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Ralph B. Everett will Deliver the Address at 2012 Fall Commencement

Published date: November 29, 2012

everetteRalph B. Everett will deliver the address at Virginia State University’s 2012 Fall Commencement Convocation on Saturday, Dec. 15.  Nearly 400 graduates are expected to participate in the exercises, beginning at 10 a.m. in Daniel Gymnasium. VSU will also bestow upon Mr. Everett an Honorary Doctor of Laws. The University will also present a posthumous degree to the family of Jordan Greer-Rogers and honor Dr. Rana Singh as Professor Emeritus.

On Jan. 1, 2007, Mr. Everett was appointed President and CEO of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, widely acknowledged as the nation’s leading think tank for policy analysis and research on issues of concern to African Americans and other people of color.  His visionary plan of action is centered on launching four new Institutes, designed to strengthen the effectiveness and visibility of the Joint Center’s work.  They include Institutes on Media and Technology, Civic Engagement and Governance, Climate Change and Education Policy and Opportunity.    

The Orangeburg, SC native has a 33-year track record of pioneering leadership in the nation’s capital.  After serving as legislative assistant to U.S. Senator Ernest Hollings, he was selected in 1982 to be Democratic Staff Director and Minority Chief Counsel for the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.  When Senate Democrats won majority control four years later, Mr. Everett was named Staff Director and Chief Counsel of the full committee.  In 1998, President Clinton appointed Mr. Everett as U.S. Ambassador to the International Telecommunication Union’s Plenipotentiary Conference.  That year, he led the U.S. Delegation to the Second World Telecommunication Development Conference in Malta, joining participants from more than 190 nations.  In Malta, he was elected Vice Chairman of the world proceedings.

Mr. Everett currently serves on such diverse panels as the United Negro College Fund’s (UNCF) Frederick D. Patterson Research Institute Advisory Council, and AT&T’s Consumer Advisory Panel.  He is a member of the Economic Club of Washington, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity.  He also serves on several other distinguished Boards, including Duke University Law School’s Board of Visitors, Co-Chair of the Commission to Engage African Americans on Climate Change, the Federal Communications Commission’s Advisory Committee on Diversity for Communications in the Digital Age and the National Coalition on Black Civic. Ebony magazine named Mr. Everett one of the nation’s “150 Most Influential African Americans.”

A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Morehouse College, Mr. Everett earned his J.D. from Duke University Law School.  At Duke, he held the honor of being named Earl Warren Legal Scholar.      

Mr. Everett resides in Alexandria, Virginia with his wife, Dr. Gwendolyn Harris Everett.  They have an adult son, Attorney Jason Gordon Everett, as well as a daughter-in-law, Heidi Jackson Everett, and two grandchildren.

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