The University of Montevallo will have a distinguished guest delivering the keynote at their spring commencement ceremonies on May 2, Bill Richardson. Richardson is a former U.N. Ambassador, New Mexico Governor, Secretary of Energy and U.S. Congressman. He is well-known for his distinguished public-service career spanning over three decades.
Richardson has also started two foundations: The Richardson Center for Global Engagement, focusing on conflict resolution and prisoner release, and the Foundation to Preserve New Mexico Wildlife with actor and conservationist Robert Redford, which has led the charge to protect wild horses and provide alternatives to horse slaughter.
Recently, the Richardson Center for Global Engagement played an instrumental role in the successful release of Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi from prison in Tijuana, Mexico.
“We are proud to have Bill Richardson speak to our graduates, their families, our faculty and staff. His work to promote democracy and human rights worldwide is to be commended,” said Dr. John Stewart, President of the University of Montevallo. “He has been nominated four times for the Nobel Peace Prize and his words will provide a valuable understanding into how young adults can acclimate to diverse business cultures as they enter the work force.”
Richardson has served on the boards of the National Resource Defense Council and United Way International. He has been an adjunct professor at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, and has received several honorary degrees from institutions of higher learning that include Tufts University and the University of New Mexico.
As Governor, he taught courses at the University of New Mexico and New Mexico State University; he will be teaching courses at the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy and Columbia University beginning in this fall. More recently, he was given the National Hispanic Hero Award by the U.S. Hispanic Leadership Institute.
The University of Montevallo is anticipating the largest freshman class in school history later this year. Freshmen enrollment has increased by 31% from fall of 2010 to fall of 2014
“Applications for fall 2015 are over 30 percent higher than they were this time last year, undergraduate enrollment has increased by 4% from fall of 2010 to fall of 2014 to 2,665 students,” said Stewart. “The University of Montevallo is has a reputation of producing graduates who are prepared to immediately succeed in their career field of choice, we are growing at a rapid pace.”
The May 2, graduation ceremony will start at 9 a.m. on the Flowerhill lawn at the University of Montevallo campus.