Eastern Michigan University alumnus Michael Pugh selected as winter 2024 commencement speaker, will receive honorary degree

YPSILANTI --  Eastern Michigan University alumnus and distinguished community financial executive Michael Pugh will serve as the University’s commencement speaker at the winter graduation ceremony, which takes place on Dec. 14. Pugh will also receive an honorary doctoral degree in Commercial Science at the ceremony. The University’s Board of Regents approved the selection on June 20. 

Michael Pugh

Pugh assumed the role of chief executive officer at the Local Initiatives Support Corporation in October 2023. With more than 30 years of banking experience, he has been a strong advocate for expanding access to capital for underserved families, businesses, and communities. Notably, during his decade-long tenure at the Harlem-based institution, he led Carver, the nation’s largest publicly traded African-American-operated bank, with over $720 million in assets.

Earlier in his career, Pugh was a senior vice president at Capital One, N.A., managing 75 banking centers and $3 billion in deposits across Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Delaware. He also served as a senior vice president at Citizens Financial Group, overseeing retail banking in Michigan and Indiana and managing 67 banking centers.

A native of Detroit, Pugh graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a bachelor’s degree in health care administration. His interest in community finance and connecting people with capital began while working as a bank teller to support himself through college. Pugh has since volunteered in various leadership roles, including with The New York Bankers Association, The Economic Club of New York, the Community Development Bankers Association, and the Society for Financial Education and Professional Development.

For more information about the December 2024 commencement ceremony, please visit the EMU commencement webpage.


About Eastern Michigan University

Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 13,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and its graduate school. National publications regularly recognize EMU for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. Visit the University’s rankings and points of pride websites to learn more. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website. To stay up to date on University news, activities and announcements, visit EMU Today.

June 20, 2024

Written by:
Brittany Mobley

Media Contact:
Brittany Mobley