St. Louis Urban League President Michael McMillan Selected as the 2018 Commencement Speaker
December 14, 2017
ST. LOUIS – Michael P. McMillan, the President and CEO of the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, will be Webster University’s 2018 Commencement Speaker. He is an accomplished civic leader and public servant who helped organize resources for the community in the aftermath of the Ferguson crisis. As the head of the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, McMillan oversees the largest and highest rated Urban League affiliate in the country.
“Through his leadership, Michael organized job programs for underrepresented citizens, worked with community leaders to create a community center in the aftermath of Ferguson, and helped secure more than a billion dollars for neighborhood revitalization,” said Elizabeth (Beth) J. Stroble, president of the University. “He is an inspiration to us all about the value of public service and the impact that leadership can have on our community. We look forward to hearing the guidance that Michael can offer our graduates as they prepare to make their own way in the world.”
The Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis is a nonprofit organization founded in 1918. It annually provides services to nearly 100,000 residents through 30 programs with 225 staff in 12 locations, providing support in the form of jobs, economic opportunity, educational excellence, community empowerment, civil rights and advocacy programs.
As CEO of the Urban League of St. Louis, McMillan created the Save Our Sons program in St. Louis County to help 500 African-American men find jobs, and he implemented the Urban League’s largest job fair in its history. In July 2017, McMillan and Urban League supporters opened the Urban League Community Empowerment Center of Ferguson, housed on the site of the former Quik Trip that was burned down on West Florissant during the Ferguson crisis. Additionally in 2017, McMillan and the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis hosted the largest National Urban League Conference in the history of the movement with nearly 25,000 in attendance. He also created the Whitney M. Young Society for Leadership Donors to the Urban League.
From 2006 to 2013, McMillan served as the License Collector of the City of St. Louis, administering an annual budget of more than $60 million. Prior to serving as License Collector, McMillan was Alderman of the 19th Ward for 10 years and is credited with securing $1.25 billion in economic development and neighborhood revitalization for the city. In 1996, he was the youngest person elected as an Alderman in St. Louis.
McMillan also serves on numerous boards, including the MUNY, American Red Cross, Children’s Hospital, St. Louis Regional Chamber, the St. Louis Community Foundation, Boy Scouts, Ranken Technical College, Reliance Bank, Heat Up/Cool Down St. Louis, St. Louis Zoo, Regions Bank Community Development Corporation, Lewis and Clark Community College Foundation, and Workforce Investment Board of St. Louis County.
He is a graduate of Saint Louis University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in African American Studies and a minor in Political Science with an emphasis on Finance. McMillan has received numerous awards including Ebony magazine’s 2013 Power 100 list, and the 2013 Trumpet Award for Community Service. McMillan was selected as one of eight leaders in America for an Eisenhower International Fellowship to travel to Ireland and Paris to study their forms of government. He was also selected by the American Council of Young Political Leaders to visit Malaysia, Russia, Nicaragua and El Salvador.
“As we celebrate the amazing achievements of our graduates during Commencement, Michael McMillan will share his inspirational story as an example as to what our students can accomplish when armed with knowledge and determination,” said Julian Schuster, Webster’s provost, senior vice president and chief operating officer. “Michael’s actions mirror the values of Webster University, particularly those of community service, and I know he will fill our new alumni with optimism about their future.”
Webster University’s 99th annual Commencement ceremony will start at 9:30 a.m. May 12 in the main seating area of The Muny. For more information on Commencement, visit www.webster.edu/commencement/commencement.html.