The University of Richmond will celebrate commencement weekend May 9-10. The university expects to award 727 bachelor’s degrees, 32 master’s degrees, 26 MBA degrees and 152 juris doctor degrees.

Edward L. Ayers, who steps down as University of Richmond’s president on June 30, will deliver the main commencement speech during the ceremony May 10 at 2 p.m. in the Robins Center, when undergraduates from the School of Arts and Sciences, Robins School of Business and Jepson School of Leadership Studies receive degrees.

James Narduzzi, who is stepping down after 21 years as dean of the School of Professional and Continuing Studies, will speak at the SPCS ceremony, May 9 at 9 a.m. in the Robins Center.

Lyn McDermid, the Federal Reserve System Chief Information Officer and director of Federal Reserve Information Technology will give the commencement address for the MBA ceremony, May 9 at 11:30 a.m. in Queally Hall, Ukrop Auditorium.

A nationally known expert on immigrant rights and low-wage workers, Victor Narro (L’91) will address graduates of the School of Law May 9 at 2 p.m. in the Robins Center.

Main Commencement, May 10, 2 p.m.

Ayers, a noted historian and the author of ten books on American history, has served as president since 2007. He received the National Medal for the Humanities, awarded by President Obama at the White House in 2013, for making American history accessible to broad audiences.

Among many other accolades for his writing, Ayers has won the Bancroft Prize for Distinguished Book in American History, the Beveridge Prize from the American Historical Association for the best book on the Americas, and was named a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award.

The recipient of many awards for his dedication to teaching, Ayers was named the National Professor of the Year from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in 2003.

Through the Digital Scholarship Lab at the University of Richmond Ayers is leading a project to build an ambitious digital atlas of American history with the support of a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Devoted to connecting the public with their history, Ayers is a co-host of “BackStory,” a nationally syndicated radio show that ties history to the present day. The show is broadcast in more than 150 communities each week and its podcasts have been downloaded six million times. 

SPCS Commencement, May 9, 9 a.m.

Richmond’s School of Professional and Continuing Studies provides undergraduate and graduate degree programs for adult students in the metro-Richmond area and typically serves 7,500 members of the community in its degree and non-credit programs each year.  

During his term as dean, Narduzzi, significantly expanded both credit and noncredit enrollments and programs in SPCS. This included the addition of graduate programs in education, nonprofit studies, human resource management and liberal arts that now make up nearly half of all degree registrations.

The School also expanded its noncredit offerings in personal enrichment and professional development, which are marketed under the “Think Again” brand and serve more than 5,000 individuals annually. Several institutes and centers also became part of the School during this period, including the Center for Culinary Arts, Partners in the Arts, the Institute on Philanthropy, the Osher Institute and the Center for Leadership in Education.

Previously he was associate academic dean and assistant vice president at the University of Hartford and director of the Washington Semester Program at The American University.

Also speaking at the SPCS commencement are David Myers, the 2015 Gibb Family Distinguished Alumni Award winner and division superintendent for New Kent County Public Schools and Vanessa L. Jones (C’97) (L’01), alumni speaker, who is a juvenile and domestic relations district court judge for the 12th Judicial District in Virginia. The student speaker is Freddie Hornedo, who will be receiving his BS in professional studies with a major in IT management. He is an entrepreneur and mid-career professional who returned to school in his late 30s to complete his degree.

MBA Commencement, May 9, 11:30 a.m.

McDermid is the Federal Reserve System Chief Information Officer and Director of Federal Reserve Information Technology.  In this capacity, she oversees the System IT strategy, IT investment and spending, and enterprise information security. She also directs the management of national IT operations, project services and enterprise architecture and standards.

She was named to Computerworld’s list of Premier 100 IT Leaders for 2004, received the 2008 Executive Women in Business Achievement Award, was recognized as one of the Richmond YWCA’s 2010 Outstanding Women and was honored with the RichTech Chairman’s Award in 2013.

McDermid previously served as senior vice president and chief information officer of Dominion Resources. She also served as chair of the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.

She is active in the community and serves on several boards. She is serving her second three-year term as a member of the Dean’s Executive Advisory Council for the Robins School of Business at the University of Richmond, from which she earned her MBA.

School of Law Commencement, May 9, 2 p.m.

Narro, who has been involved with immigrant rights and labor issues for more than 30 years, is project director for the UCLA Downtown Labor Center. His focus is providing leadership programs for Los Angeles’ immigrant workers, policy and campaign planning for unions and worker centersand internship opportunities for UCLA students. 

He also is a professor for the Labor and Workplace Studies Program at UCLA; a lecturer for the UCLA Graduate School of Urban Planning; and a Lecturer In Law at UCLA Law School, where he teaches a class, “Community Lawyering and Low Wage Worker Organizing.” 

Narro was formerly the co-executive director of Sweatshop Watch. He also was the Workers’ Rights Project Director for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), where he was involved with organizing day laborers, domestic workers, garment workers, and gardeners. 

More recently, Narro has become a leading voice for self-care and spirituality in the work for social justice through his new book, “Living Peace: Connecting Your Spirituality with Your Work for Justice.”

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