William Jewell College will celebrate commencement at 1 p.m. May 18 in the Mabee Center for Physical Education on the campus in Liberty, Mo. As part of the traditional commencement celebration, graduates will make the ceremonial last walk around the Quad led by bagpipers and a color guard at approximately 12:30 p.m. Live coverage of the event is available at www.jewell.edu/commencement beginning at 1 p.m. on May 18.
Commencement speaker Susan Chambers is Executive Vice President, Global People Division, for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., and also serves as a member of the William Jewell College Board of Trustees. Chambers joined Wal-Mart in 1999 and today oversees the Human Resources function for the company, serving more than two million Wal-Mart associates worldwide. She is the company's highest-ranking woman and has made Fortune Magazine’s list of the “50 Most Powerful Women in Business” since 2008. In 2011, Chambers was also named to Fortune’s “Executive Dream Team” comprised of the top nine executives in American business.
Chambers graduated from William Jewell College in 1990 with a B.S. in Systems and Data Processing. She worked at Hallmark Cards, Inc., for 14 years until 1999. William Jewell recognized Chambers with its highest alumni honor, the Citation for Achievement, in 2010. She currently serves on the Board of Visitors for The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.
The college’s baccalaureate service will also be held May 18 at 9 a.m. in John Gano Memorial Chapel on the campus. Speakers for the baccalaureate service are Chuck Hoffman and Peg Carlson-Hoffman, founders of Genesis + Art Studio, in Kansas City, Mo. Time spent living on the peace line in Belfast, Northern Ireland, confirmed for the Hoffmans the healing power of art in forgiveness and reconciliation. Chuck Hoffman, a painter, designer and workshop facilitator, received his BFA from Miami University and worked as an associate creative director for the Walt Disney Company. He completed his master of arts at Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minn., and was their first full-time artist-in-residence. Peg Carlson-Hoffman, a graduate of Augustana College, is currently a creative director in product design for Hallmark Cards. She teaches workshops on calligraphy, design and creativity. Together, Chuck and Peg have taught, lectured and exhibited internationally.
A new addition to commencement regalia at this year’s ceremony will be Kente stoles for multicultural graduates. The origin of Kente cloth dates to 12th century Africa, in the country of Ghana. The cloth is a visual representation of history, philosophy, ethics, oral literature, moral values, social code of conduct, religious beliefs, political thought and aesthetic principles. It is common for multicultural students and educators to wear Kente cloth for inspiration, to honor, celebrate, connect and reflect on the country’s collective heritage and communal struggles and successes. The Jewell Kente stoles are bestowed in honor of Bill “Peewee” Summers and the late Audrey Burgette, the first African American male and female graduates from William Jewell College in 1965 and 1966 respectively.