UMUC Names Robert Hastings 2010 Distinguished Alumnus

Ocean City, Maryland, native honored at Commencement 2010 in Adelphi, Maryland


By Kerry O’Neill (koneill@mghus.com) |   May 20, 2010

ADELPHI, MD (May 20, 2010)—UMUC named Robert Hastings—senior vice president of communications for Bell Helicopter in Fort Worth, Texas—its 2010 distinguished alumnus. Hastings, a native of Ocean City, Maryland, graduated from UMUC in Heidelberg, Germany, in 1986, with a bachelor’s degree in government studies.
 
Said UMUC President Susan C. Aldridge at the university’s stateside commencement exercises on May 15, “Your record of service and accomplishment is exemplary. Like your fellow UMUC alumni, you overcame the difficulties of balancing your military career obligations with study and family life. . . . For your exemplary achievements and service, to UMUC and your country, it is my privilege to present you as the University of Maryland University College Distinguished Alumnus of 2010.”
 
Hastings is a former U.S. Army officer with more than 20 years of experience as a master Army aviator and public affairs officer, serving as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, the senior public affairs official and principal spokesman for the Department of Defense, leading a worldwide public affairs community of 3,800 military and civilian personnel. After retiring from the Army in 1999, Hastings served as chief of staff and vice president of communications for BAE Systems, Inc., then as vice president of communications for Northrop Grumman’s Information Systems sector, before joining Bell Helicopter in April 2010.
 
In addition to his bachelor’s degree from UMUC, Hastings has completed executive studies at the Wharton School of Business and the University of Michigan.