May is an exciting month at Centre College: seniors are graduating, students are recognized for their numerous academic, athletic and social achievements at Honors Convocation and the Baccalaureate Service bids a fond farewell to graduating students. This year, the College will welcome Dr. Christopher B. Howard, 24th President of Hampden-Sydney College, as the featured speaker for the Baccalaureate Service, to be held Sunday, May 25.
Hampden-Sydney is a private liberal arts college for men located in Hampden-Sydney, Va. One of the oldest institutions of higher education in the nation, it has been in continuous operation since 1775. Like Centre, Hampden-Sydney focuses on graduating thoughtful leaders and global citizens.
One of the youngest college presidents in the United States, Dr. Howard is a distinguished graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, where he received the Campbell Award, the highest academic award in the country for a collegiate football player. He earned a doctorate in politics from Oxford University while on a Rhodes Scholarship and received an MBA with distinction from the Harvard Business School.
President Howard served as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force reserve, and earned a bronze star for his military service in Afghanistan. He also served as the U.S. Reserve Air Attaché to Liberia. While on active duty, Howard served as intelligence operations and plans officer with the elite Joint Special Operations Command.
Dr. Howard is a co-founder and trustee of the Impact Young Lives Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that brings South African students of color to the U.S. for summer educational and cultural tours. He is a member of the NCAA Division III Presidents Council, the Baylor University Board of Regents, and is also one of the few college chief executive officers in the United States to be invited to join the prestigious Young Presidents Organization. President Barack Obama appointed Dr. Howard to the National Security Education Board and was confirmed by the Senate in 2011. Howard is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute.
Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear will serve as the featured speaker for the College’s 191st Commencement Ceremony.
by Mariel Smith