Alcorn alumna Dr. Rukeyser S. Thompson to speak at Alcorn’s Fall 2016 Commencement

Global hair care leader and Alcorn State University alumna Dr. Rukeyser S. Thompson will deliver the keynote speech to graduates at the University’s first Fall Commencement Convocation Friday, Dec. 9 at 10 a.m. in the Davey L. Whitney HPER Complex.

Thompson has worked for Proctor & Gamble Company for 11 years. She is a section head in Hair Care Research and Development, Beauty and Grooming that leads the Consumers of African Ancestry program and super premium hair care brands. During her tenure, she has held product research assignments for Fekkai, Olay, Secret and Gain brand franchises.

In her Consumers of African Ancestry role, Thompson has led global hair care teams in Africa, Germany and North America that focus on gaining great technical depth into the needs of African Ancestry hair, the habits and practices of Consumers of African Ancestry women. She’s traveled extensively to partner with world-leading hair care experts to develop game changing hair care products of for African-American women. As a result of her team’s hard work, Procter & Gamble launched hair care products in Africa this fall.

In her Super Premium brands role, Thompson leads a global team that develop iconic hair care products for Vidal Sassoon in China, Hair Recipe in Japan and hair Food, a Target exclusive. She has also led Procter & Gamble’s Hair Care’s Global Connect and Development program to meet the ever-changing hair care needs of the world’s consumers.

Thompson, along with her husband Eric, is the owner of the Midwest Regional Insurance and Financial Services, LLC in Cincinnati, Ohio. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Alcorn and a doctorate degree from Purdue University.

Dr. Donzell Lee, provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs, thinks that Thompson is a great example of an Alcorn graduate. He feels that she will deliver valuable words of wisdom to this year’s graduates.

“Dr. Thompson serves as an excellent role model for Alcornites,” said Lee. “I remember her as a highly motivated undergraduate student who excelled as a young scholar. That self-motivation remained with her through her graduate work, and has been quite evident throughout her career. Not only has she become a leader in her field, but she is also a leader in her community. We are delighted that she has agreed to serve as our guest speaker.”