Chelsea Milling Company president to speak at EMU's December commencement
Eastern Michigan University has announced Howdy S. Holmes, president of Chelsea Milling Company, as its December commencement speaker. At the same ceremony, local philanthropist Phillip Jenkins will be awarded an honorary doctor of education degree.
The Board of Regents approved the recommendation at its Oct. 30 meeting.
Holmes is the eighth generation Holmes in the business of flour milling and the third generation to market the company's well-known Jiffy mixes, which were first created by his grandmother in 1930.
Holmes delayed entry into the family business to pursue a 20-year racing career in which he competed six times in the Indianapolis 500.
Holmes retired from racing after the 1988 season and revamped the business. Holmes has one son, Howard S. Holmes II.
Jenkins is from Dexter, where he took over the family farm equipment business, Sweepster, Inc., in 1949.
Sweepster creates self-propelled, airport runway sweepers for all types of equipments used in airports, municipalities and construction.
Jenkins is a longstanding member of the Depression Center's National Advisory Board and has donated numerous large gifts to EMU and the University of Michigan toward treatment and prevention of depression, including $2 million to support the research of a Depression Center scientist and $2 million for a new building.
The Dec. 16 commencement will be held at the Convocation Center at 2 p.m.