As local college seniors prepare their caps and gowns for graduation, one local college is welcoming a successful business woman as their keynote Commencement speaker.
Jacksonville native Kathryn Thomson, who now serves as Vice President and Associate General Counsel at Amazon.com and has longstanding ties to MacMurray College, will provide the keynote address this Saturday at college’s Commencement ceremony.
MacMurray’s Director of Institutional Research and Assessment Allison Decker says the school is thrilled to welcome Thomson back to her former campus.
“We are definitely excited about having her speak. She has a long history of involvement with the college and serves as a great role model for all of our student population, especially for females aspiring to enter the business world. She brings a great enthusiasm to campus and she’s a wonderful advocate of MacMurray College,” says Decker.
In a statement released through the college, Thomson says she is “delighted to be coming back to Jacksonville to give the commencement address at MacMurray. My family’s ties to MacMurray go all the way back to the turn of the 20th century, so I feel like Mac is in my DNA.”
Aside from speaking, Thomson will also receive an Honorary Doctor of Law degree from MacMurray at Saturday night’s Commencement. Decker says it was an easy choice when it came to awarding Thomson with the distinction.
Decker feels Thomson is a perfect representative for what MacMurray strives for as a liberal arts college.
“I think she’s a really good example of the value of a liberal arts college education. Not everyone always associates the liberal arts with being successful in the business world, but I think the elements that you take away from a liberal arts degree are crucial to any field that you enter. She can definitely speak to endurance, a strong work ethic…she’s one that was very dedicated to pursuing her goals. She shows our MacMurray students the possibilities that are out there,” Decker says.
MacMurray College’s 166th annual Commencement ceremony takes place in the Annie Merner Chapel this Saturday at 10:30 a.m. The ceremony is free and open to the public, as long as tickets are available.