Cary, NC – Cary Academy’s 2011 graduation of 103 students on May 22 will feature a very special speaker – Retired Army Gen. Hugh Shelton, former commander of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
General Shelton is a native North Carolinian and a graduate of North Carolina State University. He will be delivering the feature address at the graduation ceremony. The exercises will be held at 2 p.m. in the SEA Building on the Cary Academy campus.
For 38 years Shelton served his country in a variety of command and staff positions in the United States and Vietnam. Selected for promotion to brigadier general in 1988, Shelton served two years in the Operations Directorate of the Joint Staff.
After the Gulf War, he was promoted to major general and assumed command of the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg. In 1993 he was promoted to lieutenant general and assumed command of the 18th Airborne Corps. In March 1996 he was promoted to general and became commander in chief of the U.S. Special Operations Command. On Oct. 1, 1997, Shelton became the 14th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and served two two-year terms, retiring on Sept. 30, 2001.
In addition to his degree from State, Shelton holds a master’s degree from Auburn University, and has attended Harvard University, the Air Command and Staff College, and the National War College.
An ardent supporter of education, Shelton established the General H. Hugh Shelton Leadership Center at NCSU and serves as its Executive Director. The center’s mission is to “inspire, educate, and develop values-based leaders committed to personal integrity, professional ethics and selfless service.”
Those graduating chose to enroll in 45 different colleges and universities and were offered more than $4.5 million dollars in merit scholarships. The student speakers from the Class of 2011, selected for the ceremony by their own classmates, are Alisha Jarwala and Paul Vandergrift.