Monday, April 28, 2014

Walgreens exec, alum is UIS commencement speaker

A top Walgreens executive and University of Illinois Springfield alum will be the speaker at the university’s commencement exercises on May 17.

Donovan Pepper, national director of local government relations for Walgreens, will address the 732 students participating in the ceremony. A total of 1,311 students are eligible to graduate.

Pepper is responsible for local legislative and lobbying efforts for the Deerfield-based drugstore chain at the municipal and county levels in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

He earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in political studies from UIS. As a student leader in the early 1990s, he was so highly regarded as Student Government Association president that his peers renamed the student leadership award after him while he was still a student. For the past 20 years, the SGA leader who demonstrates the most outstanding leadership earns the Donovan Pepper Award.

Springfield business leader Evelyn Brandt Thomas will be awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree at the ceremony. She is the co-owner of BRANDT, a multimillion-dollar international agriculture company based in Springfield.

At age 90, Brandt Thomas continues to have an active role in the business, going to work nearly every day.

The story was featured by The State Journal-Register on April 28, 2014.

Read the story online