Microsoft executive to speak at Catawba’s May 14 graduation

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 5, 2016

SALISBURY – A 1971 Catawba alumnus who works as an executive with Microsoft will be the featured speaker at the college’s commencement exercises on Saturday, May 14 in Keppel Auditorium of the Robertson College-Community Center.

Daniel T. Bross, senior director in Microsoft’s business and corporate responsibility team and the executive director of the Microsoft Technology and Human Rights Center, will share remarks at a 10 a.m. ceremony for students graduating from Catawba’s traditional day program and at a 2 p.m. ceremony for students graduating from the School of Evening and Graduate Studies. Seating is limited for both exercises and those planning to attend will need a ticket to enter the 1,450-seat venue.

Bross, who earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from Catawba and his master’s degree in public administration from George Washington University, lives in New York City. He joined Microsoft in 1998, arriving with a background in public policy and government affairs both in the public and private sectors.

In his current roles at the corporation, he works closely with partners across Microsoft on issues related to human rights, supply chain management and corporate governance. He also leads efforts in the areas of stakeholder engagement, strategic third party relationship management and CSR reporting. In 2002, he led a cross-company virtual team that developed Microsoft’s global corporate responsibility program.

In addition to his corporate experience, Bross has management and program development experience in the nonprofit sector. During his tenure as executive director for the AIDS Action Council from 1990 to 1995, he chaired a national HIV/AIDS coalition of health and human service organizations and non-governmental organizations and served as an advisor to President Clinton’s domestic policy adviser on the structuring and staffing of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy.

A member of the Catawba board of trustees, the World Economic Forum’s Human Rights Global Agenda Council and the board of directors of the Global Business Coalition Against Trafficking, he is also co-chair of the conference board committee on corporate political spending and co-executive sponsor of Gay and Lesbian Employees at Microsoft.

Salisbury Mayor Karen Kirks Alexander will also participate in Catawba’s commencement exercises. She will bring greetings on behalf of the city of Salisbury at both exercises and will recognize Catawba’s 90th year in Salisbury since its relocation from Newton. Catawba began its 1925-1926 academic year on its current campus in Salisbury.

Several special awards will be presented during the ceremonies, including the Whitener Awards, the Barbara Andrews Award and the O.B. Michael Award. Additionally, three retiring faculty members, Dr. Lyn Boulter, Dr. Kurt Corriher and Dr. Charles McAllister, will be recognized.

Graduates and their families are invited to gather and visit over lemonade on the front lawn of the Robertson College-Community Center following each ceremony, weather permitting.

Baccalaureate Service

Graduating seniors from both the traditional day and the School of Evening and Graduate Studies programs will attend Catawba’s Baccalaureate Service at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 13 in the Omwake-Dearborn Chapel on campus. Tickets are not required.

The Rev. Dr. Edward Smith Davis, who serves as the conference minister for the Southern Conference of the United Church of Christ, will be the homilist for the baccalaureate service. He previously served as the interim associate conference minister of the Illinois Conference United Church of Christ with the oversight and care of 102 churches and 350 ordained clergy. He served as the senior pastor of St. Mark United Church of Christ, and also served as the Chicago Fire Department chaplain and a Chicago Police St. Jude chaplain.

Educationally, Davis holds two bachelor’s degrees in business and has earned an MBA in finance and economics from Roosevelt University in Chicago, Ill., and a master’s of divinity degree from Chicago Theological Seminary. He completed executive education in leadership from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University. He earned his doctor of ministry degree in “collaborative leadership” at the United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio, where he is an adjunct faculty adviser for the doctor of ministry department.

Following the baccalaureate service, members of the graduating class will process by candlelight, weather permitting, in the traditional Marshal’s Walk from the chapel to the front of the Shuford Science Building. There, they will gather as College Marshal David Pulliam and other student representatives share brief remarks. A reception in front of the Corriher-Linn-Black Library for the graduates and their families will conclude the evening. In the event of rain, the reception will be held in Peeler Crystal Lounge.

For a complete listing of graduation activities, visit the college website at .