The School of Law recently announced the speakers for the 2014 commencement ceremonies to be held this May.
Delaware Gov. Jack Markell will serve as speaker for the Delaware campus’ 40th commencement, to be held Saturday, May 17. Alumnus and Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene A. DePasquale will serve as speaker for the Harrisburg campus’ 23rd commencement, to be held Sunday, May 18. He is a 2002 graduate of Widener’s Harrisburg campus.
Markell took office in 2009, bringing innovative public and private sector experience to the Office of Governor. He began his career helping to lead the wireless technology revolution as the 13th employee at Nextel (a name he coined), where he served as senior vice president for corporate development. His other business experience includes a senior management position at Comcast Corp., work as a consultant with McKinsey and Co., and as a banker at First Chicago Corp. He was elected Delaware treasurer three times between 1998 and 2008. He is the immediate past chair of the National Governors Association, where he made employing people with disabilities his chair’s initiative.
Now in his second term, Markell's priorities include putting Delawareans back to work, strengthening the state education system and spurring innovation to grow the economy. He currently serves as chairman of the National Board of Directors for Jobs for America’s Graduates. He is also the former chair of the Democratic Governors Association, and is a former board member of the National Assessment Governing Board, nominated by U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan.
A native of Newark, Del., Markell holds an undergraduate degree in economics and development studies from Brown University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Chicago. He is a Henry Crown Fellow and a Rodel Fellow at the Aspen Institute. He lives in Wilmington, Del. with his wife Carla and their two children.
DePasquale became Pennsylvania’s 51st auditor general in January 2013, after serving six years in the state House of Representatives. Prior to that he worked as deputy secretary in the Department of Environmental Protection, where he helped convince Gamesa, the world’s second-largest wind company, to locate in Pennsylvania. Since his election as auditor general – the state’s chief fiscal watchdog – DePasquale has reduced office spending, eliminated a backlog of 1,500 audits, and initiated large-scale audits of the Department of Environmental Protection’s programs on water quality related to Marcellus Shale gas drilling. He has also pushed for more transparency and governance changes throughout state government and has investigated the Department of Public Welfare’s failure to pay workers who provide in-home care for the elderly and people with disabilities.
A native of Pittsburgh, DePasquale earned his undergraduate degree from the College of Wooster in Ohio and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Pittsburgh. He earned his law degree through Widener’s extended division, studying at night while working as director of economic development in York. He lives in York County with his wife Tracey and their two children.
“We are delighted with the speakers for our 2014 commencement ceremonies,” Law Dean Linda L. Ammons
said. “I’m certain our graduates will benefit from the words of wisdom they share.”