Commencement Speakers

also reachable through go.wlu.edu/commencement-speakers

Ruscio | Wolf | Cleghorn | Kelly

Kennth P. RuscioKenneth P. Ruscio, President

> Read President Ruscio's 2014 Commencement Address

Kenneth P. Ruscio took office as the 26th president of Washington and Lee University on July 1, 2006. An alumnus of W&L and a distinguished scholar of democratic theory and public policy, President Ruscio previously served as the dean of the Jepson School of Leadership Studies at the University of Richmond from 2002 to 2006.

Ruscio earned his B.A. with a major in politics from Washington and Lee in 1976, and a master of public administration (1978) and a Ph.D. in public affairs and public administration (1983), both from Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.

Ruscio held both faculty and staff positions at W&L from 1987 to 2002, including professor of politics, associate dean of the Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics, and dean of freshmen. A postdoctoral research scholar at the University of California, Los Angeles, from 1983 to 1985, he also taught at Worcester Polytechnic Institute from 1985 to 1987 and at Kansas University from 1982 to 1983.

The year after Ruscio became president of W&L, the University launched an ambitious strategic plan emphasizing its commitment to a liberal arts education in the 21st century. The current $500 million capital campaign in support of the plan has so far resulted in substantial gifts for student financial aid, including $100 million for the Johnson Scholarship Program; for faculty support and academic programs, including $66 million from the Lenfest Challenge to improve faculty compensation and $4 million from award-winning journalist Roger Mudd to create the Roger Mudd Center for the Study of Professional Ethics. A $50 million renovation and restoration of the historic Colonnade is well underway, and a new athletic and recreation center, as well as enhancements to campus residences for students, are in the works. The University has also embarked upon initiatives in work-life balance and energy conservation, the latter as part of its commitment to sustainability.

President Ruscio guided the University through a revitalization of the Spring Term, a four-week academic term that offers intensive study for students and creative approaches to teaching for faculty. Also during his tenure, the W&L School of Law has implemented an innovative curriculum that prepares students for a rapidly changing profession.

Ruscio has authored articles, book reviews, essays, and the book, The Leadership Dilemma in Modern Democracy (2004). He has served as national president of Omicron Delta Kappa, the national leadership society begun at W&L in 1914 that now has chapters at more than 300 campuses. He has led and served on dozens of academic, professional and civic committees. Ruscio serves on the boards of the George C. Marshall Foundation and of the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U). In recognition of his scholarly and professional accomplishments, Washington and Lee's chapter of Phi Beta Kappa inducted Ruscio as an alumni member in 2008.

Ruscio is married to Kimberley O'Donnell Ruscio. They have a son, Matthew, who is a 2012 graduate of St. Lawrence University.


Christopher WolfChris Wolf

(Law Commencement)

Christopher Wolf, a magna cum laude graduate of Washington and Lee's law class of 1980, is a partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Hogan Lovells, where he chairs the firm's information management practice group. He also is founder and co-chair of the Future of Privacy Forum, a think tank that has become a leading platform for discussion and development of best practices on data privacy.

Wolf was the editor and lead author of the first PLI treatise on privacy law and is a frequent author and speaker on privacy and data security issues. He was the first privacy lawyer to testify before the Senate Judiciary Privacy Subcommittee, was the only privacy lawyer to speak at the 2011 eG8 Conference in Paris, and is a member of a group advising the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on its privacy guidelines. Wolf has been invited by the government of Alberta to be one of five members of an expert panel reviewing the province's Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIP) Act.

In 2012, Chris joined an illustrious group of Washington and Lee faculty and alumni as an elected member of the American Law Institute and participated in an invitation-only ALI conference in San Francisco on privacy law. He speaks around the globe on data protection and privacy matters, an area in which he was a pioneer (after decades as a highly successful commercial litigator) and is now a leading voice in the field.

Wolf is a cum laude graduate of Bowdoin College. Following law school, he clerked for U.S. District Judge Aubrey E. Robinson, Jr. in Washington, D.C.

 


Reverend John Cleghorn, Pastor, Caldwell Presbyterian Church, Charlotte, North Carolina John Cleghorn

(Undergraduate Baccalaureate)

> Read Rev. Cleghorn's Baccalaureate Address

Rev. John Cleghorn is a member of W&L's Class of 1984. He has served as pastor of the Caldwell Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, since March 2008.

Before entering the ministry, John retired early from Bank of America as a senior vice president after 18 years in various public relations and public policy roles. Prior to that, John was a reporter for the Charlotte Observer for six years.

John has served Washington and Lee in several key roles, including: chair of the 2003-04 Board of Trustees Ad Hoc Committee on External Relations; vice chair of Young Alumni for the Annual Fund, class agent, member of the Alumni Board of Directors, and as a member of the Charlotte Area Campaign Committees during the On the Shoulders of Giants and For the Rising Generation capital campaigns. He received the Distinguished Young Alumnus Award in 1994.

John and his wife, Kelly, have two daughters, Ellison and Sophie.


 


Nathan Kelly, President of the Executive Committee of the Student Body Nathan Kelly

(Undergraduate Commencement) 

Nathan Kelly, a senior from Edinboro, Pennsylvania, is majoring in politics and economics. He has served as a class representative to the Executive Committee before serving as secretary in 2012-13 and as president of the student body for 2013-14. Outside of Executive Committee work, Nathan has been a peer counselor, including serving on the Peer Counseling Steering Committee, and a member of the 2012 Mock Convention Speakers Committee.

Nathan is a member of General's Christian Fellowship and Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity. He enjoys hunting, fishing, and skiing. Following graduation, he will work for Lincoln International, an investment bank in Chicago.