2016 Commencement Speakers | Webster University

Past Commencement Speakers


Jim Weddle, Managing Partner & CEO of Edward Jones

Jim WeddleJim Weddle, a managing partner and CEO of Edward Jones, a global Fortune 500 firm based in St. Louis with more than 11,500 branch office locations in the United States and Canada, will serve as this year’s Webster University Commencement Speaker. He will address nearly 1,000 graduates and their guests during Webster’s 97th annual Commencement Ceremony at St. Louis’ historic Muny at Forest Park outdoor amphitheater on May 7, 2016.

Weddle, a former member of Webster University’s Board of Trustees and the parent of two Webster alumni, will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Business Administration for his lifetime achievements and contributions to the community and leadership in the financial services industry. Weddle, who started working at Edward Jones in 1976 as a part-time intern, contributed to the firm’s tremendous growth and rose to the firm’s highest leadership role – that of managing partner - in 2006. Today, Edward Jones has more than 7 million customers, more than 14,500 financial advisors and is one of the largest financial firms in the country.

“Jim Weddle is a visionary leader whose energy and ideas helped transform Edward Jones into one of the most recognizable names in the finance industry today,” said Elizabeth (Beth) J. Stroble, president of Webster University. “He understands the importance of investing in employees and in the communities they live in, and he is a man of principled action on both fronts. Our university has benefited tremendously from his generous commitment of time, his and Jones’ philanthropy, and sage advice and wise counsel during his leadership as a Webster trustee who cared greatly about Webster’s mission and values. I look forward to his message and this opportunity to honor his distinguished career.”

Weddle is a current executive committee member for the United Way of Greater St. Louis; a member of the Barnes Jewish Hospital Board and BJC Health Care Board; and a member of the Financial Industry Regulating Authority (FINRA) Board of Directors.

He is a past board member of the YMCA of Greater St. Louis; a past member of the Webster University Board of Trustees and Executive Committee; a past member of the Board of Commissioners of the St. Louis Science Center; a past board president of FOCUS St. Louis; and a past board member of the Securities Industry & Financial Markets Association (SIFMA). He also has served on advisory boards for several other St. Louis institutions of higher education.