Guest Speakers 


2011 Commencement Speaker
Al Sikes '61 
 
Al Sikes '61 Al Sikes divides his time between business consulting for the Hearst Corporation and Board work.  He chairs the Board of The Trinity Forum, which is a leadership academy that helps leaders engage the key issues of their personal and public lives in the context of faith.  Sikes founded the Reading Excellence and Discovery Foundation (READ) which uses a distinctive combination of personal and direct instruction in teaching at-risk children to read at grade level. Sikes, who chaired READ and remains on its Board, was recognized for this work by the Manhattan Institute in 2004 as one the nation’s foremost social entrepreneurs. 
     
Sikes’ work with the Hearst Corporation is a continuation of a relationship that began when he formed and led Hearst Interactive Media from 1993 through 2001.  Sikes’ career has spanned law, business and government. Prior to joining the federal government in 1986 he sold a broadcast company that he began in 1978.  
   
On the federal government level, Sikes held the post of Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in President George H. W. Bush’s administration. While at the FCC, he was instrumental in setting the stage for the birth of new satellite and cellular-based services and digital TV.
  
From 1986 to 1989 he served in President Reagan’s administration as the head of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration in the Commerce Department. Sikes played a leading role in telecommunications trade negotiations while directing a policy process to shape telecommunications development called Telecom 2000.
     
Sikes’ career began in his home state of Missouri where he served in State government as an Assistant Attorney General and later headed the Missouri Department of Consumer Affairs, Regulation and Licensing.  Sikes also serves as a member of the Boards of Academy Art Museum, YMCA on the Chesapeake and Mid-Shore RiverKeeper Conservancy.
   
  
2011 Baccalaureate Speaker 
Dr. Mike Williams '73 
    
Dr. Mike Williams '73 Dr. Mike Williams is the Founding Pastor of Joy Tabernacle in Houston, which in 1999 became the first African American church to relocate to the heart of Houston’s inner city for service and advocacy.  He has also served as Senior Pastor for Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Houston and East End Baptist Tabernacle Church in Bridgeport, CT.  He has preached in 37 of the 50 states, three continents and in the Middle East and founded HOPE for Houston, Inc., a non-profit agency committed to serving at-risk young people and their families.
  
In 1999, Williams was elected to the Board of Trustees for the Houston Community College System, the largest educational institution in the Gulf Coast region.  He is currently Chair of the Board of Trustees, a leadership position he also held in 2005.
   
His honors include induction into the Martin Luther King, Jr., Collegium of Preachers at Morehouse College and The “Big 15”—Houston’s Top African American Pastors, the Keeping the Dream Alive Award from the Martin Luther King, Jr., Parade Foundation,  Who’s Who in Black Houston and Who’s Who Among Black Americans.
   
In addition to his undergraduate degree from Westminster, Williams holds a Master of Divinity degree from Yale University and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Southern Methodist University.  He is also the recipient of two honorary degrees.  In 2010, he was a recipient of the Lifetime Alumni Achievement Award from Westminster College.
   
Williams is the author of numerous articles in professional and popular
periodicals as well as the author of three books.