President Price Receives Honorary Degree, Delivers Address at High Point University

High Point President Nido Qubein presented an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree to Dr. Vincent Price, president of Duke University and the Graduate Commencement speaker. They were joined by HPU Provost Daniel Erb.

Noting that both Duke and High Point are celebrating centennials this year, Price highlighted the parallels between the two universities, both born from a desire of community leaders and the Methodist church to advance the prospects of the communities they served. One was built in the middle of a growing tobacco industry; the other at the center of furniture production.

“Over the next century, these two cities -- like so many others -- experienced seismic social and economic ups and downs as they navigated the Great Depression, a world war and a subsequent baby boom, the Civil Rights movement, and the powerful forces of technological change and globalization,” Price said.

Both universities’ histories, and their hometowns’ experiences with late 20th century industrial decline, offer lessons and reasons for optimism about contemporary society’s ability to address the large social, environmental and technological changes that can appear overwhelming, Price said.

"Both Durham and High Point have worked to understand and come to terms with these forces of change,” Price said. “And both have found new paths forward, reimagining their roles in the economy and in our region.

“Just as our universities and hometowns have adapted and evolved in response to a changing world, each of you, over the course of your professional lives, will face profound challenges and opportunities that will require you to make adjustments -- and sometimes even question your fundamental assumptions about your work and your role in society.  

“As educated individuals with advanced degrees in your fields, all of you are well equipped to serve as leaders, working to fulfill the highest aims of your chosen professions over the course of your careers.”

High Point University President Nido Qubein presented Price with the honorary degree during the ceremony. Qubein praised Price for his extraordinary influence on higher education nationally and for his leadership at Duke.

Price became the third Duke president to receive an honorary degree from High Point. Terry Sanford was honored in 1961, while he was N.C. governor, and H. Keith H. Brodie was awarded the degree in 1992.