The University of Southern Indiana’s Romain College of Business and Outreach and Engagement will hold Commencement exercises at noon Saturday, May 2, in the Physical Activities Center (PAC) on the USI campus. Dr. Mohammed Khayum, dean of the Romain College of Business, Dr. Mark Bernhard, associate provost for Outreach and Engagement, and faculty from both units will join members of the USI Board of Trustees, USI President Linda L. M. Bennett, and other officers of the University for the afternoon program.
The 2015 Commencement speaker for the Romain College of Business and Outreach and Engagement is Eric R. Williams ’89. He is the senior vice president and director of security at Old National Bank.
Williams has been a community advocate since his days at USI, where he graduated in 1989 with a bachelor’s degree in management. While a student, he served in various leadership roles, including president of the Student Government Association, as an AMIGO, on the Activities Programming Board, and as president of his fraternity, Sigma Tau Gamma. He also was appointed by then Indiana Governor Robert D. Orr to serve as the first student trustee for the newly created University of Southern Indiana. Also, as a student, Williams served on the USI Long-Range Planning Committee, influencing the future of the campus.
After graduation, Williams went on to graduate from the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy and began his 26-year career as a Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Officer. During his time on the department, he held every merit rank possible including appointments as Chief Deputy for eight years under former Sheriff Brad Ellsworth. In 2007, Williams was elected Sheriff of Vanderburgh County, serving for seven years before retiring and assuming his current role at Old National Bank.
His community efforts expand beyond the Sheriff’s Office. He continues to be involved with Youth Resources of Southwestern Indiana, the American Red Cross – Southern Indiana Chapter, Leadership Evansville, Albion Fellows Bacon Center, Marian Education Outreach, University of Southern Indiana Foundation and the Southern Indiana Higher Education Foundation. He spends a great deal of time volunteering with many non-profits in the Tri-state area.
Williams and his wife, Jude, have three children who live in Evansville. His daughter, McKenzie, and son-in-law, Matt Killian, have two children, Max and Kendal. His son, Evan, is a senior at Mater Dei, and son, Patrick, is a fourth-grader at St. James Catholic School.
He will receive the David L. Rice Alumni Achievement Award in recognition of his positive impact on the community. The award, a crystal soaring eagle representing the University mascot, personifies the vision held by USI’s first president, Dr. David L. Rice, of the potential of USI graduates.
A reception for the graduates and their friends and families will follow the ceremony and will be held in University Center East.
Three other colleges at USI will conduct ceremonies on Saturday, May 2 according to this schedule:
Live video of each ceremony will be streamed in University Center East Conference Center (Rooms 2217-2220). The ceremonies also may be viewed online here.
Photo Credit: USI Photography and Multimedia
Eric R. Williams ’89 is the 2015 Commencement speaker for the Romain College of Business and Outreach and Engagement on May 2.