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Commencement Speaker

Peter Pace

Gen. Peter Pace, USMC (Ret.)

Gen. Peter Pace served as the 16th chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In this capacity, he was the principal military advisor to the president, the secretary of defense, the National Security Council, and the Homeland Security Council. Prior to becoming chairman in 2005, he served as vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Pace is the first Marine to hold either of these positions.

He retired from active duty in 2007, after more than 40 years of service in the U.S. Marine Corps. During his distinguished career, Pace held command at virtually every level, beginning as a Rifle Platoon Leader in Vietnam. He also served in Europe, Japan, Thailand, South Korea and Somalia.

Pace was commissioned in June 1967, following graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy. He holds a master's degree in business administration from George Washington University, attended the Harvard University Senior Executives in National and International Security program, and graduated from the National War College.

In June 2008, Pace was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor a President can bestow.

He is a member of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Senior Advisory Group, and has served on the President's Intelligence Advisory Board and on the Secretary of Defense's Defense Policy Board. Pace was leader-in-residence and the Poling Chair of Business and Government for the Kelley School of Business, Indiana University. He is a distinguished visiting research scholar at Fordham University and an adjunct faculty member at Georgetown University.

Pace is associated with a number of charities focused on supporting the troops and their families. He is chairman of the board for Wall Street Warfighters Foundation, a member of the board of directors for the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation, and on the advisory board for Snowball Express. He and his wife are on the advisory board for Our Military Kids, an organization that supports children of deployed Guard and Reserve personnel with tutoring and enrichment activities.