Image: Students during commencement ceremony


Robert W Turner ’72, chair of the Hiram College Board of Trustees and retired senior vice president for corporate relations at Union Pacific Corporation, will deliver the commencement address. 

Prior to his retirement in 2015, Turner served 15 years as senior vice president for corporate relations at Union Pacific Corporation, one of America’s leading transportation companies. Through this role, he was one of the top nine executives of the corporation, and he was responsible for internal and external communications, corporate advertising, brand management, public affairs, media relations, government affairs, and corporate philanthropy. Turner also led the creation and introduction of the company’s Building America company-wide rebranding, an extensive reorganization of the company’s external relations activities, and a refocusing of its philanthropic activities. He also served as president of the Union Pacific Foundation, and head of the Union Pacific Railroad Museum.

Before joining Union Pacific Corporation, Turner served as vice president of public affairs of Champion International Corporation, a paper and wood products company that was acquired by International Paper Company in June of 2000. There, he was responsible for corporate communications, public affairs, and government relations. 

Turner graduated from Hiram College in 1972 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics, and following his graduation, he served as assistant to then President Elmer Jagow for two years, as well as another three years as director of the Kennedy Center and of purchasing at Hiram College.