Return to News

HPU Holds Official Inauguration for President Qubein

HIGH POINT, N.C., Oct. 10, 2006 – High Point University has officially opened the next chapter in its history with the Inauguration Ceremony for its 7th president, Nido Qubein, on Oct. 7.

"This is a hugely significant event in the life of High Point University," said Chris Dudley, assistant vice president of community relations.

Organizers estimated there were nearly 3,000 guests, including HPU faculty, representatives from dozens of other colleges, universities and learned societies, members of the university's board of trustees, student ambassadors, community leaders, friends, and alumni.

Qubein delivered the inaugural address, following formal greetings and introductions by Bishop J. Lawrence McCleskey, Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church; Lenora Billings-Harris, president of the National Speakers Association; Dr. A. Hope Williams, president of North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities; Dr. Robert J. Brown, chairman and CEO of B& C Associates, Inc.; High Point Mayor Becky Smothers; Gene Kester, trustee, local businessman and HPU alumnus (’66); and North Carolina Lt. Gov. Beverly Purdue; among others.

In the 92-year history of High Point University, Qubein is only its 7th president. At the helm of HPU since January 2005, he has already directed a total transformation of the university. His ambitious fundraising campaigns led to the announcement earlier this year of a $100 million investment in construction, renovation, academic programs, athletic facilities, faculty development and student life. Construction on campus has been ongoing for nearly a year as 11 new buildings are under construction and 13 additional structures are being completely renovated. Qubein's ultimate goal is to turn HPU into one of the nation's premiere college campuses.

Qubein was highly sought after for the position by members of High Point University's Board of Trustees. He came to the United States as a teenager with little knowledge of English, no contacts and only $50 in his pocket. He graduated from HPU and went on to become an internationally known speaker, author and business leader.

He serves on the board and executive committee of BB&T; chairman of Great Harvest Bread Company with 218 stores in 42 states; and chairman emeritus of the National Speakers Association foundation in Phoenix, Ariz. He serves on the boards of several national organizations including the La-Z-Boy Corporation, one of the world's largest and most recognized furniture retailers. He is a past board member of American Humanics and the YMCA of the USA, which oversees more than 2,000 YMCAs across the country.

Qubein is the recipient of the highest awards given for professional speakers including the Cavett (known as the Oscar of professional speaking), the Speakers Hall of Fame, Horatio Alger Award for Distinguished Americans, Ellis Island Congressional Medial of Honor, The Order of the Long Leaf Pine (North Carolina’s highest civilian honor) and Sales and Marketing International's Ambassador of Free Enterprise.

University officials planned the Inauguration Ceremony to coincide with the annual Alumni/Family Weekend, giving alumni, family and friends a chance to revel in the energy and excitement abuzz on campus.

At High Point University, every student receives an extraordinary education in a fun environment with caring people. HPU is a liberal arts institution with approximately 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students from 50 countries and 44 states at campuses in High Point and Winston-Salem. It is ranked by US News and World Report 15th among comprehensive universities in the South and in the top 100 nationally. The university offers 68 undergraduate majors, 33 minors and six graduate-degree programs. It is accredited by the Commission of Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and is a member of the NCAA, Division I and the Big South Conference.

#      #      #