Norwich's College of Graduate and Continuing Studies announces speaker for 2013 commencement ceremony

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Officials at Norwich University’s College of Graduate and Continuing Studies (CGCS) announced that prominent South Carolinian businessman Richard Wilkerson will be this year’s commencement speaker.

The commencement ceremony is the culminating event of a weeklong Residency Conference in which CGCS students, who complete all coursework online, come to Norwich’s Northfield, Vt., campus from 49 states and Washington, DC, and six foreign countries to present research projects, engage in academic debate and participate in hands-on leadership opportunities.

Wilkerson served as chairman and president of Michelin North America from June 2008 to December 2011. He has spent 31 years with Michelin in manufacturing and personnel positions in the United States, France and Scotland.

Wilkerson is a member of the board of directors of the Yellowstone Park Foundation and the South Carolina Association of Independent Colleges and Universities. He is also active in the Greenville, S.C., community, including serving as chairman of the United Way of Greenville County Board of Trustees and member of the board of directors for three Greenville area organizations.

Wilkerson holds a civil engineering degree from Duke University and an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the College of Charleston, awarded for his service to the state of South Carolina and his community.

“We are honored to welcome Mr. Wilkerson, a prominent business leader, to Norwich University. Dick Wilkerson represents this year’s Residency Conference theme, ‘Leadership in Action,’ exceedingly well given his success in business, considerable community service and ongoing philanthropic efforts,” said Vice President and CGCS Dean Bill Clements.

As commencement speaker, Wilkerson will address approximately 640 students graduating from nine online master’s degree programs and one bachelor’s degree completion program in a ceremony to be held on Friday, June 14, at 10 a.m. in Shapiro Field House where he will also receive an honorary doctorate in business administration. This event is free and open to the public.