Actor bows out of HPU commencement

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Mar. 13—HIGH POINT — Actor Rob Lowe will not deliver High Point University's commencement address this spring, after all.

The university announced a change in plans Tuesday, citing "unforeseen film production challenges" that will keep Lowe at his production set in Hollywood on May 6.

Although commencement is a private event for HPU graduates and their family members, it will be streamed online live at, so Lowe's address was expected to draw a lot of interest. Lowe's career spans four decades in film, television and theater as an actor, director and producer, and he has been nominated for two Emmys, six Golden Globes, and four Screen Actors Guild awards.

In a Facebook post, HPU said that Bonnie McElveen-Hunter, a philanthropist, entrepreneur and former U.S. ambassador to Finland, will be the commencement speaker.

"Regarded as one of the nation's most successful female entrepreneurs, Ambassador McElveen-Hunter is the first woman to chair the American Red Cross. She is also the president and CEO of Pace Communications, the largest independently owned custom content agency in the nation, serving Fortune 500 and leading companies including Wells Fargo, Four Seasons Hotels, Verizon and hundreds of others," the announcement said.