Entrance Torch

University Board member announced as Commencement speaker

Bonnie E. Raquet, corporate vice president (ret.) at Cargill Inc. and a member of the Board of Directors of Valparaiso University, has been announced as the University’s May 2011 Commencement speaker.

Raquet is a 1970 graduate of Valparaiso University with a degree in history. She was elected to the Valparaiso University Board of Directors in 2001, and has served in a number of leadership positions in professional and community capacities.

“I am very honored by the invitation to speak at this year’s Commencement, as it represents my deep relationship with this very special place,” Raquet said in accepting the invitation.

“It is a distinct pleasure to welcome Bonnie E. Raquet as our Commencement speaker,” Valparaiso University President Mark A. Heckler said. “Her global leadership experience and dedicated service to our University are exemplary, and she will no doubt have a distinctive and thought-provoking message to convey to our graduates.”

After earning a master’s degree from Cleveland State University and a juris doctor degree from the University of Minnesota School of Law, Raquet began work with Cargill, an international producer, processor and marketer of food, agricultural, financial and industrial products and services, with global headquarters in Minnesota.

Raquet’s career has taken her to Geneva, Switzerland, as an attorney for Cargill International S.A., and to roles as director of government and international relations, leading Cargill’s Washington, D.C., office during 1996-2000. She also has been president of Cargill Technical Services and was named Corporate Vice President, Corporate Affairs in 2000. In that position, she led Cargill’s worldwide corporate affairs activities, including government and media relations, brand management, marketing services, and corporate social responsibility, as well as representing Cargill’s business and corporate policy interests around the world. Raquet chaired the Cargill Corporate Affairs Committee and was a member of the Cargill Brand Council.

In addition to serving as the Vice Chair of Valparaiso’s Board of Directors, Raquet also serves on the Boards of Directors of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, the World Food Program-USA, TechnoServe, Inc. and the Luther Seminary Foundation.

Raquet was appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture and the U.S. Trade Representative to the U.S. Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee for Trade in 2008. She has also served on the Government Affairs Committee of the Grocery Manufacturers of America and the International Relations Committee of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, as well as the Chair of the Public Affairs Committee of the National Association of Manufacturers, and on the Boards of Directors of the National Center for APEC and the YMCA of Metropolitan Minneapolis.