Cleveland State Community College will hold its annual spring Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 5 at 10 a.m. in the L. Quentin Lane Gymnasium. Greg A. Vital has been chosen as the keynote speaker for the ceremony.
In January 2017, Cleveland State Community College announced the creation of Greg A. Vital Center for Natural Resources and Conservation, the college’s first named academic program. "The Center supports the Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries Program and the Agriculture Program at Cleveland State and brings together students, educators and working professionals in natural resources, agriculture, industry and parks to identify and apply effective solutions to the challenges that arise at the intersection of the natural environment and human development," officials said.
Mr. Vital is president and chief executive officer of Independent Healthcare Properties, LLC, a Chattanooga-based company that he co-founded in 1996. The company owns Morning Pointe assisted living facilities and The Lantern Alzheimer’s memory care centers in five southern states, as well as commercial real estate properties. To continue the company’s mission of caring for seniors, the Morning Pointe Foundation was formed in 2014 to establish nursing scholarships and community partnerships to help educate students and support caregivers. The Foundation currently assists 20 allied health and nursing students in community colleges across Tennessee and Kentucky.
“Greg Vital has many passions,” stated Dr. Bill Seymour, Cleveland State president. “He is passionate about his business and preserving our natural resources. Through his generosity, we have established the first named academic program in the history of Cleveland State, which also shows his passion for the power of education. Greg has become a great friend of Cleveland State, so I am very pleased to have him serve as this year's commencement speaker.”
A resident of Hamilton County for over 40 years, Mr. Vital has been active in both business and civic activities. He has served on the board of directors of the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, First Tennessee Bank, the Tennessee Aquarium, the Friends of Moccasin Bend National Park, Tennessee Preservation Trust, The Land Trust for Tennessee and as chairman of the National Parks Conservation Association. Mr. Vital developed and has underwritten the annual Friends of Moccasin Bend Lecture Series on national park and conservation issues for twelve years. Mr. Vital was honored by Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park in 2008 with the Drew Haskins Award, in recognition of his outstanding service to national parks and support of the park’s volunteer program.
In April 2013, he was inducted into The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s College of Business Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame and in December 2013 received the Daughters of American Revolution Historic Preservation Medal. Prior public service includes six years as a member of the board of trustees of the Chattanooga/Hamilton County Hospital Authority and a four-year term as an elected city commissioner for the City of Collegedale.
Mr. Vital has always been a proponent of conservation, preservation and environmental education and has granted a conservation easement on his 90-acre farm in Georgetown, where he raises bison. He enjoys the outdoors, especially hiking, water sports and visiting U.S. national parks, and has visited over 340 NPS units. He holds a B.S. degree in business administration from Southern Adventist University.
For those who are unable to attend the commencement ceremony, it will also be broadcast live online through the Cleveland State website at www.clevelandstatecc.edu.