Pfizer Executive and Site Lead announced as NCWU Commencement Speaker

ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – On May 4, 2024, North Carolina Wesleyan University will celebrate its Spring Commencement with more than 300 graduates. This year’s commencement speaker will be Dr. Kara Renai King who is the Vice President and Site Lead for Pfizer Pharmaceuticals– Rocky Mount facility.

Dr. Kara Renai King, Vice President and Site Lead for Pfizer Pharmaceuticals

As Vice President and Site Lead for Pfizer, Dr. King is responsible for one of the largest sterile injectable facilities in the world, with more than 1.4 million square feet of manufacturing space on 250 acres in Eastern North Carolina. Nearly 25 percent of Pfizer’s sterile injectables used in U.S. hospitals are produced at the site.  A wide range of products are produced at Rocky Mount, including anesthesia, analgesia, therapeutics, anti-infectives and neuromuscular blockers. These products are available in small volume presentations, such as ampules, vials and syringes. More than 200 million units are processed at the Rocky Mount site annually to help treat patients around the world.

Dr. King holds a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Hampton University, a Masters’s degree in Cell Biology & Biotechnology from University of the Sciences, and a Doctorate in Organizational Leadership from Eastern University.

Dr. King is recognized as an expert on leadership who has extensive experience in the biopharmaceutical industry in both traditional and contract development manufacturing organizations. Her experience ranges from early drug product development to commercial operations. She has held leadership roles in Quality, Tech Ops and Drug Product Operations (from bulk product manufacturing to finishing). She joined Pfizer in 2021 following successful leadership roles with Minaris Regenerative Medicine and Merck.

Dr. King delivers value to organizations through her servant leadership style complimented by her strong foundation in science, strategic mindset, and the ability to create an environment that fosters joy, creativity and innovation. Hallmarks of her leadership are building high performing teams, elevating leadership capability, and delivering results.

“We are looking forward to Dr. King’s address to our Class of 2024. Under her leadership, Pfizer and NCWU have forged a strong partnership that provides extraordinary opportunities to Wesleyan’s students and graduates, and that partnership was made stronger by our shared efforts to overcome the devastation of last summer’s tornado.  Dr. King’s approach to leadership and strategic vision will provide an inspiring example to our graduates,” stated President Dr. Evan D. Duff.

“I’m humbled and excited to stand before the talent of the future from NC Wesleyan University at this year’s 2024 Commencement,” noted Dr. King.

Dr. King has long demonstrated engagement in and solicitude for the community in which she lives and works. She utilizes her skills, experience and resources to invest in the local community and help others achieve their dreams.  Among her many community service activities, Dr. King sits on the boards of Eastern University and the International Leadership Association (ILA), and she serves as the Treasurer for Silver Lining Sports.

Emmy Award-Winning WRAL Anchor Slated as NCWU Commencement Speaker

ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – Renee Chou, news anchor and reporter for WRAL-TV, will be the spring Commencement speaker at North Carolina Wesleyan University. Chou will address NCWU’s Class of 2023 during their ceremony at the Rocky Mount Event Center on Saturday, May 6, 2023.

Renee Chou

Chou is a three-time, Emmy Award-winning anchor/reporter for WRAL-TV News. You can wake up with her every weekday morning on WRAL from 4:30 to 7:00 a.m. and from 7:00 to 8:00 a.m. on Fox 50. She also appears on WRAL’s Noon Newscast, anchoring a total of 4.5 hours of live TV every day in addition to special assignments. She joined WRAL in October 2004 as a general assignment reporter. Over the years, she served as the weekend morning anchor and weekend evening anchor. Chou was promoted to weekday morning anchor in March of 2014.

“I look forward to having Mrs. Chou address our Class of 2023. As a distinguished news anchor with a wealth of experience, I’m confident that she will bring a fresh perspective and valuable insights to our graduates,” stated President Dr. Evan D. Duff.

In 2015, Chou won a Regional Emmy for General Assignment Reporting. Her coverage of Hurricane Sandy also earned her Regional Emmy in 2014, as well as the distinction of “Best Weather Reporting” from the NC Associated Press Broadcast Awards. She won her first Emmy in 2013 for her work on the Kathy Taft murder trial. Her reports have also garnered awards from the Radio Television Digital News Association of the Carolinas; Iowa Associated Press Broadcasters Association; and Missouri Broadcasters Association.

“I’m honored and humbled to speak to North Carolina Wesleyan University’s Class of 2023 on their momentous day to celebrate their amazing achievements. As a journalist covering North Carolina communities for nearly two decades, I look forward to sharing my experiences and insights about change, challenges and new chapters,” stated Chou. “Commencement is one of life’s biggest chapters and I’m excited to help the graduates mark the milestone.”

Prior to WRAL, she worked as an anchor/reporter for KCRG-TV in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and KOMU-TV in Columbia, Missouri. Chou earned her broadcast journalism degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She’s a founding member and past President of the North Carolina chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association. Chou enjoys making community appearances throughout the year, from emceeing fundraisers and special events to talking with, and helping, students aspiring to be journalists.

Originally from Michigan, Renee is happy to call North Carolina home with her husband, Mike, and daughter Elsa, who is 8.

About North Carolina Wesleyan University

North Carolina Wesleyan University (NCWU) is a small, private Methodist-affiliated institution with a liberal arts-based core curriculum that prepares students for professional advancement, life-long learning and responsible participation in their communities. NCWU offers liberal arts, professional and graduate degree programs for traditional, transfer and working-adult students. The skills cultivated by faculty and built into the curriculum include critical thinking and reflection, communication, collaboration, and information technology. North Carolina Wesleyan University delivers education that is personal, practical and purpose-driven. Personal…through mentoring and the connections that are provided. Practical…by helping students develop lifelong skills. Purpose-driven…by helping them fulfill their purpose in life. With students from all over the United States and more than 40 different countries, the University has immense cultural diversity. To learn more, visit and follow on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok and Instagram.