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Sen. Jim Webb Among Speakers for ODU Spring Commencement Exercises

U.S. Sen. Jim Webb will be one of three guest speakers for Old Dominion University's 114th commencement exercises on Saturday, May 7. Approximately 3,800 students will be eligible to graduate.

Traditionally, ODU holds two commencement programs in May (for May and August graduates) and one program in December. This year, for the first time, there will be three programs in May in addition to the one in December. The change was made in order to accommodate the growing size of the spring/summer graduating classes and to allow more family members and friends of the graduates to attend the programs, which are held in the Ted Constant Convocation Center.

Blythe J. McGarvie, CEO and founder of Leadership for International Finance, will be the guest speaker for the 9 a.m. ceremony for graduates from the Darden College of Education and College of Sciences.

Webb, the senior senator from Virginia, will speak at the 1 p.m. ceremony to graduates from the College of Business and Public Administration and College of Health Sciences.

Adriane M. Brown, president and COO of Intellectual Ventures, will speak at the 5 p.m. ceremony to graduates from the College of Arts and Letters and Frank Batten College of Engineering and Technology.

During the programs, ODU will award honorary doctor of humane letters degrees to Jack L. Ezzell Jr., founder and CEO of Zel Technologies, LLC, a professional services firm in Hampton (first program); Paul Hirschbiel, owner and president of Eden Capital, a consulting firm in Virginia Beach (second program); and Harvey L. Lindsay Jr., chairman of Harvey Lindsay Commercial Real Estate, based in Norfolk (third program).

Since 2003, McGarvie has served as CEO and founder of Leadership for International Finance, which offers a global perspective for clients seeking profitable growth and providing leadership seminars for corporate and academic groups. Her 2009 best-selling book, "Shaking the Globe: Courageous Decision-Makers in a Changing World," provides entrepreneurs and executives with research and action ideas to overcome obstacles in a competitive and interconnected world. ODU awarded her an honorary doctorate of humane letters in 2009.

McGarvie's academic appointments are as Senior Fellow for Northwestern University's Kellogg Innovation Network and a faculty member of Duke Corporate Education. In 1995, she was one of only 10 female CFOs of a Fortune 500 company. A certified public accountant, she holds an M.B.A. from Kellogg Graduate School of Management.

Following his first run for political office, Webb joined the U.S. Senate in 2007. On his first day in office, he introduced a GI Bill for those who have served in the military since 9/11, and within 16 months had guided the most significant veterans legislation since World War II through both houses of Congress. He also became a strong voice on the need for restructuring the criminal justice system.

A member of the Armed Services, Foreign Relations, Joint Economic and Veterans Affairs committees, Webb also now chairs the Subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs of the Foreign Relations Committee and the Personnel Subcommittee of the Armed Services Committee. Webb, who is a graduate of the Naval Academy, served with the Fifth Marine Regiment in Vietnam. He served as Secretary of the Navy from May 1, 1987, to Feb. 23, 1988. He is the author of nine books.

Brown's organization, Intellectual Ventures, is a global leader in the business of invention that collaborates with leading inventors, partners with pioneering companies, and invests both expertise and capital in the development and monetization of inventions and patent portfolios. Before joining Intellectual Ventures, which is based in Bellevue, Wash., she served as president and CEO of Honeywell Transportation Systems.

During 19 years at Corning, Brown filled significant business roles, ultimately becoming vice president and general manager of the Environmental Products Division. In 2009, she was named one of Black Enterprise magazine's 100 Most Powerful Executives in Corporate America. Brown earned a bachelor's degree in environmental health from ODU and a master's in management from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She was awarded an honorary doctorate of humane letters from ODU.

This article was posted on: May 6, 2011

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