April 13, 2015

Retired President of North Central College to Address SVSU Graduates

Students participating in May Commencement exercises at Saginaw Valley State University will hear from a highly regarded college president who is a friend and mentor of SVSU’s current president. Harold “Hal” R. Wilde, who served as president of North Central College from 1991 to 2012, will speak to SVSU graduates at both ceremonies.

Commencement exercises for graduates in the colleges of Business & Management, and Health & Human Services will be held Friday, May 8 at 7:30 p.m. Students completing degrees in the colleges of Arts & Behavioral Sciences, Education, and Science, Engineering & Technology will take part in a ceremony scheduled for Saturday, May 9 at 11 a.m. Both ceremonies will be held in SVSU’s Ryder Center.

As is tradition, SVSU President Donald Bachand will congratulate each graduate in both ceremonies as he or she crosses the stage.

The graduating class consists of 1,112 students who have applied to graduate, including 978 who have indicated that they intend to don regalia and march in their respective ceremonies. In all, 455 students plan to participate in the Friday ceremony. The Saturday ceremony will feature an expected 523 graduates.  

A total of 941 students are expected to complete bachelor's degree requirements, and another 171 students are expected to complete master's and advanced degrees.
 
Bachand invited Wilde to deliver the Commencement address. As a doctoral student at Harvard, Wilde studied the operations of the Detroit Police Department. During that time, Wilde met a bright-eyed police cadet named Don Bachand.
 

During Wilde's nearly 22-year tenure, North Central College saw a tenfold increase in its endowment, continuous balanced budgets, 100 percent growth in full-time undergraduate enrollments, and the largest individual, corporate and foundation gifts and bequests in the College’s history. These gifts made possible 13 endowed faculty chairs and six Ruge Fellows, a 500 percent rise in scholarship support, 15 major construction projects and significant campus expansion.

Under Wilde’s leadership the College implemented its first comprehensive new curriculum in 30 years and broadened its commitment to international programming, service-learning, interdisciplinary studies and sustainability initiatives.

Wilde received his undergraduate degree with high honors from Amherst College and a Ph.D. in government from Harvard University.

A native of Wisconsin, Wilde served several years in Wisconsin state government, including four as insurance commissioner. He was special assistant to the president of the University of Wisconsin System and vice president for external relations at Beloit College, where he served before being named North Central College's president.