Northwestern State University will hold its Spring Commencement exercises Friday, May 11 in Prather Coliseum.
At 10 a.m., graduates from the Gallaspy Family College of Education and Human Development, the Louisiana Scholars’ College and the College of Arts and Sciences except for those in general studies will receive diplomas. At 3 p.m., graduates in general studies along with graduates from the College of Nursing and School of Allied Health and the College of Business and Technology will be recognized.
The commencement speaker will be Jim Clinton, president and CEO of the Central Louisiana Economic Development Alliance (CLEDA), an organization dedicated to creating more and better economic opportunities in the region. CLEDA focuses on business recruitment, retention and expansion; workforce development; entrepreneurial development and regional innovation.
Clinton, a writer, poet and non-profit executive, came to Alexandria in 2008, after serving as executive director of Southern Growth Policies Board, a 13-state alliance based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. During his time at Southern Growth, he was a lead author on publications such as “Invented Here,” “The Mercedes and the Magnolia,” “The New Architecture of Rural Prosperity,” “Innovation with a Southern Accent” and “Brave New South.” He previously served as president of the Louisiana Partnership for Technology and Innovation and president of Gulf South Research Institute.
In Louisiana state government, he was an assistant commissioner of administration and director of contractual review. Clinton managed the Louisiana Superdome during its transition from public to private management. He was a lead author of the plan that consolidated Louisiana’s more than 250 agencies into 20 principal departments. He served on five different Louisiana gubernatorial transition teams.
Clinton serves on the boards of directors of the Louisiana Policy Institute for Children and America’s Kitchen Table. He is president of the Regional Economic Alliance of Louisiana and a member of the Louisiana State University Press Advisory Board.
His book of verse, “What Is Fair,” was published by Louisiana State University Press and nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. His poetry, criticism and essays have been published regionally and nationally.