Fortune 500 Partner, CEO to Deliver Webster University 2016 Commencement Address

Mar. 28, 2016

Fortune 500 Partner, CEO to Deliver Webster University 2016 Commencement Address
Jim Weddle, a partner and CEO at Edward Jones, will be the 2016 Commencement speaker.

ST. LOUIS – Jim Weddle, a managing partner and CEO of Edward Jones, a global Fortune 500 firm based in St. Louis with more than 11,500 branch office locations in the United States and Canada, will serve as this year’s Webster University Commencement Speaker. He will address nearly 1,000 graduates and their guests during Webster’s 97th annual Commencement Ceremony at St. Louis’ historic Muny at Forest Park outdoor amphitheater on May 7, 2016.

Weddle, a former member of Webster University’s Board of Trustees and the parent of two Webster alumni, will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Business Administration for his lifetime achievements and contributions to the community and leadership in the financial services industry. Weddle, who started working at Edward Jones in 1976 as a part-time intern, contributed to the firm’s tremendous growth and rose to the firm’s highest leadership role – that of managing partner - in 2006. Today, Edward Jones has more than 7 million customers, more than 14,500 financial advisors and is one of the largest financial firms in the country.

“Jim Weddle is a visionary leader whose energy and ideas helped transform Edward Jones into one of the most recognizable names in the finance industry today,” said Elizabeth (Beth) J. Stroble, president of Webster University. “He understands the importance of investing in employees and in the communities they live in, and he is a man of principled action on both fronts.  Our university has benefited tremendously from his generous commitment of time, his and Jones’ philanthropy, and sage advice and wise counsel during his leadership as a Webster trustee who cared greatly about Webster’s mission and values.  I look forward to his message and this opportunity to honor his distinguished career.” 

“Under Jim’s leadership, Edward Jones has emphasized their core values and invested in team building and employee engagement,” said Julian Z. Schuster, the provost, chief operating officer and senior vice president for Webster University. “As a result, Edward Jones has had steady growth over the years, and has been recognized multiple times by Fortune Magazine as one of the best companies to work for.”

A native of Illinois, Weddle attended colleges in Indiana and Missouri, earning his bachelor’s and MBA. He also graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School's Securities Industry Institute in 1988. 

He has spent his entire career at Edward Jones, and was hired in 1976 as a part-time intern in the firm’s Research department while finishing his MBA. After graduating, he was named a financial advisor in Connersville, Indiana where he oversaw the opening of Edward Jones’ 200th branch. In 1984, he moved to St. Louis where he assumed a series of responsibilities in Training, Marketing, and Branch Administration. In 1988 he became a member of the Edward Jones’ Management Committee, and in 2006 he became the fifth partner in the firm’s history.

Weddle is a current executive committee member for the United Way of Greater St. Louis; a member of the Barnes Jewish Hospital Board and BJC Health Care Board; and a member of the Financial Industry Regulating Authority (FINRA) Board of Directors. 

He is a past board member of the YMCA of Greater St. Louis; a past member of the Webster University Board of Trustees and Executive Committee; a past member of the Board of Commissioners of the St. Louis Science Center; a past board president of FOCUS St. Louis; and a past board member of the Securities Industry & Financial Markets Association (SIFMA). He also has served on advisory boards for several other St. Louis institutions of higher education.

Besides Weddle, current Board of Trustees member Carmen Jacob will deliver the official “Words of Inspiration” during the Commencement. Jacob is president of NextGen Information Services, Inc.

The Commencement ceremony will be held at 9:30 a.m. at The Muny in St. Louis’ Forest Park. The event is open to all graduates and their families and friends. For more information on the Commencement, visit www.webster.edu/commencement.

With its home campus in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, Webster University (www.webster.edu) comprises an action-oriented global network of faculty, staff, students and alumni who forge powerful bonds with each other and with their communities around the globe. Founded in 1915, Webster is a private non-profit university with more than 17,000 students studying at campus locations in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa and in a robust learning environment online. The university is committed to delivering high-quality learning experiences that transform students for global citizenship and individual excellence.

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