CENTRAL, S.C. – Southern Wesleyan University graduates, their family members and friends will gather at the university’s campus in Central Friday, Dec. 7 at 3 p.m. for a commencement ceremony where both on-campus students and online students will receive their degrees.
The speaker will be Jeffrey A. Castillo, vice president of Merz North America, a specialty healthcare company. Since joining Merz in 2017, Castillo has had a record breaking year transforming the business and earning him the recognition as an Executive of the Year by Aesthetics Everything as well as the recipient of the Merz CEO award, an honor bestowed by the Board of Directors for the organization.
Prior to joining Merz, Castillo was the acting president and CEO for Micro Surgical Technology, a Seattle-based global manufacturer and distributor of surgical instrumentation for ophthalmic surgery. Castillo's career has evolved through three Fortune 100 companies, such as Procter and Gamble, Johnson and Johnson, and Abbott Labs. He has held numerous leadership roles in international management, sales and marketing. His career has led him to New York City; Miami; Colorado Springs; Dallas; and Buenos Aires, Argentina. Speaking three languages – English, Spanish and Portuguese – has allowed him the opportunity to work and manage in diverse roles, markets and countries.
Castillo received a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Southern Wesleyan University and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Michigan.
He has been married to his wife of 30 years, Krista Castillo, an Indiana Wesleyan University graduate who is a registered nurse and homemaker. They have four children and currently reside in Raleigh, N.C., were they are active members of Christ the King Church, an inter-city church that is active within the Raleigh community. He and Krista lead a couples Bible study and marriage class and Krista volunteers as a counselor at the Crisis Pregnancy center at North Carolina State University. Castillo also serves/served on numerous boards such as LOGOI and LECAF ministries and the Prevent Blindness Foundation.
Dr. Todd Voss, Southern Wesleyan University’s president, said, “Bringing faithful SWU alumni back as commencement speakers to inspire and encourage our graduates has become a signature capstone experience at SWU. Jeff Castillo brings the breadth of a world-wide view in business and the depth of how to impact that world through his faith. We could not be more excited to welcome Jeff back home.”
According to Regina Bolding Harned, the university’s associate registrar, 200 degrees will be awarded to December graduates.
Rev. Dumar Camacho will be the speaker for a Baccalaureate service on Thursday, Dec. 6 at 3 p.m., with Rev. Frankie Rodriguez serving as his translator.
Camacho has been an ordained minister in the Wesleyan Church since 1985. Originally from Colombia, South America, Camacho has been serving the South Carolina District of The Wesleyan Church for 17 years. He has served in multiple roles and churches within The Wesleyan Church both in the U.S. and Colombia. He has also served as district superintendent of The Wesleyan Church in Colombia. Camacho currently is the associate pastor at Iglesia Wesleyana El Camino, which translated means “The Way Wesleyan Church” in Greenville. He is the proud father of three children – all Southern Wesleyan graduates. His daughter Deysi and son Jhonatan graduated in 2009 and now his youngest son, is Dumar Stiven Camacho, who is in this graduating class. Camacho has been a faithful husband, father and minister but above all the things he has accomplished, he considers himself a simple servant of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Rodriguez is also an ordained minister of The Wesleyan Church, serving his entire 17 years of ministry in the S.C. District of the Wesleyan Church. He is currently the senior pastor alongside Camacho at Iglesia Wesleyana El Camino. Rodríguez has also served on multiple committees within this District, including the South Carolina District board of administration of the Wesleyan District. He currently serves as the national Hispanic director for the Wesleyan Church in the U.S. and he is also a faithful member of Southern Wesleyan’s board of trustees. He loves SWU and is the proud husband of SWU alumna, Deysi Rodriguez.
All graduation guests will be required to have a ticket for admittance to the ceremony. Guests without tickets will be directed to the overflow areas to view the ceremony on a closed-circuit broadcast. For details, go to www.swu.edu/graduation or call Southern Wesleyan University’s Academic Records Department at (864) 644-5530.
Southern Wesleyan University is a Christ-centered, student-focused, faith-filled community that offers inventive learning experiences. The university endeavors to prepare its students to be dedicated scholars and servant-leaders who impact the world for Christ. At the same time, it’s Southern Wesleyan’s desire to practice contagious generosity within the surrounding community. For details about degree programs, visit swu.edu.