Photo of ODU commencement speaker Nancy KirkpatrickNancy Kirkpatrick
Photo of ODU commencement speaker John O. "Dubby" WynneJohn O. "Dubby" Wynne
Photo of ODU commencement speaker Alma J. PowellAlma J. Powell

At Old Dominion University's 120th commencement exercises on Friday, May 9, and Saturday, May 10, graduates will hear words of wisdom from prominent executives in the film and media industries, and a nationally recognized children's advocate.

More than 2,700 bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees will be awarded during three ceremonies at the Ted Constant Convocation Center.

At the May 9 ceremony, graduates of the College of Arts and Letters will hear an address by 1980 ODU graduate Nancy Kirkpatrick, president of worldwide marketing for Summit Entertainment, a Lionsgate company. The commencement begins at 4 p.m.

On May 10, at the 9 a.m. ceremony, John O. "Dubby" Wynne, retired president and chief executive officer of Landmark Communications Inc., will deliver commencement remarks to graduates of the Frank Batten College of Engineering and Technology, College of Health Sciences and College of Sciences. Wynne will also receive an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the university.

At the 2 p.m. ceremony on May 10, Alma J. Powell, chair of the board of directors for America's Promise Alliance, will speak to graduates of the Darden College of Education and College of Business and Public Administration. Both Powell and Sidney O. Dewberry, chairman emeritus and founder of the engineering and architecture firm Dewberry, will receive Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees at the ceremony.

Nancy Kirkpatrick has been responsible for marketing campaigns for blockbuster movies such as The Twilight Saga's "Ender's Game" and "The Hurt Locker," which won six 2009 Academy Awards, including Best Motion Picture. She conceptualizes, orchestrates and oversees the marketing campaigns for Summit's annual slate of theatrical releases, as well as the various life cycles for these properties in ancillary distribution platforms, such as home entertainment and video on demand.

Prior to joining Summit, Kirkpatrick spent nearly a decade as the executive vice president of worldwide publicity for Paramount's Motion Picture Group. While at Paramount, she marketed the studio's films and worked in corporate messaging. She oversaw worldwide publicity campaigns for some of the studio's most successful films and franchises, including the "Mission Impossible" films, "War of the Worlds," "The Longest Yard," "Save the Last Dance," "Mean Girls" and "The Hours."

Kirkpatrick began her career at Warner Bros. as an administrative assistant, ultimately rising to the post of senior vice president, domestic publicity. While at Warner Bros., she created and managed award-winning publicity campaigns for many of the film industry's most precedent-setting and commercially successful films, including "JFK," "Twister," "Batman," Stanley Kubrick's "Eyes Wide Shut" and "Space Jam." She was also responsible for conceptualizing and implementing her group's college internship program.

After leaving Landmark, which has interests in newspapers, broadcasting, cable programming and electronic publishing, John O. "Dubby" Wynne became chairman of the board of the Hampton Roads Community Foundation. He is a member of the board of trustees at Princeton University, as well as the school's annual giving chair. He is chairman of the advisory committee of the University of Virginia's Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy. Wynne is a founding member of the Hampton Roads Business Roundtable and serves as vice chairman on the state-appointed Council on Virginia's Future. He also is a member of the Executive Committee of the Virginia Business Higher Education Council.

Additionally, Wynne is a former rector of the Board of Visitors, University of Virginia; former chairman of the UVA Investment Management Co.; and former board member of the UVA Alumni Association. He served on the Governor's Commission on Higher Education Reform, Innovation and Investment and the Virginia Higher Education Advisory Council.

Wynne is former co-chairman of the Hampton Roads Partnership and former chairman of the Board of the Virginia Business Council. In 1997, he received the Vanguard Award for Programmers from the National Cable Television Association, and the Governor's Award from the National Academy of Cable Programming for "his leadership and insight in making The Weather Channel the preeminent provider of weather information, and one of the most innovative and popular networks on television."

In 2006, he received a first citizen award from the National Governor's Association for Distinguished Service to State Government for his work in creating and then helping to implement the Council on Virginia's Future, which focuses on developing a long-range strategy and performance management system for the commonwealth of Virginia.

Alma J. Powell is one of the nation's most longstanding advocates for children and youth. As chair of the board of directors for America's Promise Alliance, she is helping lead the 350-plus-partner network's efforts to improve the lives of young people by connecting more of them with the resources essential for success. She also helps guide its GradNation Campaign, an initiative to raise the nation's high school graduation rate to 90 percent by 2020.

Powell sits on the boards of several organizations, including vice chair of the board of directors' Committee of Community & Friends for the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the YouthBuild USA advisory board. She is also honorary chair of the DC Promise Neighborhood Initiative. DCPNI is one of 57 Promise Neighborhoods across the United States selected by the Department of Education to develop a cradle-to-career pipeline for children to ensure that they obtain a quality education and grow up to have successful careers and communities.

She served as a member of President Barack Obama's Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities from 2010-12 and was chairman of the National Council of the Best Friends Foundation from 1989 to 2000.

Sidney O. Dewberry has overseen the operations and growth of Dewberry, a full-service design firm in Fairfax, Va., since he co-founded it in 1956. As chairman emeritus and member of the board of directors, he continues to be involved in the day-to-day management, while also devoting much of his time to advancing the practice of the planning, engineering and surveying professions.

Long recognized for his commitment to professional leadership, Dewberry is a founding member and former chairman of the Engineers & Surveyors Institute. This breakthrough organization was established to foster increased collaboration and cooperation between private-sector engineers and local review agencies. The program is a model for government-industry partnerships and has contributed extensively to projects for public benefit.

For more information about ODU's 120th commencement ceremonies, visit the 2014 commencement Web page: www.odu.edu/commencement.