Rhodes to Award Honorary Degree to Outgoing Board of Trustees Chair William J. Michaelcheck

William J. “Bill” Michaelcheck, a 1969 Rhodes alumnus and outgoing chairman of the Rhodes Board of Trustees, will receive an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree at the 168th Commencement of Rhodes College on Saturday, May 13.

Michaelcheck, who has served on the Board of Trustees since 1989, became the chairman in 2009 and the first Rhodes alumnus to serve in the position. During his tenure as chairman, the college grew in national prominence, extending its national footprint.  As board chair, he was a founding member of the Rhodes Common Table ensuring improved communication among trustees, students, faculty and staff.  This past year, he served as co-chair of the Search Committee for the 20th President of Rhodes.

“It has been a privilege to be a part of the Rhodes leadership team,” says Michaelcheck. “Over the years, I have become increasingly aware of the importance of the founding values of the college. We are in debt to those who set the course for us and to those who have stayed true to those values.” 

Born and raised in Tiptonville, TN, Michaelcheck majored in economics at Rhodes, and he received an MBA from Harvard Business School. He founded Mariner Investment Group, LLC in December 1992 and is a member of Mariner’s Management Committee and chairman of Mariner’s Investment Committee. Formerly, he was executive vice president of the Bear Stearns Companies; a partner at a U.S. government securities firm J.F. Eckstein & Co.; and a senior investment officer at the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank).

Dr.William E. Troutt, who also is retiring this year as Rhodes College president, will preside over commencement that begins at 9:30 a.m. in Fisher Memorial Garden (BCLC in the event of rain). Seating tickets are necessary, but the program will stream live from the Rhodes website (www.rhodes.edu).