Wilkie to Serve as Speaker for Methodist University’s Winter Commencement

The Hon. Robert L. Wilkie, Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, will present the commencement address for Methodist University’s 46th annual Winter Commencement Ceremony Dec. 15 at 10 a.m. in the Crown Arena. The University will award 219 graduate and undergraduate degrees at the ceremony.

Wilkie, a 1980 graduate of Fayetteville’s Reid Ross High School, was confirmed as head of the VA in July after earlier serving as the VA’s acting Secretary. He has over 20 years of experience at the national and international levels, including serving as Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness.

Wilkie, 56, holds an honors degree from Wake Forest University; Juris Doctor from Loyola University College of Law; Master of Laws in International and Comparative Law from Georgetown University; and a Masters in Strategic Studies from the United States Army War College.

Methodist University’s Winter Commencement Ceremony also will include a speech by Distinguished Graduate Ieshia West, who was chosen by the graduating seniors, and the presentation of the Sam Edwards Award. The award is given to an outstanding MU at Night student and is determined by a faculty vote.

Following the University’s tradition for a student who is the first MU graduate from his or her country, Abdul Rahman Alloush will present the flag of Syria, and Adam Kurbansho will present the flag of Tajikistan.

Hope Morgan Ward, Bishop of the United Methodist Church’s North Carolina Conference, will deliver the baccalaureate sermon at 4 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14 in Methodist University’s new Matthews Ministry Center Chapel.