BETHUNE-COOKMAN UNIVERSITY HONORS CIVIL RIGHTS MARTYRS HARRY AND HARRIETTE MOORE WITH POSTHUMOUS HONORARY DOCTORATE DEGREES
Retired Walt Disney World Executive Bob Billingslea and Former SeaWorld Orlando President Terry Prather Will Also Receive Honorary Doctorate Degrees at the Upcoming Fall Commencement Ceremony
December 4, 2015 - Daytona Beach, Fla. - Bethune-Cookman University will recognize four change makers with the university's highest honor, an honorary doctorate degree. Posthumously, Harry and Harriette Moore will be honored for their impact on the nation, the State of Florida and this immediate community. Skip Pagan, the grandson of the Moores, will be in attendance to accept the degrees for his family. Mr. Bob Billingslea, an influential Walt Disney executive, will also be honored. Billingslea spent 43 years with Disney and continues to serve as an invaluable advisor to Disney and other organizations. Mr. Terry Prather, former executive at SeaWorld Orlando, is this year's commencement speaker and will also receive an honorary doctorate degree. Bethune-Cookman University's fall commencement ceremony is at 10 a.m. on Saturday, December 12th in the Mary McLeod Bethune Performing Arts Center (698 W. International Speedway Blvd. Daytona Beach). The university expects to confer more than 220 degrees.
Harry and Harriette Moore, civil rights martyrs, were killed on their 25th anniversary in their home. The Moores were both educators in Brevard County, but were fired because of their heavy involvement with social injustice and civil rights. Harry Moore was an extremely active social action advocate and launched the Brevard County Chapter of the NAACP. He spent many of his years with the NAACP and addressed lynchings and police brutality in Florida. While there were no convictions in the murder of the Moores, their case was reopened for investigation in 2006. Currently the Moore's home is a Florida Heritage Landmark. There is also a memorial park and interpretive center named in their honor. In addition, the Brevard County Justice Center bears their names. The Moores were both graduates of Bethune-Cookman College and had two daughters, Annie and Juanita, who also received their degrees from Bethune-Cookman College.
Robert "Bob" Billingslea, former Vice President of Corporate Urban Affairs and Development for the Walt Disney Company, has been influential in social change and diversity for nearly five decades. Billingslea spent 43 years with Walt Disney prior to becoming an advisor for several organizations and special projects. Billingslea is involved in many community and professional efforts including the NAACP, Board of Trustees for B-CU, the Boys and Girls Club of Central Florida, Orlando Urban League, Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Kappa Alpha Psi and Sigma Pi Phi (Boulé) fraternities. Bob Billingslea received his Bachelor's Degree in Sociology from Kent State University. Billingslea is married to his wife Deidre and has a son and two grandchildren.
Terry Prather, a 30-year veteran in tourism and hospitality, is the former president of SeaWorld Orlando and senior vice president of operations across the company's 11 parks throughout the country. Prather has built his reputation as a leader in the tourism industry and was the first African-American to lead a major theme park in the U.S. SeaWorld Orlando boasted record numbers under the leadership of Prather. He was also responsible for two sister properties, Discovery Cove and Aquatica and their 7,000 team members. Prather is a member of B-CU's Board of Trustees and has served on many other boards including The Smithsonian National Zoo, Orlando Regional Economic Development Commission, Greater Washington Sports Alliance, and the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau. Prather and his wife Shayla have five adult children and nine grandchildren.
For more information on B-CU's fall commencement ceremony, please contact Keisha Boyd - firstname.lastname@example.org
*Media is encouraged to RSVP for Saturday's ceremony. There is only one camera per news station allowed. Please contact Keisha Boyd if you plan to attend.*