CHARLESTON, S.C. (May 1)---United States Army Retired Lieutenant General Julius W. Becton Jr. will speak at The Citadel's commencement exercises for the Corps of Cadets in McAlister Field House at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 17. There will be more than 400 undergraduate degrees awarded.
A native of Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, Becton received his undergraduate degree in mathematics from Prairie View A&M University and later returned to earn his masters of arts degree from the University of Maryland.
General Becton served almost 40 years of duty in the U.S. Army and rose to the rank of lieutenant general before retiring from the military. His key military assignments included Commander, U.S. Army Operational Test and Evaluation Agency, 1st Cavalry Division and VII U.S. Corps in Germany; and Deputy Commander, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command.
Becton then went on to serve as Director of the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Alliance before nominated by the President of the United States as Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. In October of 1994 Becton became the fifth president of his alma mater, Prairie View A&M University. General Becton was the first graduate of Prairie View to attain the rank of general in the military.
General Becton now serves as a director to several corporations, academic institutions, and associations. His many honors include being named several times by Ebony magazine as "One of the 100 Most Influential Blacks in America," and he has also received the Distinguished Service Award Association of the U.S. Army and the Boy Scouts of America's Silver Beaver.
General Becton and his wife Louise reside in Springfield, Va. The couple has five grown children, 10 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.