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Commencement speakers 2011

04/25/11 -  

As Commencement weekend 2011 nears, Queens proudly announces the lineup of speakers who will inspire our new graduates and their families at the upcoming ceremonies:

Jennifer Roberts, Hayworth College Commencement on May 5
Jennifer Watson Roberts is Chair of the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners. She is a Charlotte native and a graduate of East Mecklenburg High School.  She attended UNC-Chapel Hill on a Morehead Scholarship, and also earned masters degrees in international affairs from Johns Hopkins University and the University of Toronto.

She previously was a diplomat with the U.S. Dept. of State, serving in the Dominican Republic as a consular officer and then as a political officer on the Mexico Desk in Washington before returning to Charlotte in 1993 with her husband.

During her years in Charlotte, Roberts has been Director of the Mayor's International Cabinet, a lending officer in International Corporate Banking at the former First Union, and executive director of the Charlotte World Affairs Council. She has worked as an adjunct professor in the International Studies Department at UNC Charlotte.

Roberts has won many community awards and serves on numerous boards and advisory groups in the region, including the Centralina Council of Governments, the Charlotte Chamber, the Charlotte Regional Partnership, the Girls Scouts Hornets Nest Council, Keep Mecklenburg Beautiful, and the Womens Commission. Her main interests center around education, childhood issues in general, alleviating poverty and homelessness, and environmental protection.

Gail O'Day, Baccalaureate, May 6

Gail O'Day is dean and Professor of New Testament and Preaching at the Wake Forest University School of Divinity.

A graduate of Brown University, O'Day earned a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School and a doctorate in New Testament from Emory. She is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ.

O'Day taught in the religion department at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, for a year before becoming assistant professor of New Testament at Eden Theological Seminary, a United Church of Christ seminary in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1983.

She joined the Candler School of Theology faculty as assistant professor of biblical preaching in 1987, and was appointed the A.H. Shatford Professor of New Testament and Preaching in 1997. She was Senior Associate Dean of Faculty and Academic Affairs, the chief academic officer for the School of Theology, from 2003 until her appointment to Wake Forest in 2010.

Her scholarly research focuses on the Gospel of John, the Bible and preaching, and the history of biblical interpretation. She has written a number of books and articles, including the commentary on the Gospel of John in The New Interpreters Bible (1996) and most recently, Preaching the Revised Common Lectionary: A Guide  (Abingdon Press, 2007). She is editor or co-editor of several volumes, including the Oxford Access Bible (Oxford University Press, 1999) and the Theological Bible Commentary (Westminster John Knox Press, 2009). She was editor of the Journal of Biblical Literature from 1999-2006 and is currently General Editor of the Society of Biblical Literature book series, Early Christianity and its Literature.

Robert Morgan, Graduate Student Commencement, May 6
Bob Morgan was named president of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce in 2005. The Chamber's mission is to grow the economy, to serve as a voice for business and to deliver value to its members.

In growing the economy, the Charlotte Chamber's economic development team has recruited 49,647 new jobs and $9.4 billion in new investment since Morgan's arrival and launched a retention program to support existing businesses.

As a voice for business, the chamber led the effort in 2006 to secure funding for the Master Plan for Cultural Facilities. In 2007, the chamber led referendum campaigns to defeat the proposed repeal of transit funding and to approve a record $516 million in bonds for public education. In 2008, the chamber led a regional and statewide coalition that secured funding for the work of the North Carolina Turnpike Authority.

In delivering value to businesses in the market, formal partnerships have been established with nine regional chambers of commerce and six international and ethnic chambers, including the Charlotte Mecklenburg Black Chamber of Commerce and the Latin American Chamber of Charlotte.

Prior to his current role, Morgan was president of the Gaston Chamber of Commerce from 2002 to 2005. He began his Chamber career in 1991 on the staff of the Charlotte Chamber.

In 2008, he earned the professional designation of Certified Chamber Executive from the American Chamber of Commerce Executives association. He is a graduate of Independence High School in Charlotte, N.C., and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


The Rev. Johan Vilhelm Eltvik , Traditional Undergraduate Commencement, May 7
Rev. Eltvik is the current Secretary General of the World Alliance of YMCAs, the largest and oldest youth movement in the world.  He is also an Ordained priest with the Lutheran  Church of Norway.  Born in Karmøy, Norway in 1953, he is married with two daughters and three grandchildren.

Rev. Eltvik has held career positions within the YMCA world movement for over 20 years holding various leadership and programme director roles, including Secretary General of YMCA Europe.  On behalf of YMCA Europe he led the reestablishment of 20 National YMCA Movements in Central- and Eastern Europe after the fall of the Berlin wall. He was also initiator of the YMCA Europe Youth Festivals in Prague, where more than 7500 young people from 50 countries met in both 2003 and 2008. Previously Reverend Eltvik has been involved in teaching and the Ministry, both in the military and The Church of Norway.

In addition to his professional career, he has held many volunteer positions including Board member of the National Association of Theologians.

He has been widely published and has been decorated in 2004 with the Cavalier Cross of the Polish Order of Merit from the State President of Poland. 

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