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Doc Hendley to Give NC State Fall Commencement Speech

Doc Hendley, founder and president of the clean water nonprofit Wine to Water, will deliver NC State’s commencement address on Saturday, Dec. 15, at the PNC Arena in Raleigh. The event begins at 9 a.m.

During the ceremony, Chancellor Randy Woodson will confer an honorary degree on Dr. James H. Woodward, former chancellor at NC State and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Hendley, a 2004 NC State graduate, was named one of the Top 10 CNN Heroes for his work to bring clean drinking water to a billion people in need around the world. He came up with the idea for his nonprofit, Wine to Water, while bartending and playing music in Raleigh nightclubs. Within months of holding wine-tasting events to raise money, he was installing water systems in Darfur, Sudan. What he saw there drove him to create a 501(c) (3) organization and expand his efforts. In 2007, after working two jobs and volunteering his time for more than three years, his dream became reality.

In 2009 Hendley’s efforts to combat unclean water, the No. 1 killer of children worldwide, captured the attention of judges for Top 10 CNN Heroes. A panel that included retired general Colin Powell, Whoopi Goldberg, Ted Turner and Sir Elton John honored Hendley’s work.

Hendley, who earned a degree in communications from NC State, has written a book, Wine to Water: A Bartender’s Quest to Bring Clean Water to the World, which was published in January.

Woodward’s contributions to higher education span nearly half a century. His teaching career began at the U.S. Air Force Academy, where he was promoted to captain. After serving as an assistant professor of engineering at NC State from 1968 to 1969, he was a faculty member and administrator for 20 years at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Woodward was dean of the UAB School of Engineering before being named senior vice president.

Woodward served as chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte from 1989 to 2005. Under his leadership, enrollment grew to more than 19,000 students, and the university awarded its first doctoral degrees and completed the largest fundraising campaign in its history. Woodward came out of retirement to lead NC State as chancellor from June 2009 to March 2010 during a leadership transition.


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