Higher Education Consultant to Deliver Address at Averett University’s Winter Commencement

Posted on December 5th, 2016 by Danielle Staub

SolidayWinterCommencementSpeakerJoanne Soliday, a higher education consultant and strategic planning specialist with over 30 years’ experience on college and university campuses, will speak to around 300 graduates during the university’s Winter Commencement ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 10. The ceremony, which begins at 10 a.m., will be held at the University’s E. Stuart James Grant Athletic & Convocation Center at the North Campus, 707 Mount Cross Road in Danville.

The graduates range in age from 21 to 74, with graduates from the following foreign countries: Sweden, Greece, Dominican Republic, Finland, Morocco and Belize. More than 230 of the students completed their degrees through the University’s Graduate and Professional Studies (GPS) program, and 63 are traditional graduates.

Following leadership positions on two college campuses, Soliday became a founding partner of Credo, a higher education consulting firm focused on independent higher education. Since 2001, she has had the privilege of working with more than 250 private colleges and universities. Her work with these institutions inspired her to author “Surviving to Thriving: A Planning Framework for Leaders of Private Colleges and Universities.” Her book is being used nationally to assist college leadership teams in planning for their future.

After earning her bachelor’s degree in education from West Virginia Wesleyan College, from which she was also awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters in 2016. Soliday taught in the Connecticut and North Carolina public school systems before becoming director of consultation and education at Alamance County Mental Health Center. She transitioned to higher education, joining the staff at Elon University, where she remained for 18 years. Soliday earned a M.Ed. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has pursued divinity studies at Duke University.

Since her retirement from full-time consulting in 2014, Soliday has served as a presenter and keynote speaker at higher education conferences across the country, and feels privileged to be engaged in many formal relationships as a strategic advisor to independent college presidents. She is an ordained minister and serves as a pastor and elder at St. Mark’s Church in Burlington, NC. She is married to Keith Soliday and has three children and four grandchildren.