ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – North Carolina Wesleyan University is excited to announce Sharon Lawrence as their April 2020 commencement speaker. Lawrence is an award-winning actress with roles on NYPD Blue, Grey’s Anatomy and the CBS comedy, “Me, Myself and I.” A native of North Carolina, she was born in Charlotte and later moved to Raleigh where she graduated from Broughton High School. Lawrence attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, graduating in 1983 with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.
“Based on her ties to North Carolina and success in the entertainment industry, we are overly enthusiastic to have Sharon Lawrence speak to our graduates in April. With our new Entertainment Arts major, music production minor and her ability to demonstrate that anything is possible with a solid education, she was a natural fit to be our commencement speaker,” stated Dr. Evan D. Duff, Interim President of North Carolina Wesleyan University.
While at UNC, Lawrence was active onstage with the college’s Playmakers Repertory Company. She is a proud founding, and prior leading actress, at the North Carolina Theatre, which is still going strong after 36 years at Raleigh’s Memorial Auditorium. She is also the daughter of Tom Lawrence, former news reporter for WRAL News in Raleigh.
Lawrence currently appears on several different television series, including: Dynasty, Shameless, Criminal Minds, and can most recently be seen opposite Kirsten Dunst in Showtime’s On Becoming a God in Central Florida. She is set to star on Apple’s upcoming series Home Before Dark. Lawrence is also an accomplished Broadway stage actress and a 2012 Lunt-Fontanne Ten Chimneys Fellow, recently starring in “A Kid Like Jake” at the Pasadena Playhouse.
She previously chaired the Women In Film Foundation where she incubated and managed corporate partnerships with Netflix and the Dr. Scholl Foundation. Lawrence is still active in supporting women in the industry and currently serves as a Trustee of the Screen Actors Guild Foundation.
“Celebrating the Wesleyan commencement is a meaningful opportunity for me not only as a native North Carolinian, but because my creative roots are here,” stated Lawrence. “My passion and career were nurtured by North Carolina schools and churches, by its outdoor dramas, local and professional theaters and its commitment to the performing arts. Your investment in education and the arts is an investment in your minds and hearts.”
On April 25, 2020, Sharon will address the Class of 2020 at NC Wesleyan University’s Spring Commencement, which will be held in front of the Braswell Administration Building.