Thursday, June 9, 2011

AUM Announces 2011 Commencement Speaker

David Mathews, Ph.D., President of the Charles F. Kettering Foundation will address over 200 graduates of Antioch University Midwest at their Commencement Ceremony on Sunday, July 17, 2011. The event will begin at 2:00pm at the Benjamin and Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center in Dayton, Ohio.

Graduates will receive Bachelor of Arts degrees, Master of Arts degrees and Master of Education degrees. Fields of study represented include Education, Humanities, Management, Health & Wellness, Human Services Administration and Conflict Analysis & Engagement, as well as an individually-designed Masters of Arts degree. The event will honor graduates’ accomplishments, as well as the innovative educational experiences they take into their collective future endeavors. The keynote speaker was chosen in alignment with these values. Dr. Michael Fishbein, President of Antioch University Midwest, notes, “Dr. Mathews’ record speaks for itself, and the critical questions of peace and the power of dialogue to which he and his colleagues at the Kettering Foundation have devoted themselves make him exactly the right person for Antioch Midwest at this critical time."

The Charles F. Kettering Foundation was founded in 1927 “to sponsor and carry out scientific research for the benefit of humanity.” Inspired by the open-mindedness and creative philosophy of its founder, the American inventor Charles F. Kettering (holder of over 200 patents), the foundation’s work has expanded to include research on education, international affairs and democracy.

David Mathews was elected to the Kettering Foundation board of trustees in 1972, and in 1981 became its president and CEO. Prior to this, he served as Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare in the Ford administration. The youngest member of the cabinet at the time, at his swearing in as Secretary of HEW, Gerald Ford said, “Mathews brings to this new mission the strength of youth, a sense of purpose, the skills of a scholar, and the trusted record of a successful leader and administrator. That is an impressive inventory by any standard.”

From 1965 to 1980, Mathews taught history at the University of Alabama, where he also served as president from 1969 to 1980, an era of significant change and innovation, including the integration of the institution. At age 33, he was the youngest president of a major university.

Dr. Mathews serves on the board of a variety of organizations, including the Gerald R. Ford Foundation, National Issues Forums Institute, Council on Public Policy Education and Public Agenda. He has received numerous prestigious awards and is the recipient of 16 honorary degrees. He received his A.B. degree in history and classical Greek, graduating Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Alabama, and later received his Ph.D. in history from Columbia University. Mathews retains deep roots and maintains a family home in Grove Hill, Alabama. He is an avid gardener, and is happily married to his childhood sweetheart, Mary Chapman Mathews. They have two daughters and six grandchildren.

More information can be found at or

No comments: