Robert Foglesong

HD Media

MOUNT GAY - Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College will conduct its 47th Commencement Ceremony at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 11, at the Fieldhouse in Williamson.

Guest speaker will be General Robert H. "Doc" Foglesong, a Williamson High School graduate. He is the president and executive director of the Appalachian Leadership and Education Foundation, a nonprofit he founded whose mission is to identify and enable financially challenged, motivated young men and women from Appalachia to attend college and prepare themselves for leadership roles in their communities and businesses.

He was appointed by the president of the United States as chairman of the U.S.-Russia Commission on MIA/POWs and continues to serve in that role. Foglesong is a retired general from the United States Air Force, having served in various jobs including the vice chief of staff of the Air Force, commander of United States Air Forces in Europe and assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. After retiring from the Air Force, he served as the president of Mississippi State University and as an independent director on numerous boards of directors across a variety of businesses.

Foglesong has a Ph.D. in chemical engineering, an M.S.Ch.E., and a B.S.Ch.E. from West Virginia University, as well as several honorary doctorates.

During Saturday's commencement ceremony, Southern will graduate about 200 students who have earned their one- or two-year degree or program certificate.

"I am incredibly proud of our students, and I am honored to be able to present them with the degree or certificate they have earned," said Southern President Dr. Robert Gunter. "This is the culmination of their hard work and dedication. Southern is committed to providing excellent education close to home, and our graduates are a testament to that."

For more information, contact Mandy Lester at 304-896-7429 or