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UMW commencement speakers announced


Shawn Boyer, left, and Neil Howe will give commencement addresses at UMW.

The founder of will give the graduate commencement address for the University of Mary Washington in May. A historian and best-selling author will give the undergraduate commencement speech.

Shawn Boyer, founder and chief executive officer of, will deliver the graduate address on May 11 at 7:30 p.m. in the William M. Anderson Center; and historian, economist and best-selling author Neil Howe will be guest speaker at the undergraduate commencement ceremony on May 11, beginning at 9 a.m. on Ball Circle.

Boyer founded, the nation’s largest online community of hourly workers with more than 28 million members, in 1999. Headquartered in Richmond, Va., has been named one of the 10 Best Small Companies to Work for in America by the Society for Human Resource Management and the Great Place to Work Institute.

In 2008, President George W. Bush recognized Boyer as the National Small Business Person of the Year, a distinction given by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Boyer, author of “Help Wanted & Help Found: The Insiders’ Guide to Recruiting & Hiring Hourly Workers,” was named Virginia’s Business Person of the Year in 2009. His insights on the hourly workforce have appeared in media such as The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Good Morning America and CNN, as well as daily newspapers throughout the nation.

Howe, a founding partner of LifeCourse Associates consulting firm, has spoken and written extensively on the collective personalities of today’s generations. A recognized authority on global aging, long-term fiscal policy and migration, he is senior advisor to the Concord Coalition and senior associate to the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.

Howe has coauthored best-selling books about generations with historian William Strauss, including “Generations,” “13th Gen,” “The Fourth Turning” and “Millennials Rising,” which are used widely by businesses, colleges, government agencies and political leaders. Howe and Strauss originally coined the term “Millennial Generation” and their work “13th Gen” remains the best-selling nonfiction book ever written about Generation X.

Howe’s articles have appeared in The Atlantic, The Washington Post, The New York Times, American Demographics, USA Weekend and other national publications. He has drafted several Social Security reform plans and testified on entitlements numerous times before Congress. In addition, Howe has written extensively about budget policy and aging and on attitudes toward economic growth, social progress and stewardship. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and graduate degrees in economics from Yale University.