The University of Mary Washington has announced its graduate and undergraduate speakers for the 2013 commencement ceremonies to be held on Friday, May 10 and Saturday, May 11. Dr. William “Bill” Cleveland Bosher Jr., public policy expert and former Virginia superintendent of education, will be the guest speaker for the graduate address on Friday at 7:30 p.m. in the William M. Anderson Center. Steve Pemberton,
business executive, motivational speaker and noted author, will deliver the undergraduate commencement address on Saturday, beginning at 9 a.m. on Ball Circle.
Bosher has been a teacher, principal, state director, local superintendent of two districts with more than 35,000 students and the superintendent of public instruction for the commonwealth of Virginia. He currently serves as distinguished professor of public policy and education at Virginia Commonwealth University and executive director of the Commonwealth Educational Policy Institute, a legislative entity focused on research, training and policy analysis.
Named the arts administrator of the year by the Kennedy Center, Bosher is the only superintendent in Virginia to be named twice as the Superintendent of the Year. He has served as a consultant in more than 35 states and a dozen foreign countries on topics related to educational law and finance, policy analysis, standards development, school evaluations and human relations.
The co-author of “Law and Education: Contemporary Issues and Court Decisions” and “The School Law Handbook, What Every Leader Needs to Know,” Bosher is the board chairman of Edvantia, a research and evaluation nonprofit, and is a fellow of SchoolNet and the Urban Health Initiative.
Pemberton has served as divisional vice president and chief diversity officer at Walgreens since 2011, after more than five years in diversity and inclusion at Monster.com and a decade in admissions at Boston College.
His speeches are inspirational testament to the power of faith, fortitude, and forgiveness. A ward of the state for much of his childhood, Pemberton has made opportunity, access and equality pillars of his personal and professional life. He has served on the boards of Big Brothers, Big Sisters, the Citi Performing Arts Center, the Home for Little Wanderers and the National TRIO Alumni Association. His memoir, “A Chance in the World: an Orphan Boy, a Mysterious Past and How He Found a Place Called Home,” chronicles his difficult path through foster care and determined search for his family.
In 2006, Fortune named him one of “the top 20 chief diversity officers in corporate America.” In 2007, Pemberton was called to Capitol Hill to provide testimony on best practices in diversity recruiting, and in 2008 he was named by Savoy as one of “the top 100 most influential African Americans in corporate America.” Pemberton, who lives in the Chicago area, presented UMW’s Martin Luther King Jr., keynote lecture in 2013.