Johnny C. Taylor Jr. to deliver keynote speech at Alcorn’s commencement

Lawyer, author and public speaker, Johnny C. Taylor Jr., will deliver the keynote speech to 594 graduates at Alcorn State University’s 2016 Commencement ceremonies Saturday, May 7 at 8:30 a.m. and the 1 p.m. celebration in the Davey L. Whitney HPER Complex.

Taylor serves as the president and CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), which is a national organization that represents the country’s 47 publicly supported Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Taylor also serves on the board of Gallup, a research based, global performance management consulting company, and the Board of Trustees of The Cooper Union, a privately funded college and one of the oldest institutions of higher learning dedicated to preparing students for careers in art, architecture and engineering located in New York City.

“Speaking at Alcorn will be a very special honor for me,” said Taylor. “In addition to the nearly $800,000 in scholarships and grants TMCF has awarded Alcorn and its students, we have recently launched a new initiative that allows current Alcorn STEM students to serve as mentors for middle school children in Vicksburg. I look forward to celebrating the special day with the Alcorn family.”

Prior to his presidency of TMCF in 2010, Taylor worked as a senior executive for IAC/InterActiveCorp. During his tenure, he served as senior vice president of Human Resources and president and CEO of one of IAC’s operating subsidiaries. Before joining IAC, Taylor was a partner in the McGuireWoods law firm; executive vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary for Compass Group USA; general counsel and senior vice president of Human Resources for Viacom’s Paramount Pictures Live Entertainment Group; and associate general counsel and vice president of Human Resources for Blockbuster Entertainment Group.

Taylor is the co-author of The Trouble with HR: An Insider’s Guide to Finding and Keeping the Best People. The book explores the latest thinking in employee relations, compensation and benefits, training, on boarding and development practices.

Taylor earned a Doctor of Jurisprudence with honors from the Drake Law School, where he served as a research editor of the Drake Law Review and argued on the National Moot Court Team. He earned a master’s degree with honors from Drake University. He earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Miami, where he was an Isaac Bashevis Singer Scholar and honors graduate.

Dr. Donzell Lee believes that Taylor’s speech will motivate Alcorn’s graduates to be successful contributors to society.

“Mr. Taylor is the ideal speaker for our commencement,” said Lee. “He joins a long line of very impressive figures to speak at commencement and we’re delighted to have him with us this year.”

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