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December 4, 2023

Karen S. Carter, Dow Packaging & Specialty Plastics business president to deliver commencement address to SVSU graduating class

Karen S. Carter, president of Dow’s Packaging & Specialty Plastics (P&SP) business operating segment, has been selected to address Saginaw Valley State University’s graduating class during two commencement ceremonies on Saturday, Dec. 16.

Nearly 500 SVSU students who are completing degrees have expressed their intent to participate in the commencement ceremonies.

The first of the two ceremonies will begin at 10 a.m., recognizing graduates from SVSU’s College of Arts & Behavioral Sciences; College of Science, Engineering & Technology; and the Scott L. Carmona College of Business. The second ceremony, at 2:30 p.m., celebrates graduates from the College of Education and the Crystal M. Lange College of Health & Human Services.

Both ceremonies will be held in O’Neill Arena in SVSU’s Ryder Center and will be livestreamed.

Carter, who has spent her entire career at Dow, was named president of P&SP in November 2022. With annual sales exceeding $29 billion, the business unit is widely recognized as the world’s largest materials supplier of polyethylene resins and functional polymers used in a wide variety of applications.

Since joining Dow in 1993, Carter has served in a progression of roles. Prior to being named president of P&SP, Carter served four years as Dow’s chief human resources officer and chief inclusion officer, successfully institutionalizing inclusion and diversity as key drivers for long-term growth.

Carter has been widely recognized for her innovative leadership, including being named to the EMpower 100 Senior Executives Role Model List supported by Yahoo! Finance in 2020, 2021, 2022, and by YouTube in 2023. Most recently, she was inducted into the Kansas African American Museum Trailblazer Hall of Fame.

Carter completed a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Howard University and a master’s degree in international business from DePaul University.

Founded in 1963, SVSU is celebrating its 60th anniversary this academic year. Since the first 10 graduates earned degrees from Saginaw Valley College in 1966, more than 50,000 individuals have joined the alumni ranks, living and working in every state in the nation and at least 40 countries worldwide. The vast majority of SVSU alumni – roughly 85 percent – remain in Michigan, with a large concentration in the Great Lakes Bay Region where they are building careers in the state’s most in-demand fields.