Kentucky Wesleyan College’s 151st Annual Commencement will take place on Saturday, April 27, at 10 a.m. at the Woodward Health and Recreation Center on campus. Paul Chellgren, a leading philanthropist and champion of higher education in the Commonwealth, will address the Class of 2019. The Chellgren Endowed Scholarship was established in 1990 by Mr. Chellgren and his family to provide Kentucky Wesleyan students with scholarship funds, with preference given to pre-ministerial students.
“We are honored to welcome Paul Chellgren to campus,” remarked President Barton D. Darrell. “It is truly fitting that he will address our graduating seniors, as the Chellgren family has made a profound difference in the lives and futures of countless Wesleyan students through their generosity and dedication to learning. His life is marked by a steadfast commitment to enhancing the quality of life for Kentuckians, and we are excited for our graduates to hear him.”
Mr. Chellgren is an operating partner of Snow Phipps, a New York City private equity firm, and currently serves as the co-chairman of Cascade Environmental. He also served as chairman of Excel Mining Systems, FiberVisions Corporation and ArrMaz Custom Chemicals prior to Snow Phipps’ exit.
Mr. Chellgren was formerly chairman and CEO of Ashland Inc., a global diversified energy and chemical company, from 1996 until he retired in 2002. He joined the company in 1974. During his tenure as chairman and CEO, Mr. Chellgren presided over the distribution to shareholders of Ashland’s stake in Arch Coal, Inc., formation of the Marathon Ashland Petroleum refining venture with USX-Marathon (now Marathon Petroleum Corporation), divestiture of its exploration and production division and acquisition of several businesses which were combined with Ashland’s highway paving and construction and chemical operations. Prior to joining Ashland, Mr. Chellgren was an associate with McKinsey & Company, operations analyst in the Office of Secretary of Defense in Washington, D.C., executive assistant and division general manager of Boise Cascade, Corp. and general manager of Universal Capital Corp.
In addition to the board memberships with Ashland, Mr. Chellgren is currently a director of PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. and has previously held directorships with Arch Coal, Inc., Medtronic, Inc., Ashland Coal, Inc., the American Petroleum Institute and the American Chemistry Council. He has also been a member of the Business Roundtable Policy Committee, National Petroleum Council, National Petroleum Refiners Association and Society of the Chemical Industry. He is currently a director of numerous public and private organizations including American Friends of University College, Oxford, the Taft Museum of Art and Centre College.
Mr. Chellgren received a M.B.A. from Harvard University, a B.S. from the University of Kentucky and a D.D.E. from Oxford University.
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.