By Julia Straka, ’21

Following long-standing tradition, a high-achieving graduating student, a distinguished graduate and an adjunct faculty member will speak at the University of Richmond School of Professional and Continuing Studies Commencement Exercises on May 11, 2019.

Distinguished Graduate

Griffin Trau, ’17, GC’18, is this year’s Student Commencement Speaker. He started his undergraduate career at the University of Richmond as a walk-on football player. He set both a school and conference record with his 81 percent career success rate on field goal attempts, which is one of the highest in NCAA FCS history. Trau graduated cum laude with majors in Leadership and International Studies and concentrations in world politics and diplomacy. Trau continued his education at SPCS in the Master of Liberal Arts program, while still competing for the Spiders. He now works as a remedial tutor in Richmond City Public Schools and will join Deloitte Consulting in Washington, D.C., in 2020. But first, he is off to the Czech Republic as a U.S. Fulbright Program participant. There, he will learn Czech, teach English, participate in the country’s budding lacrosse development and continue his research of national identity.

Distinguished Alumnus

Greg Mays, C’14 , GC’18, the recipient of the 2019 Gibb Family Distinguished Alumni Award, is a 34-year veteran of the real estate industry. Mays graduated from SPCS with a Bachelor in Paralegal Studies, as well with a Master of Liberal Arts. He has served as a Licensed Realtor, Certified Residential Real Estate Appraiser, and Property Manager for EXIT Realty Parade of Homes; he also established his own business, Greg B. Mays & Associates, LC, with his wife in 1995. Mays is familiar with all aspects of real estate: sales, mortgage lending, property management and appraisal services for homeowners, mortgage lenders and attorneys. He has even provided testimony during court trials as an expert witness. He also owns and operates Flying Fish Aerial Photography, LLC, which offers commercial drone photography and videography services. He is the SPCS Alumni Association Board's Event Committee Chair and has taught drone operations courses at UR and at College of William and Mary.

Distinguished Adjunct Faculty

April Greenan, the 2019 Itzkowitz Family Distinguished Adjunct Family Award recipient, holds a doctorate in historical musicology from the University of Maryland. She founded the McKay Music Library and directed its Mariska Aldrich Archive of over 100,000 recordings and documents at University of Utah, where she earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees. Her written work has been featured in academic music publications, as well as in professional conferences. Greenan also worked closely with Kim Peek, a disabled “megasavant” and the inspiration behind the movie Rain Man. She discovered not only his aptitude, but his passion, for music. She has lectured on her discoveries in the cross-section of neuroscience and music at University of Virginia, University of Utah and University of Mary Washington. She now teaches a course on music and medicine as an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Liberal Arts at SPCS.

SPCS Commencement Exercises will be held on Saturday, May 11, at 9 a.m. in the Robins Center Arena, followed by a reception celebrating the event.

Adjunct Assistant Professor, Liberal Arts