William H. Bender to provide keynote address at Commencement

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Posted: 04/12/2013

Bill BenderLa Plume, Pa.Commencement activities at Keystone College on Saturday, May 18 will take on an unusual twist as one of the members of the Class of 2013 will also be the keynote speaker.

William H. Bender, senior vice president of Wealth Management at Merrill Lynch in Scranton, will address graduates and their families at Keystone’s 142nd annual commencement at 2 p.m. on Bailey Field. Mr. Bender will also receive a bachelor of science degree in business as well.

Mr. Bender has been active at Keystone for several years. He served as a member of the Keystone College Board of Trustees from 2000-2008 and was chair of the board from 2008-2010. He attended the University of Scranton and the University of Pittsburgh and recently returned to Keystone to complete requirements needed for his degree. He holds a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) certification, a Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA) designation from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and is an Accredited Retirement Plan Consultant (ARPC).   

“May 18 will truly be a special day for me as both Keystone commencement speaker and as a Keystone graduate,” Mr. Bender said. “I’m looking forward to speaking from the heart to my fellow classmates and receiving my own degree as well,” Mr. Bender said.

A lifelong Scranton resident, Mr. Bender is founder of the Bender Wealth Management Group at Merrill Lynch on Lackawanna Avenue in Scranton. Other members of the firm include William Bender II, Melissa Bender Simrell, Dustin J. Bender, Maria Sordoni, Kathleen Buck, and April L. Novack.

In addition to Keystone College, Mr. Bender has served as chairman of the board of the Lackawanna Chapter of the American Red Cross. He is a former board member of St. Joseph’s Center, WVIA, and the Scranton Cultural Center. He has also served as president of Scranton Tomorrow.         

This year’s commencement is also special because it marks the final one for Keystone President Dr. Edward G. Boehm, Jr. Dr. Boehm is stepping down as president after 18 years, the longest presidential tenure in the history of the college. Dr. Boehm will become President Emeritus and will be succeeded on June 1 by David L. Coppola, Ph.D.  as 10th president of  Keystone College.

“We look forward to welcoming Bill Bender back to campus not only as a former board chair but also as member of the Class of 2013,” President Boehm said. “It will be an exciting day and an especially memorable one for me as I preside over my final Keystone commencement after 18 wonderful years as Keystone’s president.”    

Founded in 1868, Keystone College is a fully-accredited, independent, private college committed to proving education in the liberal arts tradition in an academic setting that fosters integrity, civility, and curiosity. Located on a 270-acre campus in La Plume, Keystone serves nearly 1,800 full-and part-time students and offers 32 associate and baccalaureate degrees and a variety of certificate programs.