The National Virtual Initiation Ceremony (NVIC) will have a distinguished speaker for each ceremony in spring 2021. The current list of confirmed speakers and the ceremony date at which they will speak is below.
Maurice A. Jones (Hampden-Sydney College, 1984) – March 25
Maurice Jones is new chief executive officer of OneTen and the former president of Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). OneTen is devoted to creating one million jobs for black individuals in the next ten years. Jones previously served as the deputy undersecretary in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development from 2012-14. He also held positions in the U.S. Treasury Department. Jones was a Rhodes Scholar and went on to earn a law degree from the University of Virginia.
Valerie B. Ackerman (University of Virginia, 1979) – April 15
Val Ackerman is the current commissioner of the Big East Conference. She was the first president of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WBNA), a position she held from 1996-2005. Ackerman was the first woman to receive a full athletics scholarship at UVA. She was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011. Ackerman earned a law degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, and was profiled in The Circle in the Fall 2014 issue.
Rick A. Bright (Auburn University Montgomery, 1996) – April 29
Rick Bright is an immunologist and public health expert. From 2016-20, he was the director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Bright, who was the AUM Circle Leader of the Year in 1997, is a member of President Joseph R. Biden’s (University of Delaware, 1981) coronavirus task force. He earned his doctorate from Emory University and was recently featured as an expert on COVID-19 in The Circle.
Monica J. Pearson (Emory University, 1995) – May 13
Monica Pearson has had a long and distinguished career in broadcasting. After completing her undergraduate degree at the University of Louisville, Pearson relocated to Atlanta. She spent 37 years as an anchor with WSB-TV. Pearson has 33 local and regional Emmys. She has lectured at numerous colleges and universities and continues to host a weekly radio show. Pearson is a 2018 recipient of the Omicron Delta Kappa Pillars of Leadership Award in Communications.
Kelly N. Evans (Washington and Lee University, 2007) – May 27
Kelly Evans is a distinguished journalist and the co-host of CNBC’s Power Lunch. She is also the anchor of The Exchange on the same network. Previously, Evans was the anchor of CNBC’s Closing Bell. Prior to her time at the network, she was a reporter for the Wall Street Journal. Evans has spoken at the Aspen Ideas Festival and is a noted business expert who is regularly interviewed on other television and radio shows. She is a summa cum laude graduate of W&L.