Commencement 2018

Allegheny College to Honor Three Distinguished Scholars at Commencement Ceremony

In its 204th year, Allegheny College will award honorary degrees to three distinguished scholars, including a graduate of Allegheny, at the college’s 2019 Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 11, at 2 p.m.

The Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson, a 1972 Allegheny graduate; Dr. David Warren, president of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU); and Dr. Armendia Dixon of Meadville will receive honorary degrees.

“It is an honor to recognize the accomplishments of this group, their commitment to educating students and their service to their communities,” said Allegheny College President James H. Mullen, Jr., who will be presiding at his last Commencement as president. “It is a privilege to recognize the achievements of these distinguished leaders, celebrate their contributions to society, and share their remarkable stories with the Class of 2019 and their families.”

Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson
The Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson

The Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson is the retired global leader for the Metropolitan Community Churches and a renowned leader in the LGBT Christian community. Rev. Wilson served as global leader in the Metropolitan Community Churches position from 2005 until her retirement in 2016. She was the second person, and the first woman, to serve in that role since the organization’s founding in 1968.

In 2011, President Barack Obama appointed Rev. Wilson to the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. In 2014, Rev. Wilson was named as one of the spokespeople for Blessed Tomorrow, a team of 21 top ecumenical and interfaith leaders in the United States to spearhead an effort to mobilize religious communities to address environmental concerns. Also in 2014, Rev. Wilson was one of four honorees to be recognized by Intersections International for her humanitarian work in the area of social justice.

Dr. David L. Warren will be retiring from the NAICU after 25 years, effective June 30, 2019. Dr. Warren began his tenure as NAICU president in 1993, after nearly a decade as president of Ohio Wesleyan University. Dr. Warren’s tenure has been highlighted by the fight to preserve and protect federal financial aid for students of all backgrounds and to maintain the independence of private, nonprofit colleges and universities.

Dr. David Warren.

Dr. Warren is widely regarded as one of the most persuasive and influential voices for higher education within Washington, D.C. He has been frequently asked to speak at higher education national conferences and on campuses. The recipient of 24 honorary degrees and numerous other academic and civic awards, Dr. Warren has been described as “one of the most gifted leaders and creative thinkers in all of American higher education” by former American Council on Education President Stanley O. Ikenberry.

Dr. Armendia Dixon’s career in education spans 58 years. She has been dedicated to community service since her arrival in Meadville in the 1970s, having been involved with the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship Fund, the Meadville Bicentennial Committee, and founding the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Mentoring program. She recently received the Gov. Raymond P. Shafer Award for Distinguished Community Service in recognition of her efforts.

Dr. Armendia Dixon.

Dr. Dixon’s leadership and ability to work well with others in her role at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship Fund have made a positive impact on the lives of many area students, families and her peers. More than 100 students have received scholarships under her leadership.

In 2010, she founded the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Mentoring Program, an after-school program for Meadville Area Middle School students. The mentoring program focuses on academic achievement and personal growth. She also founded the Meadville Latch-Key Program that offers a service to nurture the success and growth of children while struggling parents work to provide for their families.

Media coverage of the ceremony is invited. For more information, contact Josh Tysiachney at (814) 332-2746 or