Centenary University Announces Commencement Speaker
Vigon International President Stephen M. Somers will address the Class of 2019
Hackettstown, N.J., March 18, 2019—Stephen M. Somers, owner and president of Vigon International, will deliver the keynote address at Centenary University’s 144th commencement on Saturday, May 11, announced Rosalind Reichard, Ph.D., interim president of the University. Somers will be awarded an honorary doctor of humane letters at the event.
The ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. on the University’s Hackettstown campus. The Class of 2019 includes graduates from Centenary’s main campus in Hackettstown, as well as the School of Professional Studies in Parsippany and Edison.
Somers purchased Vigon International, which today is one of the flavor and fragrance industry’s fastest growing companies, in 1998. The firm recently earned a spot—for the third consecutive year—on the “Best and Brightest Companies to Work For” list compiled by the National Association for Business Resources. It has also been named seven times to the INC 5000 Fastest Growing Company List, and eight times as one of the Best Places to Work in Pennsylvania by Team Pennsylvania. In addition, Somers was selected as the 2016 E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year in manufacturing for the greater Philadelphia area.
“I am flattered by this recognition, and look forward to the opportunity to share some of the wisdom I have gained through my life’s journey with Centenary University’s Class of 2019,” said Somers, who has served on the University’s Board of Trustees. “As a longtime resident of Hackettstown and a philanthropic supporter of educational initiatives in the community, it is an honor to be part of the Centenary family and share in the University’s commitment to educating young people to fulfill their dreams.”
A part owner of the New York Yankees Triple A team, Somers and his wife, Sharon, are the lead donors of Centenary University’s new baseball complex, dubbed “Our Diamond of Dreams,” which is currently under construction. He holds a master’s degree in analytical chemistry from St. John’s University and a bachelor’s degree in organic chemistry from St. Joseph’s College.
ABOUT CENTENARY UNIVERSITY
Founded in 1867 by the Newark Conference of the United Methodist Church, Centenary University’s academic program integrates a solid liberal arts foundation with a strong career orientation. This mix provides an educational experience that prepares students to succeed in the increasingly global and interdependent world. The University’s main campus is located in Hackettstown, N.J., with its equestrian facility in Washington Township. The Centenary University School of Professional Studies offers degree programs at two locations, Parsippany and Edison, as well as online and at corporate sites throughout New Jersey.