Kentucky Wesleyan College’s 154th annual Commencement will take place at Owensboro Christian Church (2818 New Hartford Rd.) on Saturday, April 30, at 10 a.m. Hugh Haydon, a founder and former president of Owensboro-based Kentucky BioProcessing, Inc. (KBP), will address the Class of 2022.
The College’s Baccalaureate celebration will take place on Friday, April 29, at 7 p.m. at the Jack T. Wells ’77 Activity Center’s Young Auditorium (3300 Frederica Street). Rev. Keith Switzer ’79 will address the graduates at Baccalaureate.
“We are looking forward to celebrating the vast accomplishments of our Class of 2022,” remarked President Thomas Mitzel, “Additionally, we are honored to have two distinguished speakers to address the graduates and provide them with a meaningful charge as they enter the next phase of their professional and educational careers.”
KBP, now K-Bio, is a world leader in the development and production of biopharmaceuticals using plants as hosts for expression of recombinant proteins. Prior to the founding of KBP, Mr. Haydon served as executive vice president of programs for a Washington, D.C., consulting group providing strategic and implementation direction to various research, development and commercialization programs for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. His career also includes almost 10 years as commissioner of economic development for the Commonwealth of Kentucky where he was responsible for negotiation of over $2 billion in financing transactions as well as creation and implementation of several successful and award-winning programs aimed at growing Kentucky’s economy. In addition to his economic development work on behalf of the state of Kentucky, he served two separate stints as president of the predecessor organizations to the Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corporation.
Under his leadership, KBP built a global network with collaborations in Europe, Africa, Asia and the United States, all focused on the deployment of plant-based protein expression systems to address gaps in the global pharmaceutical production system. Hugh is a native of Springfield, Ky., and a graduate of the University of Kentucky. He recently completed 10 years of volunteer service as vice-chair and then chair of the Kentucky Workforce Innovation Board and currently serves as a member of the board of directors of Goodwill Industries of Kentucky.
Switzer, a native of Louisville, Ky., earned a master of divinity from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University. A United Methodist minister, he has served churches in Kentucky for 40 years, and is currently senior pastor of Settle Memorial UMC in Owensboro. Keith is the father and father-in-law of two KWC graduates – Cameron ’09 and Jill (Deibler) Switzer ’07. Rev. Switzer has served on the Kentucky Wesleyan Board of Trustees for four years.
The first Kentucky Wesleyan College commencement took place at the Millersburg campus in 1868. The College’s first Owensboro commencement was held in the Owensboro High School auditorium in May 1952.