News Details

April 22, 2016

Soliday ’69 to Present Address at 125th Commencement

Joanne Cadorette Soliday ’69 is scheduled to present the address "Yours for a Lifetime" to graduates during the 125th Commencement ceremony at West Virginia Wesleyan College on Saturday, May 7, at 10 a.m. in the John D. Rockefeller IV Physical Education Building.  The ceremony will see nearly 270 students graduate.  During this ceremony, Soliday will also receive an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters. 

Soliday is a higher education consultant and strategic planning specialist with over 20 years’ experience on college and university cabinets.  After earning her bachelor’s degree in education from Wesleyan, Soliday taught in the public school system before relocating to North Carolina to become 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.  She held a number of key positions at Elon including Associate Dean of Students, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, Director of Special Projects, and Director of External Relations.  It was at Elon that she threw her passion into developing the Elon Fellows programs, Elon Experiences, and heightening alumni engagement.  She was also part of an administrative team that helped transform Elon from a small, regional independent college into one of the nation’s most nationally-acclaimed universities. 

Upon leaving Elon, Soliday returned to Wesleyan to serve as Vice President for External Relations in 1996.  It was here she established the Wesleyan Society to build the College’s base of major donors.  Her experience with and belief in private colleges and universities steered her to consulting.  In 2001, she left Wesleyan to become Founding Partner and Owner of Credo, a higher education consulting firm, with President Tom Gavic.  Over the course of her long career with Credo, Soliday had the privilege of working with more than 200 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, with Dr. Rick Mann providing research for the book, in 2013.

Soliday has served as a presenter and keynote speaker at higher education conferences across the country.  In addition to holding an undergraduate degree from Wesleyan, she also earned a M.Ed. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has pursued divinity studies at Duke University.

For more information on this year’s Commencement, please visit



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