Dr. Brian Foster

Dr. Brian Foster, provost at the University of Missouri-Columbia, will deliver the address at East Central College’s 42nd annual commencement ceremony set for Thursday, May 10.

The event will begin at 7 p.m. in the gymnasium in the Multipurpose Building on the ECC campus in Union.

Before arriving at the University of Missouri in August of 2005, Foster served as provost at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. Prior to that, he was dean of arts and sciences at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and graduate dean at Arizona State University, where he also served as professor and chair of the department of anthropology.

“We are honored to have Dr. Foster as our commencement speaker,” stated ECC President Dr. Edward Jackson. “Throughout his time at Mizzou he has worked to make Missouri’s flagship university even more accessible to community college students.”

The first in his family to pursue a college education, Foster began his studies at Northern Illinois University where he earned his degree in history.

He went on to earn his Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Michigan. His studies and research focused on the social anthropology of Southeast Asian cultures, primarily Thailand. He is fluent in Thai and German.

He also has been actively involved with the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges.

More than 460 students are candidates for graduation at ECC. Associate degrees and career/technical certificates will be conferred. The college will also present awards to the outstanding student and outstanding alumna for 2012.