Mercy Corps CEO to speak at commencement

Neal Keny-Guyer, CEO of international non-profit relief agency Mercy Corps, will deliver the keynote address at spring 2005 commencement proceedings, Portland State President Daniel Bernstine announced Friday.

Portland-based Mercy Corps has played a prominent role in helping victims of the Dec. 26 Asian tsunami disaster, assisting over 250,000 people left homeless or injured in India, Sri Lanka and Indonesia. The agency, founded in 1979, has over 2,000 staff and runs programs in 35 countries, with an annual operating budget of over $200 million.

Keny-Guyer, a Tennessee native, has been CEO since 1994.

After the tsunami disaster, several PSU students began a fundraising campaign to contribute to the relief efforts, which culminated with Portland State Interim Provost Michael Reardon presenting Mercy Corps with a check for $2,000 Feb. 9.

Mercy Corps also partnered with PSU over winter term to offer a series of lectures called "International Humanitarian Relief: Reports from Mercy Corps Staff," in which staff members shared their experiences with students every Wednesday.

Keny-Guyer follows such previous commencement speakers as last year’s civil rights activist Congressman John Lewis and Katie Harman, former Miss America, who spoke in 2003.

Spring commencement ceremonies will take place Saturday, June 11, at the Rose Garden Arena.