Lycoming College to host alumnus Michael J. Hayes of Fred's Inc.

Lycoming College to host alumnus Michael J. Hayes of Fred's Inc.

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Lycoming College alumnus Michael J. Hayes will speak as part of the College's Institute for Management Studies' James W. Harding Executive Speaker Series on Monday, Oct. 15, at 7 p.m. in Heim Building G-11.

Hayes, who earned a bachelor's degree in economics from Lycoming in 1963, is the recently retired CEO of Fred's Inc., a Fortune 1000 company with more than 700 stores throughout the Southeast. Fred's is a unique, general merchandise store, combining elements of a discount dollar store, drug store and mass merchant.

Hayes' extensive business background includes executive positions on Wall Street, where he was one of the general partners and the executive vice president of corporate and financial services at Oppenheimer and Company and the executive president of Oppenheimer Life Agency. At Oppenheimer, Hayes structured and marketed more than $1 billion in venture capital and real estate, as well as oil and gas investments, for the firm and its clients.

Hayes later founded his own company, Hayes Financial, where he acquired a controlling interest in Fred's Inc., and later took the company public. He still serves as chairman of the board and an active private equity investor for Fred's Inc.

The speaker series is named for James W. Harding, a 1938 graduate of Lycoming and native of Montoursville, Pa., and executive of Kemper Insurance. The College was awarded a grant from the James S. Kemper Foundation of Long Grove, Ill., to endow the series, which has created opportunities for students to meet and network with some of America's top business executives, including those from numerous internationally-recognized companies and firms.

Lycoming College is a four-year, residential liberal arts and sciences school dedicated to the undergraduate education of 1,400 students. Located near the banks of the Susquehanna River in Williamsport, Pa., the College fosters academic rigor, a supportive faculty and successful outcomes. It offers 36 academic majors and is recognized as a Tier 1 educational institution by U.S. News & World Report. Founded in 1812, Lycoming is one of the 50 oldest colleges in the nation.