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University of Iowa News Release


Oct. 12, 2007

Diversity Executives in Residence Program launched, alumni give lecture Oct. 15

Visiting University of Iowa alumni executives Gregory Ellison Sr. and Brian Rollins will give a talk titled "Moving Forward by Using Lessons from the Past" from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 15, in Room S401 of the Pappajohn Business Building on the UI campus. Their talk is free and open to the public.

The UI Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity invited the two alumni executives to campus for the inaugural launch of the Diversity Executive in Residence Program Saturday, Oct. 13 through Tuesday, Oct. 16.

Designed to enrich the learning experiences of current students, the Diversity Executive in Resident Program offers students, faculty and staff the opportunity to interact with executives who have proven track records of excellence, who understand the domestic and global challenges of the 21st century, and who can address the strategic focus of higher education's role in preparing the future workforce.

Ellison, a 1973 graduate of the Henry B. Tippie College of Business, is a partner in Banks, Finley and White, the largest black-owned accounting firm in the southeastern region of the United States. He was recognized as an outstanding young black accountant in the early years of his career by the National Association of Black Accountants and is a past Southern Regional Vice President. He has held a governor's appointment to the Georgia State Board of Accountancy and has had accounting contracts with numerous well-known clients in the Atlanta area and for major events held in Georgia. In addition to his academic matriculation at Iowa, he was instrumental in the formation of many of the cultural activities which became a legacy here at the university.

Rollins, a 1974 graduate of the Henry B. Tippie College of Business, joined Shell Oil Company upon graduation and is retiring after 30 years of service, most recently serving as senior vice president in human resources.  Among his notable activities was negotiating the successful downsizing of several Shell locations and serving as an international negotiator as Shell expanded its holdings in Europe.  In addition to his academic involvement during his tenure at the UI, he was co-captain of the Hawkeye football team.

The Diversity Executive in Residence Program seeks to recognize successful UI graduates who have been able to combine academic preparation with real-world situations.  Selected executives in residence are distinguished and influential leaders in their professions who will share their insights about diversity, leadership, global workplace opportunities and the importance of ethics. Criteria for selection include the following: be UI graduates, demonstrate an outstanding career journey; be knowledgeable about their profession; and understand the importance of diversity and global competency.

During their time on campus, the executives will conduct seminars and lectures, talk with students about successful transitions into the workplace, and speak with faculty and staff about the changing needs and expectations in the workplace.  Targeted discussions will be held at events hosted by co-sponsoring organizations including The University of Iowa Alumni Association, the Department of Athletics, the Center for Diversity and Enrichment, the College of Engineering and the Henry B. Tippie College of Business.

For more information about the Diversity Executive in Residence Program, contact the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity at (319) 335-0705 or visit their Web site at

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACTS: Kathy Last, UI Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity, 319-335-0705,; Lois Gray, University News Services, 319-384-0077,