R-MC announces 2016 Commencement speaker

Randolph-Macon College is proud to announce that its speaker for the 2016 Commencement is Haywood A. “HAP” Payne Jr. ’68.

“I am delighted to share this wonderful news,” President Lindgren said. “HAP Payne is a successful businessman, a steadfast community leader, and a dedicated alumnus whose meaningful connection to R-MC spans 50 years. We are honored that he will serve as Commencement speaker, and we look forward to having him share his insight and life lessons with our graduates and their families.”

In 1966, Payne became the first African-American student to attend Randolph-Macon, graduating in 1968 with a B.S. in Chemistry. He went on to earn an M.B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh and completed his post-graduate work at Carnegie-Mellon University’s Program for Senior Executive.

He has had an extensive career as a general manager of research services for Chevron Oil Research Co., general manager of technology support, and general manager and laboratory director for Chevron Petroleum Technology Co. Retiring in 2010 from Chevron Business and Real Estate Services, he now dedicates his life to community service.

Payne is a member of the Executive Leadership Council, the preeminent membership organization for the development of global black leaders, and serves on the boards of the National Eagle Leadership Forum, the American Symphony Society, the Orange County Pacific Symphony Orchestra (California), and other cultural and educational (STEM) organizations in Southern California.

His service extends to the Randolph-Macon College’s community through his membership on the Board of Trustees, where he served with distinction from 1988-2000 and then rejoined in 2011. He currently serves as Vice Chair. In addition, he served on Randolph-Macon’s Society of Alumni from 2008-2009, and is a member of Randolph-Macon’s Heritage Society and President’s Society. In 2011, Payne was awarded the Society of Alumni Distinguished Service Award.

The community at large is excited to welcome Payne in May.

“I think that it’s exciting that our school is inviting the first African-American student to attend Macon to be this year’s commencement speaker,” senior Dory Jackson said. “As a black student, I feel honored and proud. I can’t wait to hear him speak!”

Randolph-Macon College’s Commencement ceremony will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 28, 2016 at the Frank E. Brown Fountain Plaza on Henry Street. In the event of rain, Commencement will be held in the Randolph-Macon Brock Sports and Recreation Center, located at 400 N. Center Street.

-Erin Roberts ’16, Senior News Editor

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