December 7, 2017

Dow community engagement leader to deliver SVSU commencement address this month

The director of Global Citizenship for The Dow Chemical Company will speak to graduates of a university nationally recognized for community engagement during Commencement exercises at Saginaw Valley State University. Rob Vallentine will deliver the keynote address to SVSU's newest graduates.

Vallentine, who serves as both the director of Global Citizenship for Dow as well as president and executive director of The Dow Chemical Company Foundation, will speak at both of SVSU's commencement ceremonies this month. The first event is scheduled Friday, Dec. 15 at 7:30 p.m. and the second ceremony is set for Saturday, Dec. 16 at 11 a.m., both in O'Neill Arena of the Ryder Center.

Commencement exercises for graduates in the colleges of Business & Management and Health & Human Services will be held Friday evening. Students completing degrees in the colleges of Arts & Behavioral Sciences; Education; and Science, Engineering & Technology will take part in the ceremony scheduled for Saturday morning.

The graduating class consists of 639 students who are expected to complete degrees, including 570 individuals who have indicated that they intend to don regalia and march in the ceremonies. The class includes 520 who will receive bachelor's degrees, and 119 who will receive master's or education specialist degrees.

As is tradition, SVSU President Don Bachand will congratulate each graduate as he or she crosses the stage.                                           

Vallentine is responsible for corporate engagement with Dow stakeholders at the global, regional and local levels. He drives business decisions at the intersection of sustainability, innovation and citizenship while utilizing Dow's capabilities to achieve business and social impact. 

He works closely with Dow's Foundation Board of Directors to provide strategic direction on the company's philanthropic priorities around the world. A number of those community-minded endeavors have benefited SVSU initiatives to promote STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) education for both college-level and K-12 students. Most recently, the foundation partnered with the university in June to create a program where SVSU prepares K-12 students to serve as leaders and "chief science officers" in their schools.

In addition, Vallentine manages a team responsible for public affairs strategies and programs at Dow's 50 sites in North America.

Throughout the 30 years he has been at Dow, Vallentine has been committed to weaving together the personal and the professional to change the world for the better. He believes that a harmonious balance of life, work and community service is the key to "doing good and doing well," and is at the heart of good business. Through his leadership of the company's global citizenship activities, Vallentine helps people find their purpose and then share that purpose to contribute to society.

Actively involved in community service, Vallentine currently serves on the boards of directors for the Council of Michigan Foundations, the Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance and the Chemical Educational Foundation.  He also serves as a community director at Chemical Bank. Vallentine previously served in board positions for the United Way of Midland County, the Delta College Foundation, and Hidden Harvest.

Vallentine completed a bachelor's degree in marketing at Southeast Missouri State University and a Master of Business Administration at Drake University. He and his wife Nancy have four children and reside in Midland.

In 2015, SVSU received the Community Engagement classification from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, a distinction achieved by only 7 percent of U.S. colleges and universities. By their senior year, 84 percent of students have engaged with community employers and agencies in internships, field placements or some other component of their academic preparation.