Rand V. Araskog: Commencement Speaker

Article ID: 12750

Released: 19-May-1999 12:00 AM EDT

Source Newsroom: Gustavus Adolphus College

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ST. PETER, Minn. (May 17, 1999) - Rand V. Araskog, retired chair and chief executive of ITT Corporation, will deliver the commencement address at Gustavus Adolphus College at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 30 on the college's Hollingsworth Field. During commencement exercises, 554 students will receive bachelor of arts degrees. Following a tradition started in 1973, graduates will receive signed diplomas from the faculty department chair in their major.

Araskog, who graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, served as special assistant to the director of the U.S. Defense Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency (responsible for space research) in 1958-59. In that capacity, he was at Gustavus in Dec. 1958 when the college announced its plan to build the Alfred Nobel Hall of Science. Araskog's first position in the private sector was in the aeronautical division of Honeywell, Inc. In 1966 he joined ITT. As CEO, Araskog was the catalyst in the separation of ITT into three publicly traded companies in 1995. He is the author of The ITT Wars, published in 1989.

During the ceremony, Araskog's spouse Jessie M. Gustafson Araskog will receive an honorary doctorate from her alma mater. Jessie Gustafson Araskog received a degree in education from Gustavus in 1956. Throughout her life, she has been committed to education and service. She has worked as a librarian, elementary school teacher, HeadStart teacher, school board member, and parent board member, as well as serving as volunteer and advocate for The Boys Club, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Literacy Partners, Inc., Girl Scouts of America, and many other organizations.

In the event of rain, commencement will be moved indoors to Lund Center. For more information on the schedule of commencement events, contact the Office of Public Affairs at (507) 933-7550.

Gustavus Adolphus College is a private, four-year, liberal arts college affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Founded in 1862 by Swedish Lutheran immigrants, the college is named for Swedish King Gustav II Adolf. Gustavus hosts a local chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's oldest scholastic honor society, and is internationally recognized for its annual Nobel Conference. The college enrolls more than 2,400 full-time students who come from 42 states and 26 countries. Gustavus Adolphus College is fully accredited and is well known for its strong writing, science, music, and student community service programs.


Media note: Any journalist who would like additional information or who plans to attend commencement at Gustavus Adolphus College should contact News Director Stacia Senne in advance at (507) 933-7510 or ssenne@gustavus.edu.

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