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Voorhees College will observe the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday during a convocation on Jan. 20 at 11 a.m. in the Leonard E. Dawson Health and Human Resources Center.

This year’s keynote speaker, selected by the lyceum committee, will be Dr. Willis L. Lonzer, III, 36th General President of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Lonzer is a native of Richmond, Virginia. He was a Charles Waples Scholar in chemistry at Delaware State University, and earned a bachelor of science degree in chemistry. He joined the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. at Delaware State in 1986.

Lonzer holds a doctor of philosophy degree in biochemistry from The University of Akron. He was a fellow of the Patricia Roberts Harris Public Affairs Fellowship Program.

After completing his doctoral training, he was awarded a National Institutes of Health-sponsored postdoctoral fellowship in physiology and biophysics at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio.

He has served fraternally as a chapter president at the college and alumni levels, college step master, college chapter advisor, area director, district director of Ohio, and has been a member of multiple committees on the regional and national levels of the fraternity. He serves as the Midwestern regional vice president and is a member of the Xi Lambda Chapter in Chicago, Illinois.

After his time in academia, he moved his professional career pursuits to the pharmaceutical industry. He has 20 years of global corporate experience having held positions in global research and development with AstraZeneca, the Ortho Biotech Division of Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceuticals, and global medical affairs divisions of Abbott Laboratories, AbbVie Inc., and Shire Pharmaceuticals. He currently serves as regional director at Horizon Therapeutics where he is involved in identifying research partnerships and strategic drug development opportunities for marketed and pipeline assets.

Lonzer has authored papers that have been published in both peer-reviewed scientific and non-scientific journals and has presented at major medical and scientific meetings. He is also a contributing author of the book Brothers of the Academy: Up and Coming Black Scholars Earning Our Way in Higher Education.

Lonzer, a life member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and a member of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, is also a member of the Greater Institutional AME Church. He and his wife, Pamela Lonzer, reside in Chicago. They have two adult sons and a teenaged daughter.

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