Alan F. Schultz, chairman, president and CEO of Valassis, and Christopher Ilitch, president and CEO of Ilitch Holdings, Inc., will speak at UM-Dearborn's commencement ceremonies on Dec. 20

November 23, 2009

Schultz (left) and Ilitch

DEARBORN / Nov. 23, 2009---The University of Michigan-Dearborn will graduate a total of 475 students at two commencement ceremonies on Sunday, Dec. 20 in the campus's Fieldhouse.    

Alan F. Schultz, chairman, president and CEO of Valassis, will be the keynote speaker at the morning ceremony, which begins at 10:30 a.m., for graduates of the campusís College of Business and College of Engineering and Computer Science. Christopher Ilitch, president and CEO of Ilitch Holdings, Inc., will speak at the afternoon ceremony (beginning at 2:30 p.m.), for graduates of the School of Education and College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters.    

Other speakers will include UM-Dearborn Chancellor Daniel Little; Kate Davy, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at UM-Dearborn; Stanley Henderson, vice chancellor for enrollment management and student life; Aaron Ahuvia, professor of management studies at UM-Dearborn; Maureen Linker, associate professor of philosophy at UM-Dearborn; students Christopher Morin and Rita Najor; and alumnus Joe LaRussa.

Alan F. Schultz Biography    

A certified public accountant, Schultz graduated with distinction from UM-Dearborn in 1981.  He has served as a director of Valassis since December 1995, was elected CEO and president in June 1998, and appointed chairman of the board of directors in 1998.  Prior to these appointments, he served as executive vice president and chief operating officer from 1996 to 1998 and held numerous leadership positions in sales, marketing, operations and finance with the company.  Schultz joined Valassis from Deloitte and Touche in 1984.   

Under Schultzís leadership, Valassis increased its revenue from $762 million in 1998 to more than $2.4 billion in 2008.  In 2007, Schultz led the company through a $1.2 billion acquisition and integration of ADVO, Inc., the nationís leading direct mail media company.   The company is a respected leader within the marketing services industry and is well known for its RedPlum media portfolio and innovative promotional media properties. Valassis has 7,000 employees in 28 states and eight countries.   

Schultz serves on the board of directors of R.H. Donnelly and is regarded as an industry pioneer in building convergence among the promotion and advertising industries.  He has served on the board of directors for the Ad Council and the American Advertising Federation.

Christopher Ilitch Biography   

As president and CEO of Ilitch Holdings, Inc., Ilitch directs the company that provides professional services to the businesses owned by Michael and/or Marian Ilitch, including Little Caesar Enterprises, Blue Line Foodservice Distribution, Detroit Red Wings, Detroit Tigers, Champion Foods, Olympia Entertainment, Olympia Development, Uptown Entertainment, and the Little Caesars Pizza Kit Fundraising Program.       

Since taking on the role of president at Ilitch Holdings, total combined revenue for the Ilitch companies has grown 150 percent from $800 million in 2000, to $2.0 billion in 2008.    

Ilitch graduated from U-M in 1987 with a bachelorís degree in business administration.  Active in civic and community organizations, Ilitch is chairman of Ilitch Charities and is on the board of directors of the Detroit Economic Club.  He serves as chairman of the Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau board of directors and is a board member and a member of the executive committee for the Detroit Regional Chamber and Detroit Renaissance.  He is also a member of the Detroit chapter of the Young Presidentsí Organization.   

In addition, Ilitch served as chairman of the hospitality committee for the 2009 NCAA Final Four Menís Basketball Tournament.  He was also a guiding force behind the successful 2005 Major League Baseball All-Star event in Detroit and was a member of the Super Bowl XL host committee.


The University of Michigan-Dearborn does not necessarily endorse speakersí views.

About University of Michigan-Dearborn
The University of Michigan-Dearborn is celebrating its 50th anniversary throughout the 2009/2010 academic year. Founded in 1959 with a gift of just over 200 acres of land and $6.5 million from the Ford Motor Company, UM-Dearborn has been distinguished by its commitment to providing excellent educational opportunities responsive to the needs of southeastern Michigan. The university has 8,700 students pursuing undergraduate, masterís, doctoral and professional degrees in the liberal arts and sciences, engineering, business, education, and public administration. With a faculty devoted to teaching, and students committed to achievement, UM-Dearborn has been shaped by its history of interaction with business, government and industry in southeastern Michigan, and is committed to responding to the needs of the region in the future.


CONTACT: Jennifer Thelen
PHONE: 313-593-5644
The Office of University Relations
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University of Michigan-Dearborn