Samuel Allen, chairman and CEO of Deere & Co., will give the spring commencement address to the graduating class of St. Ambrose University-Davenport on May 11 at 1 p.m. at the TaxSlayer Center in Moline, Ill. Deere & Co. is the largest employer of St. Ambrose graduates, according to a news release.
Nearly 600 students — including 181 masters’ and 32 doctoral students — are candidates for graduation. Members of the graduating class come from 18 states and U.S. territories and 11 foreign countries. Among them are members of the first 30-student cohort in the Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) program. The OTD was introduced as the university’s third doctoral degree offering in the fall of 2016. The program received full accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education this past fall.
The university will also bestow on Allen an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree in recognition of his leadership in Deere’s role as a valued partner in advancing educational opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math, the news release stated.
Allen has been chairman and CEO of Deere since 2010, a senior officer since 2001 and an employee of the Quad Cities-based Fortune 150 company since 1975. He has been a leader in the growth of the Quad City-based company into a global enterprise. His work in Deere’s Worldwide Agricultural Division includes leading operations in Latin America, China and East Asia and Australia. He also helped John Deere Credit grow into a global operation.
From 2010 until this past spring, Allen chaired the Council on Competitiveness, a nonprofit national coalition of CEOs, university presidents, labor leaders and lab directors that shape policies and run programs to increase productivity and growth in the U.S. economy. He is chairman emeritus of the council.
“We say to our employees that our objective is to allow you to personally and professionally develop to your fullest at John Deere,” he noted. “St. Ambrose is a part of doing that, so it is vital in that respect.”
“I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that St. Ambrose’s role as a faith-oriented institution fits in with our ethics. We talk about how it’s not only what you accomplish here, but how you accomplish it. We want things done in an ethical way and that value system is steeped inside St. Ambrose University.”
Hooding, pinning ceremonies
May 10, 5 p.m. — Colleges of Arts and Sciences and Business graduate program hooding ceremony, Christ the King Chapel on campus.
May 10, 5 p.m. — College of Health and Human Services graduate hooding ceremony, Galvin Fine Arts Center.
May 10, 8 p.m. — Nursing graduate pinning ceremony, Galvin Fine Arts Center.
May 11, 9 a.m. — Commencement Mass, Christ the King Chapel.
May 11, 10-11:30 a.m., brunch for graduates, families and guests, Rogalski Center ballroom. Reservations required.
May 11 — Doors open at the TaxSlayer Center in Moline at 11 a.m. Commencement begins at 1 p.m.
For more information, visit sau.edu/commencement.