LaBar, Fly Ty and Jacinda Jacobs to speak to Wingate grads

Jacinda Jacobs and Derrick "Fly Ty" Jacobs are graduation speakers for Wingate University. Photo courtesy of Wingate University

Wingate University graduate students will hear from Janet LaBar, CEO of the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance, at their May 12 commencement. When undergrad students cross the stage on May 13, they’ll get advice from radio, TV and event hosts Derrick and Jacinda Jacobs. 

Wingate expects to award 507 undergrad degrees, 106 graduate degrees and two honorary doctorates this spring. Both commencements will be held under the oak trees on the university’s Academic Quad, starting at 9 a.m.

LaBar has 20 years of experience in regional economic development. She previously served as CEO of Greater Portland Inc. and, for a decade, at the Greater Phoenix Economic Council. LaBar earned a bachelor’s degree in communication arts from the University of West Florida and an MBA in marketing from the University of Phoenix.

The Jacobses joined the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets as in-arena co-hosts in 2014 and founded a nonprofit the same year. The organization, Stolen Lunches, helps address the basic needs of 150 or more people on the streets of Charlotte every month.

Derrick Jacobs also serves the community as part of the Charlotte Hornets Foundation Literacy Program, regularly speaking to children about the importance of reading. Jacinda Jacobs is a best-selling author and a motivational speaker.

In between the two commencement ceremonies, this year’s Baccalaureate will be held on May 12 at 4 p.m. in McGee Theatre, followed by a farewell celebration in the Batte Center Rotunda. 

Part of the traditional ceremony is the honoring of mentors. Faculty, staff, administrators and coaches who have been nominated by graduates will be presented with the Wingate University Mentor Medallion.

John Munro, senior pastor of Calvary Church in Charlotte, will be this year’s Baccalaureate speaker. A native of Scotland, where he earned his law degree from the University of Edinburgh and worked as a criminal prosecutor, Munro came to the United States in 1981. He earned his master of theology and doctor of ministry degrees from Dallas Theological Seminary and has served at Calvary since 2006. He also teaches daily on “The Verdict” radio program and the weekly Avizandum podcast.

The Baccalaureate service will also feature student speakers and a mass choir, including students, employees, alumni and friends of the university.

Commencement ceremonies and the Baccalaureate service are free and open to the public. In the case of inclement weather, commencement will be moved to Cuddy Arena as a ticketed event, with free tickets provided to graduates for distribution. Learn more by searching “Commencement” on


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