Chairman of American Red Cross and former Ambassador Bonnie McElveen-Hunter to be FSC's Honorary Chancellor
Bonnie McElveen-Hunter, chairman of the board of the American Red Cross and former U.S. Ambassador to Finland, will be honored by Florida Southern College as Honorary Chancellor at its Founders Day Convocation.
LAKELAND (March 12, 2012) – Bonnie McElveen-Hunter, chairman of the board of the American Red Cross and former U.S. Ambassador to Finland, will be honored by Florida Southern College as Honorary Chancellor at its Founders Day Convocation at 11 a.m. Friday, March 16.
The Convocation, which will be held at Branscomb Auditorium, will also include the presentation of Distinguished Alumni awards to three FSC graduates who have made outstanding contributions in the fields of business and medicine. The Convocation is the opening event in FSC’s annual Homecoming weekend.
Ms. McElveen-Hunter, founder and CEO of Pace Communications, Inc., an international leader in the custom-publishing business, will be awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, and she will address the Convocation.
Ms. McElveen-Hunter has organized and led Women’s Business Leaders Summits in Europe and the Middle East, and she was U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Finland from 2001 to 2003. She has served on the boards of the United Way, an initiative to stop child trafficking, the National Museum of Women in The Arts, and Habitat for Humanity International. She was the first woman elected to serve as chair of the board of The American Red Cross.
Ms. McElveen-Hunter has received numerous honors, including the Commander Grand Cross of the Order of the Lion from the government of Finland, Woman Entrepreneur of the Year from the National Foundation for Women Legislatures, National Athena Award for business and civic contributions from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the United Way’s National Alexis de Tocqueville Society Award for her leadership and exemplary service to her community, and the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.
This year’s Distinguished Alumni Award recipients are Dr. Keith Berend (Class of 1992), an internationally recognized orthopedic surgeon based at the New Albany (Ohio) Surgical Hospital; Lakeland native Shelly Brady Schaffer (Class of 1985), former vice president of corporate operations finance for Yahoo! Inc., and currently Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Support.com of Redwood City, Calif., a technology services and software company; and Barry Skitsko (Class of 1973), founder and Managing Partner of East Bay Capital Mortgage in Jacksonville, Fla., and previously founder and president of Southeastern Mechanical Services and SMS Global.
Among other activities scheduled for returning alumni during Homecoming weekend, there will be a performance by the Capitol Steps political satire troupe at 7:30 p.m. March 16 and a screening of the award-winning documentary “Voices from Mariel” at 4 p.m. March 17. Both events will take place at Branscomb Auditorium and are open to the general public. Tickets for Capitol Steps are $20 and are available by calling the Branscomb Auditorium Box Office at (863) 680-4296.
“Voices from Mariel” documents the journey of Dr. Jose Garcia, Associate Professor of Latin Studies at FSC, to his native Cuba. Dr. Garcia was one of 125,000 citizens who fled Cuba in 1980, leaving on crowded boats from the port of Mariel in an attempt to reach the United States. The film offers a look at the lives of the Cuban-Americans who made it and the lives of the Cubans who remained behind.
Following the film, Dr. Garcia will lead a panel discussion with filmmakers Jesse Larson, Rob Tritton and Jim Carleton from NFocus, the Lakeland company that filmed “Voices from Mariel.” For information about Homecoming weekend events, please contact Meredith Prokuski, Coordinator of Alumni and College Events, at (863) 680-4572 or email@example.com .