J. Walter McDowell, Retired Wachovia Executive, Is Forsyth Tech 2014 Commencement Speaker

"J. Walter McDowell, retired Chief Executive Officer of Wachovia’s Carolinas Banking Group, will be the speaker at Forsyth Tech’s commencement exercises on Thursday, May 8. The ceremony will be held at 7 p.m. at Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Winston-Salem.

Currently, McDowell serves as Chairman of Business for Educational Success and Transformation in North Carolina—also known as BEST NC. This organization brings together 67 well-respected business leaders from across NC who are focused on moving public education, including community colleges, to higher levels. BEST NC exemplifies McDowell’s belief that stronger public education is critical to accelerating job growth and supporting the state’s continued economic development.

“Walter McDowell is a financial visionary whose life is a model of community service and volunteerism,” says Forsyth Tech President Dr. Gary Green.  “He is well-known for his principled leadership style, work ethic, and dedication to supporting the educational needs of North Carolina. His commitment to serving others inspires all who know him, and I believe he will inspire our graduates.”

McDowell is former Chairman of the Community Education Collaborative, a joint program of the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, the United Way, and 30 not-for-profit organizations that intervene with 4,000 at-risk students each year. He is also the former Chairman for the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce, and former general chairman for the 1997 United Way Campaign in Forsyth County.

He has provided community leadership to numerous institutions and businesses through his service on the board of directors of Wake Forest University Health Sciences, Piedmont Research Park, Winston-

Salem Business Inc., and the Governor’s Council for Fiscal Reform. McDowell is also a former board member for Salem College, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, Va., Global Transpark Foundation, North Carolina Citizens for Business and Industry, North Carolina Partnership for Education, and the Piedmont Triad Partnership.

He is currently a board member of Bassett Furniture Company, the Research Triangle Foundation, the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, the Winston-Salem Alliance and the Winston-Salem State University Foundation.

McDowell holds a B.S. in economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Approximately 1,000 Forsyth Tech students will earn associate’s degrees, certificates and diplomas that signify completion of their programs of study during the 2014 commencement exercises.

Forsyth Tech offers credit programs in Math, Science and Technologies; Business and Information Technologies; Engineering Technologies; Health Technologies; and Humanities and Social Sciences.

The graduation ceremony is open to the public at no charge, and there will be no charge for parking at the Coliseum."
A Press Release

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