Carnegie Mellon University alumnus and trustee Jeffrey Housenbold, president and CEO of Shutterfly Inc., the leading manufacturer and digital retailer of high-quality personalized products and services offered through a family of lifestyle brands, will be the keynote speaker at Carnegie Mellon's 117th Commencement, Sunday, May 18 in Gesling Stadium on the Pittsburgh campus.
More than 3,000 bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees will be conferred at Carnegie Mellon's main commencement ceremony.
The ceremony will be webcast.
Housenbold, an Andrew Carnegie Presidential Scholar who earned his bachelor's degree in economics and business administration from Carnegie Mellon in 1991 and a MBA from Harvard Business School, where he was a Dean's Fellow, rose from humble beginnings to become one of the most successful new-media entrepreneurs in the world with a successful track record of building profitable, online consumer brands by artfully combining commerce and community.
Under his leadership, Shutterfly Inc. has been recognized for its business achievements and workplace culture. The company was named one of Forbes magazine's Top Ten Fastest Growing Tech Companies and one of the Top 25 Mid-Sized Companies to Work For.
Housenbold has earned numerous honors, from Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year and Most Admired CEO by the San Francisco Times, to one of the "40 Under 40" by BusinessWeek and Corporate Leader magazines. Housenbold serves on the Board of Directors of Shutterfly Inc., Caesars Entertainment Corporation, the world's largest casino entertainment company, Groupon, the leading online marketplace for local deals, and Chegg, the online student hub. He also serves as a special industry adviser to KKR & Co. L.P. Housenbold has formerly served on the board of directors of several leading venture backed companies including Touch Commerce, There Inc., Digital Chocolate and Clover. He also has served as a board of director on the nationally recognized Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose. Housenbold is a frequent guest on business news programs for his advice and expert commentary.
The student speaker is Bryan Lewis (E'13, '14), who will be receiving a master's degree in energy science, technology and policy after earning his bachelor's degree in civil and environmental engineering, and engineering and public policy from CMU in 2013. A self-described "social engineer," Lewis plans to work in the renewable energy industry and help bring clean energy to those living in disadvantaged communities.
Lewis held internships in energy policy at the U.S. Department of Energy and the Center for American Progress and was a member of the National Society of Black Engineers.
It is a Carnegie Mellon tradition to award honorary degrees at commencement to exemplary leaders, whose life and work serve as an inspiration for Carnegie Mellon students, faculty and staff. This year's honorary degree recipients are:
- John Wells, Doctor of Fine Arts. Wells is a 1979 graduate of CMU's School of Drama and one of the most influential and successful producer-directors in American film and television. He is the creative force behind television's most popular programs of the past two decades, "ER" and "The West Wing." His recent work in television includes the TNT series "Southland" and Showtime's "Shameless." In 2013, he produced and directed "August: Osage County," which starred Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts, and received two Academy Award nominations.
- Manfred Honeck, Doctor of Fine Arts. Honeck, the internationally renowned music director for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, has led the PSO to great acclaim since 2008. He is a sought-after guest conductor who has performed with some of the leading orchestras of the world.
- Telle Whitney, Doctor of Science and Technology. Whitney is president and CEO of the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology. Under her leadership, the institute has expanded opportunities for women in technology professions, enabling women to make new and varied contributions to computing and related fields. She has earned numerous awards for her work, including the Association for Computing Machinery's Distinguished Service Award.
Learn more about Wells, Honeck and Whitney.