Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives


Higher Education Leader Selected as Commencement Speaker at Southwestern University

avid L. Warren, president of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU), will be the featured speaker for Southwestern University’s commencement ceremonies to be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 10, at the Corbin J. Robertson Center

Warren became president of the NAICU in 1993, after nearly a decade as president of Ohio Wesleyan University. A tireless crusader for America’s private colleges, Warren is widely regarded as one of the most persuasive and influential voices for higher education within Washington, D.C. He has orchestrated and led cooperative efforts with the other major higher education associations and co-chaired the National Campus Voter Registration Project. He also has spearheaded the Student Aid Alliance, an ongoing campaign to expand student aid.

The recipient of 11 honorary degrees and numerous other academic and civic awards, Warren has been described as “one of the most gifted leaders and creative thinkers in all of American higher education” by American Council on Education President Stanley O. Ikenberry. He has been a leader in the national community service movement, as a member of the founding board of Campus Compact and a member of its executive committee since 1986. In addition, while president of Ohio Wesleyan, he served as chair of a state task force that addressed state government reform and was Governor Celeste’s appointee as chairman of the Ohio Ethics Commission for two years.

Warren earned his bachelor’s degree in English from Washington State University, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa. Washington State recognized his accomplishments in 1991 by awarding him the Alumni Achievement Award for Distinguished Leadership. He earned master’s degrees with honors in both divinity and urban studies from Yale University and a doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Michigan, where in 1998 he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the university’s Education Alumni Society. He also was a Fulbright Scholar in India and a Rockefeller Fellow at Yale.