Lawrence Sterrs, a former telecommunications executive, will be commencement speaker next month at the Thomas College graduation, and longtime president George Spann will receive an honorary degree, the college announced Wednesday.

The college’s 122nd commencement is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday, May 14, in the Harold Alfond Athletic Center.

Also receiving an honorary degree will be Kathie Leonard, CEO of textile maker Auburn Manufacturing and a former college trustee.

Sterrs, former chief executive officer of UniTek and subsidiary UniTel as well as a former board chairman and CEO of the Unity Foundation and other organizations, will receive an honorary degree of doctor of humane letters.

Sterrs is board chairman of both UniTek and UniTel, and he provides executive management and strategic planning functions for UniTek’s consolidated telecommunications operations, according to a Wednesday news release from Thomas College.

He is a board member and former president of the Telecommunications Association of Maine, and former executive vice president of the Telephone Association of New England. He was board chairman and CEO of the Unity Foundation, a public charity that provides strategic grant making, executive and board development assistance to nonprofit organizations. He is board chairman of Waterville Creates! and a board member of Camden National Corp. His other nonprofit board memberships have included Thomas College and Good Will-Hinckley.

Spann, who was college president from 1989 to 2012, also will receive an honorary degree of doctor of humane letters. While he was president of the college, it prospered under his leadership with enrollment and program growth, the release said.

In 1999, Thomas launched the Guaranteed Job Program, the first college in the nation to do so. In 2000 under his guidance, Thomas expanded academic programming beyond business offerings to what is now a full complement that includes elementary education, psychology, criminal justice and computer science, along with a number of new graduate and accelerated degree offerings.

Spann also “stabilized the school’s finances, doubled student enrollment, broadened and strengthened academic programming, oversaw a building boom, and grew the college’s endowment to $6.5 million,” the release said.

Leonard will receive an honorary degree of doctor of science in business administration.

She is a “leading developer, manufacturer, and marketer of textile products with hundreds of extreme temperature industrial applications throughout the world,” the release said. AMI, with plants in Auburn and Mechanic Falls, employs about 50 people.

Leonard was a Thomas trustee from 1996 to 2005, and in 2009 she was recognized as one of six Women to Watch by Mainebiz magazine.

Representing the Undergraduate Day Division at this year’s ceremony will be Hollie Kozlowski, of Bancroft, who will receive a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology, with a minor in cybersecurity.

Representing the Undergraduate Evening Division will be Nina Brickett, of Rome, who receive a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting, graduating magna cum laude. Brickett works in the Financial Services Office as Thomas College’s general ledger accountant.

Representing the Graduate Division will be Eric Brooks, originally from Columbia Falls and employed at Belgrade Central School. He will receive a Master of Science in educational leadership.

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