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Aerospace CEO Sheila Cummings to deliver Spring Commencement address at UNCP

PEMBROKE — Sheila Cummings, founder, president and CEO of Cummings Aerospace, will deliver the Spring Commencement address at UNC Pembroke May 21-22. 

Cummings will serve as keynote speaker for both the graduate and undergraduate ceremonies. UNCP will hold in-person exercises and follow health and safety guidance for outdoor events. All attendees will be required to wear face coverings, practice social distancing and complete a symptom screening.    

Both ceremonies will be held in the Quad between the Livermore Library and Old Main. The Graduate School ceremony will begin at 6 p.m. on Friday, and the undergraduate ceremony will be held at 9 a.m. on Saturday. 

A Pembroke native and member of the Lumbee Tribe, Cummings began her educational career at UNCP before completing an aerospace engineering degree at the University of Maryland. Following a successful career in civilian government service, she formed Cummings Aerospace with locations in Alabama, Florida and Arizona. More than a decade after its founding in 2009, Cummings Aerospace has grown significantly and partnered with Boeing, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and other major federal defense contractors. Her firm also performs contract work directly for the Defense Department.  


Cummings Aerospace provides engineering solutions for complex systems in the aerospace and defense industry. It offers capabilities including model-based systems engineering, modeling and simulation, software engineering, mechanical and electrical design and advanced manufacturing. 

Cummings’ service to her profession includes membership on the National Defense Industrial Association’s Board of Directors, the advisory board for the University of Alabama Department of Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics and the UA College of Engineering Dean’s Leadership Board. 

She was named to This is Alabama’s list of 25 women who shaped Alabama in 2020 and a 2020 inductee into the State of Alabama Engineering Hall of Fame. 

Before forming her own company, she worked as a spacecraft thermal engineer with the Naval Research Laboratory and later as a systems engineer on multiple missile defense programs. Cummings previously served as vice president of a small engineering company in Arlington, Virginia.