Who’s Who of Graduation: B-School Commencement 2016

How to Study for the GMAT if You’re a Working Professional
April 21, 2022
Unsettling - Being Happy At Your Second Choice School Business School
May 4, 2022
Show all

Who’s Who of Graduation: B-School Commencement 2016

Attending business school shouldn't be tactic to put off the "real world."

In the run up to graduation season, the graduation speaker is a big deal. If you’re graduating from one of the top schools in the US, you can expect someone who is very very good at what they do. The top MBA programs will be hosting a dozen CEOs between them, not to mention two international politicians, an author, two Pulitzer Prize winners, and the general manager of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Here are the 2016 graduation speakers at the top business schools in the US.

Harvard Business School

When: May 25, 2022

Who: Tom Tierney (’80)

Why: Tierney is the founder of The Bridgespan Group, a nonprofit that provides consulting services to nonprofits and foundations. He’s also the former CEO of Bain & Company and also holds a position as chairman of eBay.

Stanford Graduate School of Business

When: June 11, 2022 (Diploma Ceremony)

Who: Mary Barra (’90)

Why: Barra is the CEO of General Motors, the first woman to hold the position. She was also named as one Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World and appeared on the cover of the issue.


University of Chicago (Booth)

When: June 11, 2022

Who: Professor Erik Hurst and Michael Polsky (’87)

Why: Professor Hurst is an award-winning economist and long-time professor at Booth. Polsky is the founder and CEO of Invernegy LLC. He has been a pioneer in the renewable energy industry for more than three decades. He also helped found the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation on the Booth campus.


Wharton School (Penn)

When: May 15, 2022

Who: Ruth Porat (’87)

Why: Porat is the CFO of Alphabet Inc. and Google Inc. She’s also the former CFO and Executive VP of  Morgan Stanley. During the 2008 Financial Crisis, she served as an advisor to the US Treasury, and continues to serve on a number of political committees.


MIT (Sloan)

When: June 3, 2022

Who: Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Why: Okonjo-Iweala is the former finance minister of Nigeria and holds both a master’s and a PhD from MIT. She served as a key member of the World Bank, and Fortune recently ranked her as one of the 50 greatest world leaders.


Northwestern (Kellogg)

When: June 17, 2022

Who: Bill McDermott (’97)

Why: McDermott is the CEO of international software company SAE and has more than three decades of experience in business technology.


U.C.- Berkeley (Haas)

When: May 20, 2022

Who: Carrie Dolan (’97)

Why: Dolan is the CFO of Lending Club, the largest peer-to-peer lending company in the country. She has helped transform the company from a startup to a multi-million dollar company. Prior to joining the startup world, she served as the Chief Financial Officer for Schwab Bank, a bank which she herself helped launch.


Dartmouth College (Tuck)

When: June 12, 2022

Who: Daniel Yergin, Pulitzer Prize Winning Author, and Leymah Gbowee, Nobel Laureate

Why: Yergin is the vice chairman of energy research firm IHS and is considered one of the world’s foremost authorities on energy and the global economy.


Yale School of Management

When: May 23, 2022

Who: Samantha Power

Why: Power has been the United States Ambassador to the UN since 2013. She has extensive background in human rights and foreign policy and won a pulitzer prize for her recent book on foreign policy response to genocide.


Columbia Business School

When: May 15, 2022

Who: Shelly Lazarus (’70)

Why: . Lazarus  was named the worldwide CEO of the advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather in 1996 and currently holds the position of Chairman Emeritus. She has been named the most important woman in advertising on numerous occasions.


Duke University (Fuqua)

When: May 14, 2022

Who: Dick Costolo

Why: Costolo is a Venture Partner at Index Ventures and has years of experience in the startup word. Prior to Index Ventures, he served as the Chief Executive of Twitter, where he grew the company’s annual revenue from $0 in 2010 to 1.5 billion in 2015.


University of Michigan (Ross)

When: April 29th, 2016

Who: Mark Fields

Why: The CEO of Ford Motor Company and Michigan native oversaw Ford’s fastest global expansion in 50 years and was named a Global Leader of Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum. He also holds an MBA from Harvard.


Cornell (Johnson)

When: May 29, 2022

Who: Soumitra Dutta and James Franco

Why: Soumitra Dutta has served as the dean of Johnson since 2012 and has extensive experience in international affairs as well as business. He will speak at the MBA Recognition ceremony while actor James Franco will speak at the all-school ceremony, which includes both undergraduates and graduates.


UCLA (Anderson)

When: June 10, 2022

Who: Mitch Kupchak (’87)

Why: Kupchak currently serves as the general manager of the Los Angeles Lakers and has been working in professional sports for decades. He also happens to be an Olympic gold medalist and an Anderson MBA grad.


UNC (Kenan-Flagler)

When: May 16, 2022

Who: To Be Announced.


University of Texas (McCombs)

When: May 20, 2022

Who: Holly McMullan (’04)

Why: McMullan is the Head of North American Business Development at alternative investment firm Apollo Global Management. She has been working in investing and finance for decades.


Carnegie Mellon (Tepper)

When: May 13, 2022

Who: Jim Swartz

Why: Swartz is a founding partner of the global venture capital firm Accel Partners, which has invested in major tech companies like Facebook and Spotify. He has recently donated $31 million to create the new Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship at Carnegie Mellon.

Emory University

When: May 9, 2022

Who: To be Announced


New York University

When: May 9, 2022

Who: Jeffrey Immelt

Why: Immelt has been the chairman of GE for since 2001 and has decades of experience in global management. Barron’s named him one of the World’s Best CEOs, and the Financial TImes named him Man of the Year.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *