BETHANY, W.Va. — Bethany College President Scott D. Miller has announced that Allan H. (Bud) Selig, Commissioner of Major League Baseball, will deliver the graduation address at Bethany’s 2008 Commencement exercises on May 17.
“As the state's oldest private college, Bethany has been a small college of national distinction," Dr. Miller said. "It is fitting and proper that our graduates have the opportunity to hear firsthand from the leader of our national past-time."
Selig was elected the ninth Commissioner of Baseball on July 9, 1998 by a unanimous vote of the 30 Major League Baseball club owners. Credited for keeping baseball in Milwaukee, Selig, a Milwaukee native, was the team owner and president of the Milwaukee Brewers prior to being elected as Commissioner.
After the Milwaukee Braves moved to Atlanta in 1965, Selig founded "Teams, Inc." The group, which later changed its name to "The Brewers," was an organization dedicated to returning Major League baseball to Milwaukee. In 1970, a Seattle bankruptcy court awarded the Seattle Pilots franchise to Selig and his investors.
Renamed the Milwaukee Brewers, the team went on to the 1982 World Series and won seven "Organization of the Year" awards during Selig's tenure as club president, including the TOPPS "Organization of the Year" award in 1987, '89, '91, and '92. In addition, the Brewers won an unprecedented three straight Baseball America awards from 1985-87.
Selig, who was active in the governance of Major League Baseball during his tenure as President of the Brewers, was a member of the Major League Executive Council when Commissioner Fay Vincent resigned on September 7, 1992.
In accordance with the Major League Agreement, which grants the Executive Council the authority to rule Baseball in the absence of a Commissioner, Selig became the central figure in Baseball's power structure in 1992 when his fellow owners named him Chairman of the Major League Executive Council. Selig served a dual role as President of the Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Club and Chairman of the Executive Council until his appointment as Commissioner.
During this time, Selig oversaw the 2002 labor agreement with the Major League Baseball Players Association, creation of interleague play, significant revenue sharing among clubs, the creation of three-division formats in the American and National Leagues, an extra tier added to the playoffs with the Wild Card, consolidation of the administrative functions of the American and National Leagues into the Commissioner's Office, the restoration of the rulebook strike zone and the awarding of the home field advantage in the World Series to the team that represents the league that won the All-Star Game.
Selig has received numerous honors and awards for his work on the field and in the community. He and his wife, Sue, are very active in the Milwaukee community and were co-recipients of the "1990 Humanitarian Award" from the St. Francis Children's Center. They also lend their support and time to the Milwaukee Art Museum. In July of 2001, the Allan H. and Suzanne L. Selig Merit Scholarship Fund was established at the Rothberg International School at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
A member of the Board of Directors of the Green Bay Packers, Inc., Marcus Corporation and the Oil-Dri Corporation of America, Selig is also on the Board of Visitors for the Department of Political Science and the La Follette School of Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin. He is a member of the Greater Milwaukee Committee, the Boys and Girls Clubs Board of Trustees, is a founder of Athletes for Youth and was instrumental in establishing the Child Abuse Prevention (CAP) Fund.
Selig earned a bachelor's degree in American History and Political Science from the University of Wisconsin.