Wilkes University

Past Speakers

20152014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003

2015 Spring Commencement

Graduate Speaker - State Senator John T. YudichakJohn T. Yudichak

State Senator John T. Yudichak of the 14th Senatorial District is highly regarded as an effective and independent advocate for the people of Pennsylvania for more than a decade. While Senator Yudichak's dedication to building the economy, protecting the environment, helping senior citizens and keeping communities safe has had broad effects across the Commonwealth, the senator's most important work continues to be done in communities throughout Carbon, Luzerne and Monroe counties.

Undergraduate Speaker - Seymour Holtzman Seymour Holtsman

Native of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania; 1957 graduate of Wilkes College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Commerce and Finance; chairman, president and chief executive officer of Jewelcor, Inc.; chairman and chief executive officer of Gruen Marketing Corporation; chairman and chief executive officer of Jewelcor Management, Inc; chairman of the board of Destination XL Group Inc; owner of C.D. Peacock in Chicago, the Rolex Luxury Swiss in Miami and Homeclick. corn; leading investor in the purchase of the General Banking and Trust, LTD, in Budapest, Hungary, the first bank in Eastern Europe to be privatized; real estate investor and developer, both in the Wyoming Valley and nationwide; honored as `Man of theYear' by the Cardinal Cushing School and Training Center in Boston and as 'Man of the Year' by the B'nai B'rith Youth Services; National Finance Co-Chairman of the Reagan-Bush Campaign; and appointed by President Reagan to the United States Department of Commerce's Industry Policy Committee; loving husband to Evie, proud father of Steven, Marc and Allison.


2014 Spring Commencement

breisethGraduate Speaker - Christopher Breiseth
Christopher N. Breiseth, Ph.D., served as the fourth president of Wilkes University and remains President Emeritus. Prior to his arrival in 1984, he made significant contributions to the world of academia serving as assistant professor of history at Williams College in Williamston, Mass., a member of the Danforth Postdoctoral Fellowship in Black Studies at the University of Chicago, professor of history at Sangamon State University (now the University of Illinois at Springfield), and serving as the president of Deep Springs College.
PatsiokasUndergraduate Speaker - Stelios Patsiokas '75
Stelios J. Patsiokas, Ph.D., was born in Serres, Greece in 1953. He came to the United States in 1971 and entered Wilkes College under a tuition fellowship in August 1971. After the completion of his Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering in 1975, he entered Virginia Tech where he obtained a Master of Science degree in electrical engineering in 1977 and a doctorate in electrical engineering in 1979.

2013 Spring Commencement

Ronald Rittenmeyer '72Ronald Rittenmeyer
President and CEO of Expert Global Solutions, Inc.

Ronald Rittenmeyer, chairman, president and CEO of Expert Global Solutions, Inc., delivered the spring 2013 commencement address. Rittenmeyer, a Kingston, Pa., native now living in Plano, Texas, graduated from Wilkes in 1972 with a degree in commerce and economics. He will receive an honorary degree, the doctor of humane letters, honoring him for his leadership and distinguished contributions to the fields of business and industry.


Sharon H. Lee 2012 Spring Commencement

Sharon H. Lee
Low-Income Housing Advocate

Sharon H. Lee, founding executive director of the Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI), will delivered the Spring 2012 commencement address at Wilkes University on Saturday, May 19, 2012 at 1 p.m. at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.


Listenbee 2011 Spring Commencement

Robert Listenbee
Advocate for the rights and interests of children in the juvenile justice system

Attorney Robert Listenbee, member of the Interbranch Commission on Juvenile Justice, delivered the University’s 64th annual Spring commencement address on Saturday, May 21, 2011 at 1 p.m. at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.


Ed Rendell 2010 Spring Commencement

The Hon. Edward Rendell
Pennsylvania Governor 2003 - 2011

The Hon. Edward Rendell, Pennsylvania governor, delivered the commencement address at Wilkes University’s 63rd annual spring commencement on 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 22, 2010 at Mohegan Sun Arena.


John Brooks Slaughter

2009 Spring Commencement

John Brooks Slaughter

Advocate of increased minority participation in engineering and the sciences

John Brooks Slaughter, who served as the first African American director of the National Science Foundation, delivered the keynote address at Wilkes University’s 62nd annual spring commencement on Saturday, May 16, 2009.


Thomas Kean 2008 Spring Commencement

Thomas H. Kean

Governor of New Jersey ( 1982-1990)

The Hon. Thomas H. Kean served as keynote speaker at Wilkes University's 61st Annual Spring Commencement on Saturday, May 15, 2008.
 


Marlee Matlin 2007 Spring Commencement

Marlee Matlin
Oscar-winning actress

Actress Marlee Matlin delivered the keynote address at Wilkes University’s 60th Annual Spring Commencement on Saturday, May 19, 2007.
 


2006 Spring Commencement Charlayne Hunter-Gault

Charlayne Hunter-Gault
Journalist

Journalist Charlayne Hunter-Gault delivered the keynote address at Wilkes University’s 59th annual spring commencement on Saturday, May 20th, 2006.
 


2005 Spring CommencementRobert F. Kennedy, Jr.

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
Environmental advocate and political activist

Attorney Robert F. Kennedy Jr., delivered the keynote address at Wilkes University’s 58th annual spring commencement on Saturday, May 21, 2005.
 


2004 Spring CommencementRon Sargent

William H. Cosby
Award-winning actor, writer, comedian, producer and composer

Actor Bill Cosby served as keynote speaker at Wilkes University's 57th Annual Spring Commencement on Saturday, May 15, 2004.


2003 Spring CommencementRon Sargent


Ron Sargent
Chief Executive Officer of Staples, Inc.

Ron Sargent, Chief Executive Officer of Staples, Inc., served as keynote speaker for Wilkes University’s 56th annual spring commencement on Saturday, May 17, 2003.
 



 


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