St. Louis Architect to Speak at Commencement

Michael E. Kennedy, a St. Louis architect whose company has participated in such notable projects as the St. Louis Metro Link system, the Trans World Dome, the Kiel Center and the $20 million Millennium Center at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, will be the commencement speaker for William Woods University Saturday,
May 4.

William Woods will graduate 200 students during its 132nd spring commencement ceremony at 10 a.m. May 4 in Cutlip Auditorium of the McNutt Campus Center.

The commencement speaker, Kennedy, is the founder and president of Kennedy Associates Incorporated, a St. Louis firm of more than 130 people providing architecture, interior design, MEP engineering and construction services that include management, administration and program management.

Kennedy provides leadership and sets policy for the administration, design and production of all Kennedy projects. A native of St. Louis, he received a B.A. in sociology from Lincoln University in Pennsylvania and earned a master’s degree in architecture from Washington University in St. Louis. He worked as a project architect and manager for various firms before founding his own firm in 1979.

In 1994, he received the Howard B. Woods Award, presented to the best African-American entrepreneur in the St. Louis area. His firm has received numerous awards, including the Laclede Award from the St. Louis Business Journal as the Most Family-Friendly Workplace in 2000.

Active in civic affairs, Kennedy’s involvement has included the board of directors of St. Louis Metro Forum, the University City Planning Commission, the board of directors of the American Red Cross, the Danforth Leadership St. Louis Program, the Mayor’s Committee for Capital Improvements, the board of the directors of Downtown St. Louis, Inc., keystone district chairman for the St. Louis Area Council of Boy Scouts, the board of directors of the St. Louis Regional Commerce and Growth Association, the board of directors of the United Way of Greater St. Louis, the Planned Industry Council of St. Louis County, the Downtown St. Louis Partnership, Junior Achievement Board of Directors and Forest Park Community Hospital.

Following Kennedy’s commencement remarks, William Woods will grant 100 bachelor of science degrees, 15 bachelor of arts, six bachelor of fine arts, seven bachelor of social work, 31 master of business administration and 41 master of education.

With increased campus enrollment and the growth of the university’s Graduate & Adult Studies program, William Woods now holds three graduation ceremonies each year. The combined total of graduates since last May is 538.

Prior to commencement, William Woods will hold its traditional Ivy Chain Ceremony and hooding of graduate students at 9 a.m. around Senior Lake.