Kathy Johnson

UK Honorary Degree Recipients Have Strong Ties to Kentucky

Published: Dec 19, 2013

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 19, 2013) ― The University of Kentucky will honor an auto industry executive, a national leader in transportation safety, and a former college president with honorary doctorates at its December Commencement ceremonies Friday, Dec. 20, in Memorial Coliseum.

 

At the 1:30 p.m. ceremony for graduates receiving master's and doctoral degrees, Deborah Hersman, chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, and Michael T. Nietzel, former president of Missouri State University and former UK provost, will receive honorary degrees

 

Hersman is recognized as one of the nation's most visionary and passionate safety leaders who advocates for safety across all modes of transportation.  Among her many initiatives, Hersman has focused attention and actions on distracted driving, child passenger safety and helping accident victims and their families.  Prior to becoming chairman, Hersman was the NTSB's lead investigator at the scene of one of Kentucky's worst disasters, the 2006 crash of Comair flight 5191. She was praised for her thorough investigation that resulted in several safety recommendations as well as her compassion for the families who lost loved ones. Transparency and accountability have been hallmarks of Hersman's tenure as NTSB chair.  She has significantly increased the quantity and quality of NTSB information available online, held more public meetings to highlight safety issues, and embraced social media to communicate with citizens. Hersman will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities.

 

Nietzel, who worked at UK for 32 years in a number of pivotal positions, including provost, later served as president of Missouri State University and, most recently, as a senior adviser to the governor of Missouri.  Nietzel devoted 32 years to UK as a professor, researcher, Department of Psychology chair, and campus administrator including serving as UK's first provost following a major administrative reorganization in 2001.  During that time Nietzel helped implement strategic initiatives to further elevate the university's status as a nationally regarded public research institution.  He left UK in 2005 to lead Southwest Missouri State through a period of transition and growth as it became known officially as Missouri State University.  He left the presidency there in 2010 and joined the staff of Missouri's governor.  Nietzel will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Letters.

 

At the 6 p.m. Commencement ceremony for undergraduates, Wilbert W. (Wil) James Jr., president of Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky (TMMK), will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Engineering.

 

James, who has worked for Toyota since 1987 and held various administrative positions, became president of TMMK in 2010.  As such he leads Toyota's largest automotive manufacturing plant in the United States, providing well-paying jobs for thousands of Kentuckians.  James is the first African-American president of TMMK and recently was named as one of the Top 100 Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America.  In addition to ensuring that TMMK is an outstanding corporate and community citizen, James lends his talents in service to several civic and community organizations.  As Diversity Champion for Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, James leads company-wide diversity and inclusion initiatives across North America. Additionally, he currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and is a board member for the Bluegrass Economic Advancement Movement. He is active in the Executive Leadership Conference and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity.

 

This will be UK's fourth December Commencement.  Friends and family who cannot attend personally can still enjoy this special event. Both ceremonies will be live-streamed on UK's news website, UKNow, at www.uky.edu/uknow.  “Live from the Blue Carpet,” which features students, faculty and special guests as they prepare for Commencement and is hosted by students, will begin at 1:12 p.m. prior to the graduate Commencement and at 5:40 p.m. prior to the undergraduate Commencement ceremony Friday.

 

Followers of UK’s Twitter account (twitter.com/universityofky) can follow along with the Commencement activities via live tweet during the event. Twitter users are also encouraged to use the hashtag #ukgrad to honor all the graduates.

 

 

shaun_ring_06.jpg
Tags:
September
 
1
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Labor Day - Academic Holiday
Mon
2
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Internship Info Session
Student/Faculty/Staff Mixer
Tue
3
Employee Educational Assistance Award
LNFS Presents: The Wolf of Wall Street
Last Day to Add a Class
Last Day to Drop a Course with 80% Refund
UK Volunteer Fair
Wed
4
LNFS Presents: Children of Men
LNFS Presents: How To Train Your Dragon 2
Black and Latino Male Initiative
Advance Your Swagger: A Night with Fonzworth Bentely
Thu
5
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Northern Iowa
Kentucky Volleyball vs. USC
LNFS Presents: Spirited Away
LNFS Presents: Mulan
Fri
6
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Kentucky Football vs. Ohio
#maxfest (Ukirklex Campus Ministry)
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Creighton
Lets Swing Dance!
Sat
7
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Morehead State
Sun
8
Diversity Organization's Council
Kosher/Soul? (Jewish, African American & Appalachian culture Fuse)
Mon
9
Working Moms Connection
Job Club - Job Search Strategies for Fall
Rock Star Professionalism Series
Tue
10
Massage on the Go
College: Do the Right Thing- A conversation with Dr. Smith
The Future of Islam
LNFS Presents: Fight Club
Wed
11
9/11 Vigil
UKNABJ presents: Ferguson, Missouri: A look at media, politics and black youth in the U.S.
LNFS Presents: Mr & Mrs Smith
Duo Damiana, Molly Barth and Dieter Hennings
LNFS Presents: 22 Jump Street
Thu
12
LNFS Presents: Searching For Sugarman
LNFS Presents: Sin City
Fri
13
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Men's Soccer vs. ETSU
Sat
14
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Pepperdine
Sun
15
Kentucky Week Farmer's MarCat and Craft Fair
Majestic U.N.I.T.Y.
Mon
16
Justice Delayed not Justice Denied: A Talk with Dough Jones
PRHBTN Gallery Reception and Concert
Men's Soccer vs. Xavier
Chellgren Seminar Series: Buck Ryan
Tue
17
Internship Info Session
Last Day to Drop a Course Without Appearing on Transcript
Caregiver Support Group
LNFS Presents: The Immigrant
Big Blue Commonwealth
Wed
18
LNFS Presents: Watermark
LNFS Presents: X-Men: Days of Future Past
Ryan Gardner Guest Trumpet Recital
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Lipscomb
Thu
19
LNFS Presents: A Band Called Death
LNFS Presents: Prisoners
The Case for Fossil Fuels-PEIK Seminar
Men's Soccer vs. Furman
Fri
20
Rock Climbing @ Red River Gorge
College of Pharmacy Open House
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Xavier
Sat
21
 
Sun
22
Diana Ferrus: 'Writing poetry has allowed me to live': Cultural Resistance in South Africa
Kentucky Law Schools Forum
Mon
23
Pinterest Party
University of Kentucky Chamber Winds
Employer Showcase
Job Club - 10 Questions to Ask Prior to Starting a Business
Men's Soccer vs. Lousville
Tue
24
Employer Showcase
Last Day to Drop a Course with 50% Refund
UK Elder Care Lunch & Learn
BPH Open House
Documentary Film Screening - Heaven + Earth + Joe Davis
LNFS Presents: Saving Mr. Banks
Wed
25
LNFS Presents: Culture Jam
LNFS Presents: Maleficent
¡Baila!
Thu
26
LNFS Presents: Ponyo
LNFS Presents: The Little Mermaid
Opening Night Bohemiam Festival
White Water Rafting @ Chattooga River
Women's Soccer vs. Mississippi State
Fri
27
White Water Rafting @ Chattooga River
Kentucky Football vs. Vanderbilt
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Green Apple Day of Service: "Pick It Up"
Swing Dancing!
Sat
28
White Water Rafting @ Chattooga River
UK Chorale
Dirty Dancing Trip
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Auburn
Sun
29
 
Mon
30
#TrendingTopics: Immigration Reform
Apollo Duo - Flute and Percussion Guest Recital
Tue
 
 
 
 
Reset Page