University of Richmond Commencement Speaker Is Leader in Technology and Higher Education

UR Alum & Cornell Tech Dean Greg Morrisett Will Address Graduates May 7
April 14, 2023

UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND — Greg Morrisett, Jack and Rilla Neafsey Dean and Vice Provost of Cornell Tech and a faculty member in the computer science department at Cornell University, is the speaker at this year’s University of Richmond Commencement on May 7. Morrisett is a 1989 University of Richmond graduate.

As dean, Morrisett is responsible for the academic quality and direction of Cornell Tech’s degree programs and research; develops approaches for working with companies, nonprofits, government agencies, and early-stage investors; and oversees faculty recruitment and entrepreneurial initiatives of the New York-based campus.

Morrisett’s research focuses on the application of programming language technology for building secure, reliable, and high-performance software systems. Prior to joining Cornell Tech, Morrisett was dean of computing and information science at Cornell University from 2015 to 2019. Previously, he held the Allen B. Cutting Chair in Computer Science at Harvard University from 2004 to 2015, where he also served as associate dean for computer science and electrical engineering. Before Harvard, he spent eight years on the faculty of Cornell’s computer science department. 

After receiving a bachelor’s degree from Richmond, he received both his master’s and doctoral degrees from Carnegie Mellon University.

Morrisett will address University of Richmond graduates during the main Commencement ceremony at 2 p.m. on May 7 at the Robins Center Arena.  

The University also will hold ceremonies for the Richmond School of Law and School of Professional & Continuing Studies on May 6. Details include:

School of Law
May 6, 2 p.m., Robins Center Arena

Heidi BrownHeidi K. Brown, a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law, professor of law and director of the legal writing program at Brooklyn Law School, and a former litigator in the construction industry, will address graduating law students.

Brown is the author of three books about well-being for law students and lawyers, including The Introverted Lawyer, Untangling Fear in Lawyering, and The Flourishing Lawyer: A Multi-Dimensional Approach to Performance and Well-Being. She has a master’s degree in applied positive psychology from the University of Pennsylvania.

She is the 2023 recipient of the Award for Outstanding Contributions to Well-Being in Legal Education from the Association of American Law Schools’ Section on Balance and Well-Being in Legal Education.

School of Professional & Continuing Studies
May 6, 9 a.m., Robins Center Arena

As part of a long-standing tradition, a graduating student, faculty member, and alumnus will speak at the SPCS graduation ceremony. Speakers include:

Deon PriceDeon Price, alumni speaker
Price, a 2014 graduate, began his undergraduate studies in information technology management, following in the footsteps of his mother, Deborah A. Jones, who received a master's degree in human resource management from SPCS in 2010.

Price says his interest in computers began at age 12 when he went to his first computer show with his father. He remembers taking apart computers his parents bought at auctions and putting them back together as a child. 

Price is currently an IT asset manager for the Virginia State Corporation Commission, a regulatory agency that oversees businesses across the state in several industries. During his undergraduate career at the University of Richmond, Price also started his own business, iLikeTech, providing IT consulting, sales, repair, and training.

Abbi HaggeryAbbi Leinwand Haggerty, faculty speaker
Leinwand Haggerty is the executive director of Richmond Performing Arts Alliance and an adjunct assistant professor in the Nonprofit Studies program.  

With 20 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, primarily in fundraising, Haggerty has also held positions at the VMFA, the Museum of Science & Industry in Tampa, Brightpoint Community College, and the Partnership for Nonprofit Excellence. She earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and history from Virginia Tech and a master’s degree and doctorate in public policy and administration with a concentration in nonprofit management from Virginia Commonwealth University. 

Throughout her academic and professional career, Haggerty has worked to advance nonprofit organizational culture and employee retention and has presented on the topic at numerous conferences.

Winston MugfordDavis Winston Mugford, student speaker
Mugford is a social studies teacher at John Randolph Tucker High School in Henrico County, where he also coaches the mock trial team. He entered the Master of Teaching program after being inspired by the example of his wife, Shelby Mugford, who is also an SPCS alumna and currently teaches theatre arts at Glen Allen High School.

Mugford is a Richmond native and graduated from Christopher Newport University in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in political science. After working in sales for years, Mugford decided during the pandemic to refocus his life goals and pursue a service-oriented career where he could help others. He hopes to inspire citizenship and civic engagement in his students with the skills he has acquired at SPCS.

MBA Commencement
The MBA Commencement ceremony will be held in August.