Delta State University will celebrate the 2015 Spring Commencement Ceremony at 10 a.m. May 9 inside Walter Sillers Coliseum. The institution, friends and family will unite to recognize the accomplishments of nearly 410 graduates.
The graduates include recipients of bachelors, masters, education specialists and doctoral degrees — all of whom have made their impact on the storied history of Delta State.
Graduating graphic design major, Briana Williams of Southaven, said she is looking forward to marching across the coliseum stage in cap and gown.
“These four years have been so instrumental for me,” said Williams. “I feel ready to take on the world and apply what I’ve learned here. I owe so much to Delta State, and I can’t wait to walk with my classmates.”
The keynote speaker for the commencement address is successful Delta State alumnus David Abney ’76, who was born in Cleveland, Miss. Abney is the Chief Executive Officer for United Parcel Service — the world’s largest package delivery company.
Abney is also the creator of Delta State’s annual International Business Symposium in the College of Business. The IBS provides a unique look at current trends in the business world. The symposium celebrated its 10-year anniversary this April. Abney and his wife Sherry, both Delta natives, have sponsored the IBS since its inception.
Abney began his career as a part-time package loader at a small facility in Greenwood while in school at Delta State. In 2014, he became the 11th CEO in the 107-year-history of UPS. Abney previously served as COO, holding responsibility for logistics, sustainability and engineering. In these roles, he directed all facets of the UPS transportation network, serving more than 220 countries and territories.
He studied marketing at Delta State and was named the 2007 Outstanding Alumnus of the Year. He currently serves on the Delta State University Foundation Board of Directors.
At commencement, the accomplished alumnus will also be awarded with an honorary doctoral degree for his contributions to the university and the business world. To this day, Abney remains proud of the path Delta State helped pave for him.
“Obtaining my degree from Delta State was like crossing the continental divide. I was the first in my family to graduate from a university,” said Abney. “I also transitioned from the hourly ranks to management at UPS. My education at Delta State certainly helped prepare me for the ‘real world’ of business.
“As I now travel throughout the world, I proudly refer to Delta State wherever I go. I wholeheartedly recommend Delta State to anyone that is interested in continuing their education.”
Delta State President William N. LaForge will provide introductions at the ceremony, while presentations of candidates and degrees will be led by Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Charles McAdams.
Follow all news at Delta State University at http://www.deltastate.edu.