UB Announces 2018 Graduation Speakers

UB Announces 2018 Graduation Speakers

John R. Ciulla, president and CEO of Webster Financial Corporation and Webster Bank, will deliver the Keynote Address and receive an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters at University of Bridgeport’s (UB) 108th Commencement. Ceremonies begin at 9:30 a.m., Saturday, May 5, 2018 at Webster Bank Arena.

Nearly 1,200 students are expected to graduate from nine UB schools and colleges. In addition, alumni from the Class of 1968 will be honored as Golden Knights to commemorate the 50th anniversary of their graduation. UB President Neil A. Salonen, who is stepping down on June 30, will deliver his final address to graduates prior to Ciulla’s Keynote Address.

On Sunday, May 6, Oxford Health Plan founder Steve Wiggins will deliver the Keynote Address for the 2018 Health Sciences Commencement. Ceremonies begin 11 a.m. at the Arnold Bernhard Center on the UB campus. Degrees will be conferred upon 186 graduate students from the Acupuncture Institute, Nutrition Institute, Physician Assistant Institute, College of Chiropractic, College of Naturopathic Medicine, and Fones School of Dental Hygiene.

About this year’s graduation speakers:

John R. Ciulla joined Webster Bank in 2004 and was named its third CEO on January 1, 2018. During his tenure, he has held various executive management positions, including chief credit risk officer from 2008 to 2010. In 2011, he was promoted to executive vice president and head of Middle Market Banking before serving as head of Commercial Banking in 2014 and president in 2015. He is a member the boards of directors for both Webster Bank and Webster Financial Corporation.

Previously, Ciulla served as managing director at The Bank of New York. He has also practiced law in New York as an associate with McDermott Will & Emery and Hughes Hubbard & Reed.

Ciulla serves on the board of the Connecticut Business and Industry Association and is the immediate past chairman. He is also a member of the board of the Business Council of Fairfield County.

Ciulla earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and history from Williams College, an MBA from the Columbia Business School, and a law degree from Fordham University School of Law.

Steve Wiggins

Steve Wiggins has founded seven health care companies, including Oxford Health Plans, a Fortune 300 company. Currently, he serves as founder and chairman of Remedy Partners and as managing director of EW Healthcare Partners, a global health care private equity firm. With over 1,000 health care partnerships across the U.S., Remedy is the largest company in the field of health care-bundled payments.

Previously, Wiggins served as founder, chairman, and CEO of HealthMarket, Inc., an insurance company that gave birth to innovative consumer-driven health plans before being acquired. He also co-founded Health Partners, a physician practice management company. He was a co-Founder of Intelliclaim, Inc., a company providing software and services to health insurance. Each was ultimately acquired by companies in the health care industry.

As a former member of the Executive Committee of the Health Care Leadership Council and Americas Health Insurance Plans, Wiggins represented both organizations on President Bill Clinton’s Health Care Commission. He remains active in current health care policy debates around insurance and payment reform, and has authored 22 white papers to help guide Medicare policy for two administrations.

In 1978, Wiggins founded Accessible Space, a non-profit that operates residential facilities for individuals with mobility impairments and brain injuries.

Wiggins earned his bachelor’s degree from Macalester College and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He and his wife Melissa Kerr, ND, a naturopathic physician and acupuncturist, have six children, two dogs, and a cat.

Media contact: Leslie Geary, (203) 576-4625, lgeary@bridgeport.edu