S.C.'s top educator to give Graduate College commencement address
State Superintendent of Education Mick Zais will deliver the commencement address to The Citadel Graduate College Class of 2013 this May.
"We are honored to have such a distinguished guest serving as the commencement speaker this year," said Bob McNamara, dean of the Graduate College. "Superintendent Zais has served in a variety of leadership roles: as a university president, as a leader in higher education, and as a general officer in the military. Such versatility and experience will allow his thoughtful remarks to resonate with our students."
Zais became the 17th state superintendent of education in 2011. Prior to his election, he served for 10 years as president of Newberry College in Newberry, S.C. Under his leadership, enrollment nearly doubled and the endowment more than doubled which enabled several advancements for the college. While at Newberry, he served as chairman of the presidents' councils of both the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities and the South Atlantic Athletic Conference.
Zais is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where he later was an assistant professor. He served 31 years on active duty in the Army, retiring as a brigadier general. As a decorated military officer, he served multiple positions to include a wide variety of infantry units in Vietnam, U.S. and Korea. His military career also included a stint as commanding general of U.S. and Allied forces in Kuwait. His career culminated as the chief of staff of the U.S. Army Reserve Command. Zais was also a member of the board of directors for the Foundation for Independent Higher Education, the Lutheran Education Conference of North America, the South Carolina Tuition Grants Commission, the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education, and the Southern Regional Education Board.
About 300 students in The Citadel Graduate College and Evening Undergraduate Studies program are expected to receive diplomas this year. Commencement is at 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 4 in McAlister Field House at The Citadel.
More information: Commencement 2013.