SU snares Sununu to be commencement speaker

Posted: April 23, 2013

Star staff report

John H. Sununu

WINCHESTER — Former White House Chief of Staff John H. Sununu will deliver the commencement address at Shenandoah University’s graduation ceremony on May 11.

He also will receive an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree during the event.

Sununu worked in the administration of President George H.W. Bush from Jan. 21, 1989, to March 1, 1992. He also served as counselor to the president. As chief of staff, he oversaw the daily operations of the White House and its staff.

Prior to his White House appointment, Sununu served three terms as governor of New Hampshire from 1983 to 1989.

“It is an honor to have Gov. Sununu serve as our speaker at Shenandoah’s commencement ceremony this year,” SU President Tracy Fitzsimmons said. “His extensive track record of service to his state and his country, as well as his experience in the private sector and in higher education, give him a diverse background and an interesting point of view from which to speak. I look forward to hearing the constructive and invaluable advice he will have for our graduates.”

SU is a private university with an enrollment of more than 4,000 students.

On Jan. 6, 1983, Sununu became the 75th governor of New Hampshire and assumed office with nearly 20 years of experience as an educator, engineer, small businessman and community leader.

From 1963 until his election as governor, he served as president of JHS Engineering Company and Thermal Research Inc. In addition, he helped establish and served as chief engineer for Astro Dynamics Inc. from 1960 until 1965.

From 1992 until 1998, he co-hosted CNN’s nightly “Crossfire” program, a news and public affairs discussion program. In 2004, Sununu co-chaired the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board, Nuclear Energy Task Force.

Sununu attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, and earned his doctorate there in 1966 in mechanical engineering. From 1968 until 1973, he was associate dean of the College of Engineering at Tufts University and associate professor of Mechanical Engineering.

Sununu served on the Advisory Board of the Technology and Policy Program at MIT from 1984 until 1989. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

Sununu is currently president of JHS Associates Ltd. (a private consulting firm formed to offer clients strategic business support, developmental and financial project support and assistance in raising capital) and a member of the board of trustees for the George Bush Presidential Library Foundation.

Shenandoah University’s commencement is scheduled for 1:45 p.m. May 11 at the Smith Library Plaza located on the main campus in Winchester. The rain date for the ceremony will be 10 a.m. May 12.

Visit for more details on SU’s 2013 commencement.