By KATHLEEN FABIE
Retired Virginia Senator John Chichester and Executive Vice President of Worldwide Creative Operations at Universal Pictures Daniel R. Wolfe have been named as speakers for the respective graduate and undergraduate commencement addresses for the University of Mary Washington graduation ceremonies.
Senator Chichester will be the speaker at the first commencement exclusively for graduate students. Chichester played a key role in the establishment of UMW’s College of Graduate and Professional Studies.
Chichester was born in Fredericksburg, attended Virginia Polytechnic Institute and served in the U.S. Army Reserves, according to a Virginia Senate Web site.
Chichester was elected to the Virginia Senate for seven consecutive terms beginning in 1978 where he served until his retirement in 2008. During his last eight years in the senate, Chichester served as president pro tempore. Chichester chaired the Senate Finance Committee Subcommittee on Education and also chaired or co-chaired numerous other commissions and subcommittees related to higher education in Virginia.
It was noted in the release that at the time of his retirement, Chichester was the longest-serving Republican in the Virginia Senate.
Dan Wolfe is this year’s undergraduate commencement speaker.
Wolfe, a 1984 UMW graduate, went on from Mary Washington to earn a postgraduate degree in communications industries management from Emerson College in Boston.
Wolfe has maintained close ties to the university. Named the UMW 2004 Distinguished Alumnus, Wolfe returned to UMW for two days in March 2007 to serve as a Distinguished Graduate-in-Residence where he shared strategies from his career in advertising and marketing for film studios.
Wolfe’s career has included film marketing at Universal for over 19 years as well as positions in creative advertising at New Line Cinema and Orion Pictures. A member of the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences, Wolfe is also active in the Los Angeles area Big Brothers organization.
Graduate students will attend commencement at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 7, in Dodd Auditorium of George Washington Hall. The undergraduate commencement exercises will be held on Ball Circle at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 8. This is the first year graduate and undergraduate classes will have separate graduation ceremonies.
The announcement was delivered via e-mail to faculty and students three weeks before the ceremonies.