Delgado Community College will confer degrees, diplomas and certificates to approximately 900 graduating students on Tuesday, December 13, at 10 a.m. during Fall 2016 Commencement Exercises in the Sen. Nat G. Kiefer UNO Lakefront Arena.
The new Delgado graduates include students from Delgado City Park, West Bank (Algiers), Charity School of Nursing, Northshore (Slidell), Jefferson (Metairie) and Sidney Collier.
Live video coverage of the event will be streamed online at DelgadoTelevision.com.
Harold Gaspard, dean of the Delgado Division of Allied Health, will preside over the Commencement Exercises. He will be joined in presenting the graduates and faculty by Elizabeth Shae Hope, president of the Delgado Faculty Senate.
Kristopher LaMorte, associate professor of theater, will announce the names of the graduates.
Also addressing those assembled at Delgado’s Commencement: Joan Y. Davis, chancellor of Delgado Community College; Woody Oge’, member, Louisiana Community and Technical College System (LCTCS) Board of Supervisors; and Ashton Ryan, chairman of the Delgado Foundation Board.
Deborah Augustine Elam, president of the GE Foundation and chief diversity officer at GE, will be the principal speaker. Elam works at the GE corporate headquarters in Fairfield, CT, where she leads the Foundation’s efforts to tackle some of the world’s most critical challenges across health, education, skills and more. She also drives efforts to embrace diversity and create an environment where all GE employees can thrive and contribute to the company’s success in the global economy.
Elam is a native of New Orleans and an alumna of Ursuline Academy. She received a B.A. degree in sociology at Louisiana State University and a Master of Public Administration degree at Southern University in Baton Rouge.
Elam’s professional story started over 26 years ago when she worked at GE as an intern while in graduate school. Upon graduation, she joined GE’s Human Resources Leadership Program and had assignments at GE Global Exchange Services and GE Transportation. Upon completion of the training program, she was promoted to successively larger human resources roles in GE Consulting Services, GE Capital Mortgage Corp., GE Capital Insurance Services and GE Capital Markets Services. In June 2000, Elam became managing director of human resources at GE Capital Commercial Finance, and was promoted to GE’s chief diversity officer in September 2002. In February 2006, GE’s Board of Directors appointed Elam an officer of the company, making her one of the most senior women in the company. In 2013, her leadership role was expanded and she was appointed president of GE Foundation in addition to continuing to lead the company’s diversity efforts.
Elam has leadership roles in GE’s African American Forum and the GE Women’s Network. She is a member of the Executive Leadership Council (ELC), an organization of the top African Americans in corporate America, and the National Black MBA Association.
Outside of work, Elam is on the Board of Advisors of Working Mother Media’s Multicultural Women’s Initiative and is a trustee at her alma mater, Ursuline Academy.
Elam has received numerous awards and has been featured several times, including appearing on the cover of The Network Journal Magazine, where she was named one of 25 influential black women in business (2005). She is a recipient of the prestigious EPIC (Enhancing Perceptions in Culture)award given by The White House Project; the Brava Award given by the YWCA of Greenwich, CT to women who are achievers at work and also give back in their communities; and a recipient of the Women of Power Award given by the National Urban League to influential women in the civil rights, government, entertainment, journalism, sports and corporate sectors. She was also awarded an honorary doctor of science degree from Clarkson University for her contributions in diversity and philanthropy.
Delgado Community College provides instruction online and at six locations in the New Orleans region, including Delgado Sidney Collier on Louisa Street—a brand-new, state-of-the-art facility offering transferable college credits as well as a variety of technical and workforce-oriented programs.
Deborah A. Elam