Heidelberg announces 2013 commencement speakers

Mar 6, 2013

Heidelberg University graduating seniors will have a rare opportunity to hear from a member of the famed Tuskegee Airmen when Lt. Col. Harold H. Brown, USAF (retired) delivers the commencement address on May 12.

The Board of Trustees approved the slate of speakers for undergraduate and graduate commencement and baccalaureate services during its meeting in late February.

Brown has a distinguished military career as a member of the Tuskegee Airmen, the first African American military aviators to serve in the U.S. armed forces. A Minneapolis native, he fell in love with flying as a young boy. Following military flight training, he became a single engine pilot and second lieutenant.

Brown joined the 332nd Fighter Group and completed 30 missions before being shot down and held as a POW in Germany during World War II. He returned home in June 1945 and remained on active duty for 23 years, serving in Japan and Korea (1950-53), the training command (1954-56) and finally, the Strategic Air Command until his retirement in 1965. As a command pilot, he flew in 20 different aircraft during his career.

Following his retirement from the military, Brown embarked upon a career in higher education. He received master’s and doctoral degrees and rose through the ranks at Columbus State Community College, serving as a faculty member, department chair and dean of the Engineering Division. He spent his last 12 years at CSCC as vice president of Academic Affairs, during which time the college’s enrollment grew from 67 to 13,000 students. Today, Brown serves as a part-time consultant for the State of Ohio Board of Career Colleges and Schools.

Giving remarks at graduate commencement on May 11 will be Dr. William Rayburn, co-founder, CEO and board chair of FNC Inc., a pioneering mortgage technology company whose clients include some of the largest mortgage lenders and industry-leading appraisal management companies. Prior to establishing FNC, Rayburn co-founded two other successful ventures, a residential real estate development company and a seminar and training company.

He also served on the University of Mississippi faculty for 12 years. He is active in philanthropy and on the speaker circuit.

Heidelberg will welcome the Rev. Dr. David Mark Greenhaw, president and professor of preaching and worship at Eden Theological Seminary as the baccalaureate speaker on May 12. An ordained minister of the UCC, Greenhaw has served congregations in New York, New Jersey, Tennessee and Missouri. Although busy with administrative matters, teaching and preaching remain his passions. He has taught courses in homiletics (the art of writing and preaching sermons) and liturgics, and has published extensively in those areas.