On Saturday, May 18, and Sunday, May 19, Valparaiso University will celebrate the class of 2019 through three commencement ceremonies, conferring degrees upon 707 undergraduate, 155 graduate and 76 law students.
The undergraduate keynote speaker is retired CEO of Thrivent Financial Bradford L. Hewitt, PMD.
“We are honored to welcome Mr. Hewitt to Valparaiso University to deliver our commencement address,” said Mark A. Heckler, Ph.D., president. “He is a passionate servant leader, empowered to lift others up, who will inspire our graduates to fulfill their vocation in the world with generosity.”
Hewitt recently retired as chief executive officer of Thrivent Financial, the country’s largest fraternal benefit society. A Fortune 500 organization, Thrivent leads a nationwide movement of Christians to be wise with money and live generously. Thrivent has more than two million members and manages about $150 billion in assets.
Hewitt began his career with Securian Financial in the actuarial department. He joined UnitedHealth Care (UHG) in financial underwriting, then went on to serve as CFO and CEO of Diversified Pharmaceutical Services (DPS). Following the sale and transition of DPS from UHG to SmithKline Beecham, Hewitt was called to be the chief administrative officer with the Lutheran Church — Missouri Synod before serving at Thrivent.
Currently, Hewitt serves as vice chair of the board for Habitat for Humanity International. He also volunteers with the Itasca Project and UpWorks. Hewitt graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a bachelor of science in mathematics, completed the Harvard Graduate School of Business program for management development and received an honorary doctorate of letters from Concordia University St. Paul. He also received the Hendrickson Medal of Honor for Ethical Leadership award from St. Mary’s University.
Visit the University’s commencement website for ceremony details and additional information.