Waynesburg University’s annual Baccalaureate and Commencement exercises will be held Sunday, May 1, on the campus of Waynesburg University. The celebration will honor approximately 520 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students.
The Rev. Dr. Richard Edgar Visser will serve as the Baccalaureate speaker, and D. Raja will address the Class of 2016 as the Commencement speaker.
Baccalaureate services will be held in Roberts Chapel at 11 a.m., and Commencement will be held on the front lawn of Miller Hall at 2 p.m. In case of inclement weather, the Commencement ceremony will be held in Rudy Marisa Fieldhouse.
Families are encouraged to arrive early, as the Commencement processional begins approximately 20 minutes prior to the ceremony.
Both Raja and Visser will be honored during the Commencement Ceremony with honorary degrees, Doctors of Humane Letters, for the ways in which their lives and personal missions relate to the mission of Waynesburg University.
Rev. Dr. Richard Edgar Visser
Visser was ordained at the First Baptist Church in Georgetown, Massachusetts in 1962.
He has been the minister for several churches in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, New Hampshire and Maine, serving at the First Baptist Church in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, until his retirement in 2003.
Since then, Visser has been in co-ministry with his wife, Rev. Carol Edwards Visser, at various churches in Pennsylvania and Maine. He is currently the resource minister, along with Carol, for the York Baptist Association and a member of the council of the American Baptist Churches of Maine (ABCOM) Institute for Ministry.
His esteemed career has led him to receive numerous awards, including the Excellence in Ministry Award from the American Baptist Churches of Pennsylvania and Delaware (ABCOPAD). Together, he and Carol were recipients of the Alderson Broaddus College Apollo Award, Gordon College Jack Good Community Service Award, Brunswick (Maine) Downtown Association Volunteers of the Year award and Greater Waynesburg Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Community Service Award.
Visser was involved with the ABCOPAD for fourteen years, as a board member and board president, in addition to being a local ministerial president and association moderator. He also served on board for the Washington Health System Greene (then Greene County Memorial Hospital), the Greene County Department of Human Services, the American Red Cross and the Community Foundation of Greene County.
Visser made a lasting impact in Greene County through his involvement with the American Baptist Church Leadership Institute (CLI) of Western Pennsylvania, of which he was the co-founder and chairmen for ten years.
He completed two degrees at Gordon College, along with two master’s degrees at Gordon Divinity School and a Doctor of Ministry at Asbury Theological Seminary.
In 1992, Raja launched his own consulting and project management practice, a venture that was to become Computer Enterprises, Inc., a Pittsburgh-based computer software company. He currently serves as its Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board.
Raja is past president of the Mt. Lebanon Commission, past president of TiE Pittsburgh's business mentoring roundtable, founding chair of the University of Pittsburgh Computer Science Industry Board, judge for Carnegie Science Awards for Entrepreneur categories and judge for Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards.
In addition to his entrepreneurial efforts in Pittsburgh, Raja is a constant presence in Pittsburgh politics and communication. He hosts a business- and finance-focused radio show, “The Raja Show,” on KDKA.
For his commitment to the profession and socially responsible corporate leadership, Raja was the recipient of the 2007 Smart Business Pacesetters Award for Chief Executive Officer Excellence. Raja was also recognized as Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year in 2008 and the Entrepreneur of the Year by the Carnegie Science Center in 2009. He also received the Diamond Award for the Region’s Leading CEOs and Presidents for large business in 2008 from Pittsburgh Business Times.
Raja holds a master's degree in computer science from the University of Pittsburgh and an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Anna University, India.
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Ashley Wise, Assistant Director of University Relations
724.852.7675 or email@example.com