White Delivers 2017 Shepherd University Commencement Speech
NEWS ADVISORY—Fred T. White, ABS Group Senior Director of Business Development, Government, was the baccalaureate commencement speaker for Shepherd University's 144th Commencement on Saturday, May 6, 2017, in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. A Coast Guard Academy 1982 graduate and recipient of a number of achievement awards from the US Coast Guard (USCG) and US Navy, White spoke to an audience of 743 graduates and was presented a Doctor of Business honorary degree by Shepherd University President Mary J.C. Hendrix.
Keeping his audience laughing, White shared stories of his dramatic, at times perilous, career as a veteran of the USCG. During his first work assignment, White helped confiscate 2 million pounds of stolen fish on behalf of the federal government and also experienced a heroic moment while overseas helping to save a Samoan family from a fire. He went on to serve the USCG in a variety of roles, including Commanding Officer of Coast Guard Cutters CAPE KNOX and WILLOW, Governmental Affairs Officer with the Congressional Affairs Office and Commanding Officer of the USCG Special Missions Training Center. White joined ABS Group in 2009, and his most recent projects for the Global Government division include chemical facility anti-terrorism support for the Department of Homeland Security, USCG maritime law enforcement training support and infrastructure protection for a country in the Middle East.
White's message to the graduating class was to maximize and appreciate the gift of life. "You were all put here on this Earth for a reason," White said, adding later that he predicts that all of the graduates "will save a life, change a life or bring life into this world, or some combination of the three."