Kiwanis Club of Raleigh. His professional memberships have extended to the North Carolina State Bar, the North Carolina Association of Defense Lawyers, the Wake County Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys, and the 10th Judicial District Bar. An active member of Hillyer Memorial Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Raleigh, he has served his church as an elder, deacon, trustee, and chair of the board. He also currently serves on the Wake Forest University School of Law’s Board of Visitors and has served as president for the Wake County Bar Association and the 10th Judicial District Bar.
Among his many recognitions, Judge Eagles has been presented with the James Iredell Award for service to legal education by the Phi Alpha Delta legal fraternity chapter at Campbell University. He was named the Kiwanian of the Year in 1988. And, in 1982, Wake Forest University School of Law named Judge Eagles as the school’s Alumnus of the Year. In 2008, he was presented with the Joseph Branch Professionalism Award by the Wake County Bar Association, which recognized Judge Eagles as an attorney who best exhibits the qualities of professionalism displayed by the late Joseph Branch, former Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court. In 2013, Judge Eagles was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers.
A retired Colonel in the United States Air Force Reserve, Judge Eagles was honored with the Air Force Commendation Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, and the Legion of Merit.
He currently makes his home in Raleigh with his wife, the former Rachel Phillips of Nashville, Tenn. They have two adult daughters: Virginia Brite Eagles of Raleigh; and Judge Margaret Phillips Eagles, who also makes her home in Raleigh, with husband Don Carlos “Trey” Flowers III, and their son, Charles Thornton Eagles Flowers.