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Spring commencement set for May 12
By David West

NATCHITOCHES - Northwestern State University will hold its Spring Commencement exercises Friday, May 12 in Prather Coliseum. More than 900 graduates are expected to receive degrees.

At 10 a.m., graduates from the Gallaspy Family College of Education and Human Development, the Louisiana Scholars’ College and the College of Arts and Sciences except for general studies will receive diplomas. At 3 p.m., graduates in general studies along with graduates from the College of Nursing and School of Allied Health and the College of Business and Technology will be recognized.

The commencement speaker will be Stewart Ewing, executive vice president and chief financial officer of CenturyLink. Ewing will receive an honorary doctorate during the morning ceremonies.

During the afternoon ceremony, a second diploma will be presented to members of the graduating class of 1967. Commissioned officers from the ROTC program will take their oath.

Ewing, a 1973 graduate of Northwestern State’s School of Business, is the longest-serving chief financial officer of all Fortune 500 companies in the nation. He joined CenturyLink in 1983 as vice president of finance, became vice president and controller in 1984 and senior vice president and chief financial officer in 1989.  Ewing was elevated to the position of executive vice president and chief financial officer in 1999.

Before joining Century Telephone, which later became CenturyLink, Ewing was associated for 10 years with KPMG, formerly Peat Marwick & Associates in Shreveport.  

Ewing has been instrumental in CenturyLink’s transformation from a regional exchange telephone company to a worldwide technology and telecommunications company.  He was at the forefront of CenturyLink’s acquisition strategy by negotiating all stages of purchase agreements from financing the acquisitions to regulatory issues to folding new companies into the corporate structure and philosophy.

Also a leader in ensuring that CenturyLink headquarters remained in Monroe, Ewing has helped guide the company to its position of total assets of more than $47 billion and total revenues of more than $18 billion.  The company employs more than 42,000 people worldwide, including 2,500 in Monroe.

The Monroe Chamber of Commerce has awarded its Kitty DeGree Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award in Business to Ewing for outstanding accomplishments as a business leader throughout his career.

He is married to Hillary Kagan, and they have three children and three grandchildren.