ABU Welcomes Home Dr. Richard Wilson ’68 as Commencement Speaker

Commencement scheduled for Saturday, May 9

PHILIPPI, W.Va. – Alderson Broaddus University is excited for Illinois Wesleyan University President, Dr. Richard Wilson ’68, to return home as the 2015 commencement speaker on Saturday, May 9, 2015, at 1 P.M. in Rex Pyles Arena in the Memorial Coliseum.

The traditional Baccalaureate Ceremony will take place on Friday evening, May 8 at 7 P.M. in Wilcox Chapel. Last year, ABU moved Baccalaureate to Friday night to create a more intimate ceremony for its graduates and their families. The Rev. Dr. Dennis Johnson will give the Baccalaureate Address entitled “Long Enough at the Mountain.”

On Saturday, May 9, Dr. Richard F. Wilson, who graduated from Alderson-Broaddus College (now Alderson Broaddus University) in 1968, and started his career in higher education at AB as director of admissions, will address this year’s graduates with a speech entitled “Reflections of Making a Difference.”

Dr. Richard Wilson has served as the President of Illinois Wesleyan University since 2004. He has had a very successful career in higher education, and to our knowledge, is the only AB alum that has ever become a college or university president.

President Wilson earned master and doctoral degrees in higher education from the University of Michigan, and is a member of both Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi national honor societies.

Over the last 10 years, Wilson has given special attention to implementing a strategic plan for Illinois Wesleyan, strengthening the University’s financial position, and conducting the largest fund-raising campaign in the school’s history.

Prior to his appointment at Illinois Wesleyan, Richard Wilson held several leadership positions over a 26-year period at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, culminating as Associate Chancellor for Development and Vice President of the University of Illinois Foundation.

In 2013, Wilson was elected to serve a second term as chair of the Federation of Independent Illinois Colleges and Universities. He is a board member for the McLean County Historical Society, the Illinois Wesleyan Board of Trustees, and the Economic Development Council of the Bloomington-Normal Area.

President Wilson and his wife, Dr. Patricia Shearer-Wilson, have two married children, Adam and Rachel. Dr. Patricia Shearer-Wilson is the daughter of former Alderson Broaddus President Dr. Richard Shearer and Dr. Ruth Shearer. President Shearer is the longest AB tenured president, having served for 32 years, and is credited for the renaissance that took place on the Philippi campus with the construction of 11 new buildings during the 1950s, 60s and 70s.

Commencement will be streamed online with full audio and video for those relatives and friends who cannot make it to campus. Information regarding the weekend’s activities will be posted as it becomes available at: ab.edu/graduation.

Dr. Wilson