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Lowe’s exec addresses JCSU graduates

  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/05/04/18/02/102iw4.Em.138.jpeg|262
    Robert Lahser - rlahser@charlotteobserver.com
    Chinita Craighead, left, takes a picture of her daughter Vickie Davis, a graduate, Donna Johnson, right, takes a picture of her daughter Vicke Davis, a magna cum laude graduate, while the processional marches into the Johnson C. Smith University Irwin Belk Athletic Complex for commencement ceremonies on Sunday.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/05/04/18/02/RSo08.Em.138.jpeg|272
    Robert Lahser - rlahser@charlotteobserver.com
    Johnson C. Smith University graduate Anneka Kennedy, who decorated her graduation cap to say “I Made It,” gathered in Brayboy Gymnasium before marching to the Irwin Belk Athletic Complex for commencement ceremonies on Sunday.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/05/04/18/02/MXhEb.Em.138.jpeg|354
    Robert Lahser - rlahser@charlotteobserver.com
    Johnson C. Smith University graduate Dequan Thomas of New York City smiles and points to his parents while the processional marches into the Johnson C. Smith University Irwin Belk Athletic Complex for graduation ceremonies on Sunday. Thomas received his bachelor degree in Psychology.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/05/04/18/02/k720P.Em.138.jpeg|412
    Robert Lahser - rlahser@charlotteobserver.com
    Drummers and stilt walkers lead the processional into the Johnson C. Smith University Irwin Belk Athletic Complex for graduation ceremonies on Sunday.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/05/04/18/02/1rjZ8V.Em.138.jpeg|163
    Robert Lahser - rlahser@charlotteobserver.com
    Johnson C. Smith University graduate Melony Ramos-Garcia waves to family and friends while the processional marches into the university’s Irwin Belk Athletic Complex for graduation ceremonies on Sunday.

A dentist and his wife who helped many low-income students attend college and a corporate executive were awarded honorary doctorate degrees Sunday at Johnson C. Smith University’s 142nd commencement ceremony.

Robert Niblock, chairman and CEO of Lowe’s Companies Inc., was guest speaker at the event, which took place in beautiful weather at the university’s Irwin Belk Athletic Complex.

Honorary doctorate degrees were given to the late Dr. Spurgeon Webber Jr., Loretta Jean Webber and to Niblock.

Niblock, a UNC Charlotte graduate, has been with Lowe’s since 1993 and also is a board member of ConocoPhillips and the Retail Industry Leaders Association.

Spurgeon Webber Jr., who died in 2011, operated a dental clinic for five decades and was the first African-American to serve on the N.C. State Board of Dental Examiners. He and his wife, Loretta Jean, established scholarships and endowments at Johnson C. Smith University, Hampton University, Meharry Medical College, Winston-Salem State University and Central Piedmont Community College. Loretta Jean Webber, a former nurse, also has been a corporate executive.

Lyttle: 704-358-6107; Twitter: @slyttle
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