BY JAMES HARPER
At Bethune-Cookman University’s spring commencement next week, 417 seniors are scheduled to graduate. The graduating Wildcats will receive well wishes and some sage advice from one of the state’s judicial pioneers – Florida Supreme Court Justice Peggy Quince.
The ceremony begins at 10 a.m. on May 11 at the Ocean Center, 101 N. Atlantic Ave., Daytona Beach.
Graduation festivities will kick off days earlier during the School of Nursing Pinning Ceremony. The May 8 ceremony starts at 2 p.m. at the Mary McLeod Bethune Performing Arts Center.
A Service of Consecration is scheduled May 9 at the Performing Arts Center with B-CU President Dr. Edison Jackson as the featured speaker. The service will start at 7 p.m. with a candlelight wreath-laying ceremony at the statue of Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune in the Centennial Garden.
Also on May 9. there will be a ROTC Commissioning ceremony at 10 a.m. in Heyn Chapel.
At 4 p.m. on Friday, May 10, Jackson will host a reception honoring the graduates in the lobby of the Mary McLeod Bethune Performing Arts Center. Admission tickets are required.
At the May 11 commencement, honorary degrees will be bestowed on Dr. Charles Bass Reed and Joyce Anne Hanks Moorehead, Esq.
Commencement speaker Qui-nce was born in Norfolk, Va. She graduated from Howard University in 1970 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology, and obtained a juris doctorate degree from Catholic University of America in 1975.
She received an honorary doctor of laws degree from the Stetson University College of Law in 1999 and from St. Thomas University School of Law and Nova in 2004.
Quince began her legal career in Washington, D.C., administering that city’s new rent control law. In 1977, she entered private practice in Norfolk with special emphasis in real estate and domestic relations.
She opened a law office in Bradenton in 1978, where she practiced general civil law until 1980.
In February 1980, Quince began her tenure with the Attorney General’s Office, Criminal Division. She serves on the executive counsel of the Appellate Section of The Florida Bar She is the first African-American female to be appointed to one of the district courts of appeal by Governor Lawton Chiles on Jan. 4, 1994.
In December 1998, Quince was appointed by the late Gov. Lawton Chiles and Governor-elect Jeb Bush to the Florida Supreme Court.
She is married to Fred L. Buckine, a retired attorney, and they have two daughters, Peggy LaVerne and Laura LaVerne.
Honorary Degree recipient Anne Hanks-Moorehead earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology with concentration in Criminology from Bethune-Cookman College in 1967.
Hanks-Moorehead pursued a master’s degree at Boston University in 1967, and she went on to earn her juris doctorate degree from the University of Arkansas in 1976.
In 1978, Moorehead was elected to the Miami-Dade County School Board, and served two terms as president of the Dade County Black Lawyers Association, Chairperson of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the Urban League of Greater Miami, and a board member of WPBT-TV.
She later became general counsel of Chicken George, Inc., and in l986, served as associate general counsel of the NAACP, handling labor issues, education and voting rights.
Business, community leader
She is presently a member of the Florida and Maryland Bars, and licensed in both jurisdictions.
She also serves on the executive management team of husband Thomas A. Moorehead’s BMW of Sterling and MINI of Sterling automotive franchises.
Together, they formed the Sterling Automotive Group Foundation, addressing underserved communities in Northern Virginia.
They support at-risk African-American high school males in Fairfax County, Va. and contribute annually to a Howard University scholarship honoring the memory of her husband’s mother.
To manage the couple’s growing real estate investment portfolio, the Moorehead’s formed Moorehead Properties, Inc. Current investments include the largest minority ownership interest in a Marriott Residence Inn located within the National Harbor Resort and Convention Center, just south of Washington, D.C.
The National Harbor project will be developed over 10 years, estimated at over $1 billion. When completed, it will be the first major hotel facility developed and owned by African-Americans.
Additionally, they are partners and owners of the franchise rights to own and operate a Choice Hotel in Colorado Springs, CO.
About Dr. Charles Bass Reed
Honorary degree recipient Dr. Charles Bass Reed received his Bachelor of Science degree in Health and Physical Education, his master’s degree in Secondary Education and doctorate degree in Education (with a major in teacher education) from George Washington University.
As the former chancellor of the California State University (CSU) system, Reed served as the CEO of the country’s largest senior system of public higher education, providing leadership to some 46,000 faculty and staff and 450,000 students on 23 campuses and seven off-campus centers.
Fought for families
Reed was the driving force behind efforts to enroll minority students in postsecondary education. Every February, CSU leaders visited more than 100 African-American churches in California, and the CSU system partnered with the Parent Institute for Quality Education to help Latino families prepare for college success.
Today, 52 percent of students at CSU are minority. As chancellor, Reed fought for increases to the Pell Grant program, and fought to prevent eligibility changes that could have reduced aid to the neediest students.
Prior to joining the California State University system, Reed was the chancellor of the State University System of Florida for 13 years.