Gov. Hutchinson, Powell to deliver CBC commencement addresses

Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Dr. Brett Powell will deliver Central Baptist College’s commencement addresses on Saturday, May 7, in the Burgess Auditorium.  

The commencement for traditional students will be held at 2 p.m. with Hutchinson as the speaker. The Professional Adult College Education (PACE) graduation will be held at 10 a.m. with Dr. Brett Powell, director of the Arkansas Department of High Education, as the speaker.  

CBC President Terry Kimbrow said, “We are honored to have two key leaders who support higher education in Arkansas to serve as commencement speakers.” CBC will award degrees to 134 graduates, 68 in the traditional program and 66 in the PACE program.

Hutchinson was sworn in as the 46th Governor of Arkansas in January, and immediately set in motion his plan to bring more jobs and economic growth to his native state.

Hutchinson kept a major campaign promise by working to pass the biggest income tax rate cut in state history. His initiative to require computer-coding classes in every public high school makes Arkansas a national leader and signals to businesses everywhere that students will be prepared for the 21st century economy.

In addition, the governor’s emphasis on government efficiencies — including a hiring freeze instituted on his first day — have resulted in taxpayer savings and better focused state services.

As part of his strategy to market Arkansas and attract more jobs and businesses to the state, Hutchinson already has met with CEOs of major industries across the globe from Silicon Valley to Germany and Cuba.

Hutchinson and his wife Susan have been married 42 years. They have four children and five grandchildren.

Dr. Brett Powell will deliver a commencement address at Central Baptist College.

Powell’s primary responsibility is oversight of staff whose jobs are to carry out the policy directives of the AHECB and to develop funding recommendations for the state’s 11 public universities and 22 public two-year colleges as well as several other post-secondary entities. In addition, the agency is responsible for distributing approximately $170 million annually in state financial aid intended to ease the financial burden of students seeking a postsecondary education.

Before coming to ADHE, Powell served at Ouachita Baptist University from 2006 to 2015 as vice president for administrative services. He previously served as associate vice chancellor for finance at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and director of financial services at the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service.

In addition to his work at ADHE, Powell also is a member of the Governor’s Cabinet, vice chair of the Governor’s Workforce Cabinet and serves on several state boards and task forces. He also serves as a board member for the Arkansas 529 College Savings Plan and the Arkansas Coalition Against Sexual Assault.

Powell and his wife, Stacey, are the parents of a daughter, Chandler, who is studying Communication Science and Disorders at Ouachita Baptist University.