Commencement speakers chosen
BY ALESHA JAMES
Two entrepreneurs, Kenneth Lopez and Rebecca Rubin will give the commencement addresses at the 2014 University of Mary Washington graduate and undergraduate graduation ceremonies.
Lopez will give the graduate address at 7:30 p.m. on May 9 at the Anderson Center. Lopez is the founder and CEO of A2L Consulting. The undergraduate address will take place on Saturday May 10 at 9 a.m. on Ball Circle and will be given by Rubin, the founder and CEO of Marstel-Day, LLC.
Lopez graduated from UMW in 1992 with a degree in economics and currently serves as a member of the UMW Board of Visitors. Lopez founded A2L in 1995, and his firm is now considered one of the nation’s top litigation consulting companies. A2L deals specifically with courtroom technology and litigation graphics. His company was recognized for being the Best Demonstrative Evidence Firm in Washington, D.C.
Lopez holds positions on UMW’s advisory board for the College of Business and on the Dean’s National Advisory Council at Widener University, where he received a law degree. He frequents UMW as a guest speaker for student organizations.
“Lopez would be a wonderful speaker because as a graduate of UMW he had a great foundation that eventually led to his successes, which makes his story relatable and attainable,” said Julia Gattuso, a senior psychology major. “He also gives graduating students insight to the possibilities that may await them in future. Lopez is representative of where a UMW education can take you.”
As a graduate of UMW, Lopez will be able to prepare graduating students for what is to come in the future.
“Having Lopez speak would be great because it would allow for a more intimate and appropriate talk. He might also shed some light on what can be expected after graduation since life after college can seem to be quite scary,” said Tonto Duncan, senior English and religion double major.
Rubin is the founder of Marstel-Day, a company devoted to environmental preservation and offers consulting to both the public and private sectors. Marstel-Day deals with climate adaption, energy planning and works closely with clients to develop strategies to conserve natural resources. Some of the company’s clients include the Department of Defense, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Marstel-Day was recently named a sustainability partner by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. Rubin’s company collaborated with other Fredericksburg area organizations to establish a Climate Environment Action Readiness Plan.
Rubin received her bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and earned a master’s degree in international security from Colombia University. Rubin formerly served as the director of the U.S. Army’s Environmental Policy Institute.
“I definitely think it is good to have Rubin speak at UMW because she is very successful. It’s cool that she started her own company, and I am interested in hearing her speak because she has such a diverse background. I hope she gives good advice,” said Amanda Vercruysse, a senior hisotirc preservation and American studies major.
Although entrepreneurs that have graduated from UMW tend to be less known than others, some students may appreciate their speeches more.
“Even though the speakers are not well known, they may in fact give better speeches and advice to students,” said Gattuso.