BETHANY, W.Va. – Bethany College graduate Robert McCann, Chief Executive Officer of UBS Wealth Management Americas and Member of the Group Executive Board UBS AG, gave the address at Bethany’s Fall Convocation ceremony September 9 in Commencement Hall. McCann was also conferred an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters by Dr. Scott D. Miller, President of the College.
Throughout his address, “Cradle of Leaders,” McCann emphasized the value of a Bethany College education. “I am incredibly fortunate to have had access and continued access to greater education,” he stated. “Bethany prepared me for a global journey that continues and brings me back to this college today and to this stage.”
Relating the importance of the professors and Bethanians who influenced his personal and professional success, McCann noted, “Bethany College is special because Bethanians are special. That was true for the class of 1980 and will be true and is true for the classes of 2011 and 2014.”
McCann’s post at UBS Wealth Management Americas involves the oversight of approximately 8,000 financial advisors across the U.S., Puerto Rico and Canada. Before joining UBS, McCann worked for Merrill Lynch & Company for 26 years, most recently as vice chairman and president of the Global Wealth Management Group.
After receiving his undergraduate degree in economics from Bethany in 1980, McCann went on to earn his M.B.A. from the Neeley School of Business of Texas Christian University (TCU). He completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.
McCann serves as vice chair and treasurer of Bethany’s Board of Trustees and is a director of the American Ireland Fund. He was also appointed chairman of the U.S. – NI Mentorship Program Steering Committee in the U.S. In addition, he works as a member of the Advisory Board of No Greater Sacrifice, an organization committed to supporting the educational needs of the families of service members who have fallen in the line of duty or been seriously wounded while providing service in the global war on terror.
McCann’s experience with TCU’s Educational Investment Fund inspired him to establish the McCann Family Student Investment Fund at Bethany. The fund is the first of its kind in West Virginia and one of only a handful in small colleges across the nation.
“A successful life is not defined by the title on your business card. It is measured by the impact you have on the lives that you touch,” McCann continued. “The world needs you — be confident. Bethany College has prepared you to live a rich and a successful life.”
McCann concluded, “The only thing small about your education is the size of the town your college is located in. You’re being educated big-time to be world-class.”
The Fall Convocation is an annual tradition at Bethany, welcoming students back to campus and bringing the entire College community together to celebrate the start of a new academic year. In addition to the main speaker, the College also recognizes high academic achievement from the spring semester.
Dean of Students Elizabeth de Jong announced the recipients of the Anna Ruth Bourne Award, the W. Kirk Woolery Award and the Richard B. Kenney Freshman Leadership Award.
The Anna Ruth Bourne Award is given each semester to the women's social group maintaining the highest scholastic standing. This semester’s award went to Phi Mu. This semester’s W. Kirk Woolery Award, given to the men's social group maintaining the highest scholastic standing, was presented to Beta Theta Pi.
The Richard B. Kenney Freshman Leadership Award went to sophomore Johnathan Foster, a psychology major from Cumberland, Md. It is given annually to a student who has demonstrated outstanding scholarship, leadership and character at Bethany.
Foster earned a 4.0 GPA while serving as a member of Bethany’s football team last year. Earning accolades from the teaching and training staff, he finished his freshman year as the second-leading receiver on the team and the only freshman to achieve the highest level of recognition in the offseason training program. Foster is also known for his participation in a variety of community service projects.
Bethany College is a small college of national distinction located on a picturesque and historic 1,300-acre campus. Founded in 1840, Bethany is the oldest college in West Virginia.