James, Shelton to receive honorary degrees at commencement

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Donna A. James, managing director of Lardon & Associates LLC., will be the keynote speaker for North Carolina A&T State University’s Annual Spring Commencement. The commencement will be held Saturday, May 8, at 8:30 a.m., at the Greensboro Coliseum.

The university will be graduating more than 1,000 students.

A 1979 graduate, James is a corporate director for many public companies including three Fortune 500 companies. She has over 25 years of diverse leadership and management experience at the highest corporate levels, where she has been a trusted resource and advisor for senior business leaders on issues related to governance, new business development, strategy, financial and risk management, and leadership development.

James serves on the board of directors for prestigious brands such as Coca-Cola Enterprises, Conseco Inc., Limitedbrands and Time Warner Cable. Prior to her current position, she retired as President of Nationwide Strategic Investments, a division of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. In her community, she is founder and chair of the Center for Healthy Families, a non-profit focused on transforming the lives of pregnant and parenting teens and their children.

In 2005 she was named by Black Enterprise Magazine as one of the top 75 in Corporate America, as well as being a 2007 inductee into the National Historically Black Colleges and Universities Hall of Fame and a 2008 inductee into the Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame in 2008.

James and Ralph K. Shelton, two alumni and national corporate leaders, will be awarded honorary degrees at North Carolina A&T State University ‘s annual spring commencement.

Shelton, is the founder and chairman of Southeast Fuels, Inc. Southeast Fuels, founded in 1984, is headquartered in Greensboro, N.C., and is one of the few minority-owned coal brokerage companies servicing the eastern region of the Unites States. He holds a bachelors of Science degree from N.C.A&T, in addition to degrees from Wake Forest Type University and the University of Virginia.

Several recognitions have been bestowed upon him, including the North Carolina A&T State University Distinguished Alumni Award (1998); the National Conference of Community and Justice Brotherhood Award (2004); and the Chamber of Commerce Thomas B. Osborne Distinguished Citizen Award (2009). He currently resides in Greensboro with wife, Christine Crutchfield Shelton.

A native of Washington, D.C., Donna is the wife of attorney Larry James. They reside in Columbus, Ohio and, are the proud parents of two adult children, Christopher and Justin. They have five grandchildren.

  • University Relations