Cheyney University of Pennsylvania President Aaron A. Walton has announced today that Vice President of Economic Development and Dean of the Newton Campus at Georgia Piedmont Technical College (GPTC) and alumnus Dr. Irvin Clark will deliver the keynote address at Cheyney University’s 163rd Commencement convocation. The ceremony will be held on Saturday, May 12, at 11 a.m. on the University’s Historic Quadrangle.
“As a proud graduate of Cheyney University, it is truly an honor and blessing to be selected by President Walton as 2018 commencement speaker,” shared Dr. Clark. “Growing up in Philadelphia, many of my teachers and mentors were graduates of Cheyney University. Their influence, along with my experiences at the University as an undergraduate, made Cheyney not only my first choice, but the best choice for me. The opportunities and doors that have opened as a result of my education have been unlimited. I look forward to sharing words of wisdom and inspiration to the graduates as they prepare for the next phase in life as graduates and champions for Pennsylvania’s finest institution of higher education, Cheyney University.”
As a first generation college attendee, and graduate of two Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Dr. Clark is a true example of the impact that higher education can have on the trajectory of one’s life. The two-time graduate of Cheyney, holding a master’s of science in adult and continuing education (‘01) and a bachelor’s of arts degree in social relations (‘98), has developed an unwavering commitment to higher education access and success for underrepresented students, as demonstrated through his professional and philanthropic endeavors.
In his current role at Georgia Piedmont Technical College (GPTC), Dr. Clark is responsible for working with the business and industry community to ensure their workforce needs are addressed through the various academic and non-credit programs offered at the college. Since his arrival at GPTC in 2017, he has secured over $150,000 in philanthropic gifts from institutional partners to support the advancement of the institution’s academic programs in advanced manufacturing and STEM related disciplines.
Dr. Clark previously served as the Vice President and CEO at Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC – Harrisburg Campus). During his tenure, he provided educational experiences to more than 8,000 students in the Harrisburg metropolitan area; established campus-planning strategies resulting in a master plan for building and maintenance; increased the campus scholarship campaign by leading an $11 million campaign; and led efforts to increase enrollment and outreach with the neighboring counties.
Throughout the course of his career, Dr. Clark has also been successful in writing, managing and evaluating various federal, state and local grant programs, many of which are designed to develop, plan and carry-out services to support students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Additionally, he has worked as an adjunct faculty member for the Community College of Baltimore County and College of Southern Maryland to instruct courses in grant writing and college reading, success and study skills.
Dr. Clark, who earned his Doctorate of Education in Higher Education Administration from Morgan State University (‘05), is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. and currently serves on the boards of several national, state and regional organizations including, the American Association of Community Colleges, the Metro Regional Commission of Atlanta and the College and the Career Academy Board for Morgan County (Atlanta).
He is married to Dr. Kudiratu Clark, also a proud HBCU graduate (Clark Atlanta University, ‘01), and practicing physician (anesthesiologist) for a private physician group in Atlanta. They have two beautiful children, Theodore and Madison.
The public is invited to witness candidates receive their bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the nation’s first HBCU. For those that cannot attend the ceremony, the event will be live streamed on the University’s website. Additional details on graduation and related events can be found on the University’s commencement webpage.