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Brigadier General Robert L. Stephens, Jr. Will Serve as Bluefield State College's 2012 Commencement Speaker

  • Created
    Friday, February 24 2012
  • Created by
    Jim Nelson/Media Relations - (304) 327-4103 jnelson@bluefieldstate.edu

brigadier general robert stephens jr(Bluefield)--Brigadier General Robert L. Stephens, Jr. (US Army Retired) has accepted an invitation to serve as the keynote speaker at Bluefield State College's 2012 Commencement Exercises on May 12, 2012 at the Brushfork Armory. Degrees will be conferred to approximately 350 BSC students during the exercises.

General Stephens retired from the Army after more than 30 years. He was the recipient of the Army's highest award for meritorious service, the Distinguished Service Medal, the Department of Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit Award, Bronze star, and Purple Heart. His service also includes assignments with the Army General Staff and the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington.

Highlights of his military career include serving as a Special Forces "A Team" Commander in Latin America, commanding two companies during combat in the Republic of Vietnam, and commanding a one-of-a-kind forward deployed Separate Infantry Brigade in the Republic of Panama. General Stephens led the Army's first Joint Task Force to find and destroy drug laboratories in South America.

Upon his retirement from the Army in 1993, he was appointed to the position of Director of Personnel for the State of West Virginia. He currently serves as the Vice President for External Relations and Executive Assistant to the President at Clayton State University. He has been recognized on two occasions as a "Distinguished West Virginian," and he is a member and Past Chair of the Board of Directors of the West Virginia State University Foundation.

General Stephens was born in Welch, WV and is a graduate of West Virginia State University.

"Bluefield State College is grateful for General Stephens' willingness to serve as our commencement speaker," noted Dr. Thomas Blevins, BSC President. "In sharing the wisdom gleaned from his experiences in the military, in business, and in education, he will deliver a message that is both timely and inspirational for our graduates, their families, and the Bluefield State College community."