Mike McIntyre to be Awarded Honorary Doctorate at UNC-Chapel Hill Spring Commencement

PhD graduate in black graduatioN gown University degree

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will recognize the exemplary leadership and public service of alumnus Mike McIntyre during his impressive 40-year career with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree at its Spring Commencement ceremony on May 14. 

Mike McIntyreMcIntyre, who is now an attorney with Ward and Smith, earned what is considered the highest recognition conferred by the University for "his lifetime of achievement," which "has included public service ranging from serving in the US Congress to mentoring UNC law students to coaching local sports teams in his hometown of Lumberton," as stated by UNC. He represented the Seventh Congressional District for nearly two decades. 

The University's formal announcement praises McIntyre for his dedication to promoting "a better understanding of the Constitution and legal system," as well as his impactful contributions on the local, state, national, and international levels. 

Described as a "true servant-leader," McIntyre's career achievements, highlighted in the UNC press release, include his advocacy for marginalized and rural populations, reforming agricultural and economic policies, fighting for federal recognition for the Lumbee Tribe, authoring legislation for the tobacco buyout and to help distressed communities in the southeastern United States, and for helping our state by securing funding for military bases, protecting our coast, increasing the number of veterans clinics, broadening healthcare access in rural areas, organizing business summits, coaching youth sports, mentoring students and inspiring the next generation of leaders. 

The official recognition citation of the University specifically emphasizes his having received the Chief Justice I. Beverly Lake, Jr, Award for Distinguished Public Service from the North Carolina Bar Association; the Liberty Bell Award for promoting civic engagement and strengthening democracy; the State Bar's Distinguished Service Award; the Distinguished Public Service Award from the US Secretary of the Navy for his exceptional leadership on behalf of the Navy and Marine Corps; and the International Association of Personnel in Employment Security's Public Policy Award for promoting jobs and workforce development. 

The University also noted he was one of nine US House Members chosen to represent the US in the Organization for Cooperation and Security in Europe, commonly known as the Helsinki Commission.

McIntyre expressed profound gratitude for the recognition bestowed upon him by his alma mater, and stated, "I am so grateful for the University's graciousness, and I thank God, my family, and all of those who have encouraged and supported me throughout life for the opportunities I have had to serve." 

McIntyre was a Morehead Scholar and holds the distinction of being a double Tar Heel. He completed his undergraduate studies in 1978 as a political science major and subsequently received his law degree in 1981. 

He is currently serving as Senior Advisor for Government Relations and Economic Development for Ward and Smith. His law practice is based in the firm's Raleigh office, and he works on behalf of communities and citizens from across the state and in Washington DC.

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