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Business, civic leader Nicholson to give Lawrence Tech's commencement address

Release Date: April 30, 2018
LTU's 2017 Commencement

Students, family and friends gather in this photo from LTU's 2017 Commencement.


Business, civic and philanthropic leader James B. Nicholson will deliver the commencement address at Lawrence Technological University’s 86th commencement exercises Saturday, May 5. 

LTU will hold indoor ceremonies at 1 p.m. at the Ultimate Soccer Arenas, 867 E. South Boulevard in Pontiac. The university is awarding approximately 620 degrees and certificates this academic year. 

Nicholson will receive an honorary Doctor of Business Administration degree at the ceremony. 

Nicholson is chairman of Detroit-based PVS Chemicals Inc., which manufactures, distributes, and markets chemicals used in diverse industries around the world. Nicholson is widely known for his civic and charitable activities. He has been honored by numerous philanthropic organizations and was named Michiganian of the Year in 2004. In 2016, he received the Neal Shine Exemplary Regional Leadership “Shining Light” Award from the Detroit Free Press. 

James B. Nicholson

James B. Nicholson


Nicholson serves as chairman of the board of the Community Foundation for Southeastern Michigan and the Futures Foundation. He is a past chairman of the boards of Business Leaders for Michigan, the Michigan Nature Conservancy and the YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit. He is a board member and past chairman of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Detroit Public Television. He also serves on the boards of the Michigan Colleges Foundation and the Detroit Economic Club. 

Also at the event, Rosemary J. Hartzer, ACS’89, BSBA’95, LTU’s accounts payable coordinator, who passed away suddenly and unexpectedly April 16, will be presented the LTU Alumni Achievement Award posthumously. 

Rosemary Hartzer

Rosemary Hartzer


Hartzer served LTU as the accounts payable coordinator for 18 years. Prior to joining the University in 2000, she served K-12 students in the Royal Oak Schools. Hartzer’s daughter and son-in- law are also Lawrence Tech alumni who attended at the same time she did: Valerie Hartzer, BSHu’88, and Paul Hartzer, BSHu’89, BSMSC’89. 

A remarkable example of a lifelong learner, Hartzer completed her Bachelor of Science degree in business administration at the age of 51. She promoted the value of education and, especially, the many attributes of Lawrence Tech. Her support of LTU students was exemplified in her daily interactions. She mentored dozens of students while they worked for her in the Accounts Payable Office, and kept in touch with many of them long after they graduated.


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