UNCG today announced that Cone Health CEO Terry Akin will deliver the keynote address at the university’s Dec. 8 Commencement ceremony at the Greensboro Coliseum. More than 1,500 students are expected to receive degrees at the ceremony.

Portrait of Terry Akin

Terry Akin

Akin assumed the role of chief executive officer of Cone Health on Oct. 1, 2014. He joined Cone Health in July 2009 as chief operating officer and was named president in April 2012. Prior to joining Cone Health, Akin held progressively responsible senior executive positions at Harris Methodist Fort Worth Hospital and Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas (both part of the Texas Health Resources system).

Akin earned an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania along with a master’s degree in social work from Penn. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Texas A&M University, College Station. Akin is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives. He was named to the Triad Business Journal’s “Most Admired CEO” list in 2016. Akin serves as chairman of both the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce and the Guilford County Development Alliance. In addition, he co-chairs the “Ready for School, Ready for Life” collaborative aimed at early childhood education and school preparedness. Akin is also a member of the North Carolina Hospital Association (NCHA) Board of Directors.

“We are honored to have Terry address our graduating class. As one of our region’s top leaders, he will offer practical, valuable advice to a new generation of young people preparing to enter the workforce,” said Chancellor Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr. “As our graduates advance to what is next in their lives, the idea of pursuing career achievement while also being mindful of key leadership lessons is vital, and I am confident Terry can deliver that message well.”

Added Akin, “I am thrilled to have been asked to address the UNCG graduating class because I know that so many of these outstanding students will stay in our region and become active, productive, important members of our community. My hope is to share some of my life and professional experiences with these students as they graduate and prepare to have a profound impact on our world. It should be a fantastic day and I look forward to the opportunity.”

Commencement speakers at UNCG date back to 1893, with then-Governor Elias Carr addressing the students. Since that time, the university has welcomed ambassadors, governors, authors, university presidents, professors, bishops, ministers and other notable speakers throughout its history.