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CMU names December commencement speakers

Ceremonies scheduled for Dec. 13

Contact: CMU News


A top-ranked African-American executive in the U.S. automobile industry, a distinguished leader in the Michigan journalism community and the founding director of Loyola University’s Institute of Environmental Sustainability will share their insights with Central Michigan University’s winter graduates December 13.

Keynote speakers planned for the three ceremonies are:

  • Roy S. Roberts, longtime U.S. automobile industry executive, General Motors Corp.;
  • Sandra D. Petykiewicz, former editor and publisher of the Jackson Citizen Patriot; and
  • Nancy C. Tuchman, founding director, Institute of Environmental Sustainability at Loyola University Chicago.

The three ceremonies will take place Saturday, Dec. 13, at 9 a.m. and 1 and 5:30 p.m., in the CMU Events Center’s McGuirk Arena.

At the 9 a.m. undergraduate/graduate ceremony, Roy S. Roberts, former managing director at Reliant Equity Investors, will address the audience. Roberts has decades of managerial, financial and organizational experience from a long career in the education, investment and automotive industries. Prior to his 23-year career at General Motors as the highest-ranking African-American executive in the U.S. automobile industry, he spent 17 years with the Aerospace division of Lear-Siegler Corp. He is largely responsible for the fiscal recovery of Detroit Public Schools and remains actively involved in numerous social and civic organizations in his community. Roberts will receive a Doctor of Commercial Science honorary degree.

During the 1 p.m. ceremony Sandra D. Petykiewicz, former editor and publisher of the Jackson Citizen Patriot, will address the graduates. Petykiewicz, a 1975 CMU alumna, is an established leader in the Michigan journalism community. Throughout her 36-year journalism career, she filled vital roles for several other publications and lead the conversion of eight major newspapers from print publications to digital companies under the MLive Media Group. She has been recognized for her accomplishments and diligent dedication to multiple organizations, including CMU’s journalism program. Petykiewicz will receive a Doctor of Journalism honorary degree.

Nancy C. Tuchman, founding director of Loyola University Chicago’s Institute of Environmental Sustainability, will speak at the 5:30 p.m. ceremony. Tuchman dedicates her time and research at the institute to developing flagship programs to reduce energy use and waste on the university’s campus. During her 25-year career at Loyola, she founded the Center for Urban Environmental Research and Policy in 2005 while also filling many chief roles within the university. Her impressive professional background earned her an honorable position with the National Science Foundation in Washington, D.C. She has earned several major awards for her work and research and remains a dedicated mentor to her students. Tuchman will receive a Doctor of Science honorary degree.

For directions to the CMU Events Center’s McGuirk Arena, click here.

The ceremonies will be streamed live online. Adobe Flash Player is required to view the ceremony, which can be downloaded here for free.


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