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Dr. William Perry to Speak at JFK University's 46th Commencement Ceremony

June 13, 2011

PLEASANT HILL, Calif. - Dr. William Perry will address the graduates of John F. Kennedy University, an affiliate of the National University System, at commencement exercises to take place at the Paramount Theater in Oakland on June 18. In recognition of his achievements and civic contributions, the Board of Trustees has unanimously approved the conferral of a Doctorate of Humane Letters upon Dr. Perry.

Dr. Perry was the 19th Secretary of Defense for the United States, serving from February 1994 to January 1997. He previously served as Deputy Secretary of Defense (1993-1994) and as Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (1977-1981). He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

He has received numerous awards including the Presidential Medal of Freedom (United States), Knight’s Commander Cross (Germany), and the Grand Officer de l’Ordre National du Merite (France). He has also received distinguished civilian awards from the governments of Albania, Bahrain, Hungary, Japan, Korea, Poland, Slovenia, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom.

Dr. Perry is currently involved in The Nuclear Tipping Point Project. In collaboration with former Secretary of State George Shultz, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, and former Senator Sam Nunn, the Project is dedicated to raising international awareness about nuclear threats and to help build support for the urgent and complex actions needed to reduce nuclear dangers.

Dr. Perry received a BS and MS from Stanford University and a PhD from Penn State, all in mathematics.

About John F. Kennedy University
Founded in 1964, John F. Kennedy University, an affiliate of the National University System, was among the first institutions of higher education in California committed to lifelong learning for adults. Today, the University’s three Colleges and Continuing Education division provide innovative higher education opportunities to more than 2,000 professionals who, despite a full range of life responsibilities, are determined to advance their education and improve their future. The Continuing Education division provides professional development education to more than 2,500 individuals per year. A pioneer of education that integrates theory and practice, John F. Kennedy University and its students touch the lives of more than 30,000 people in Bay Area communities every year through their support of outreach centers and public programs. For more information, visit

About the National University System
The National University System was established to meet the emerging challenges and demands of education in the 21st century. The System is uniquely aligned to connect a diverse population of students to a network of innovative educational programs that are relevant to their lives, careers, and the marketplace and are delivered in a format that respects competing life priorities. Dr. Jerry C. Lee has served as the System’s Chancellor since it was founded in 2001. In addition to John F. Kennedy University, the affiliates of the National University System are National University; National University International; the Division of Pre-College Programs consisting of National University Virtual High School and National University Academy; Spectrum Pacific Learning; and WestMed College. Entities related to the System include the National University System Institute for Policy Research, National University Golf Academy, and the Center for Integrative Health. For more information, visit: