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April 20, 2011

Xerox CEO Ursula Burns to address graduates

Ursula Burns
Burns

Ursula Burns, chairman and chief executive officer of Xerox Corporation, will deliver the 161st College commencement address on Sunday, May 15. She will also receive the University’s George Eastman Medal for outstanding achievement and dedicated service.

A member of the University’s Board of Trustees since 2002, Burns leads the $22-billion-dollar Xerox Corporation, which began in Rochester and has grown to become the world’s leading enterprise for business process and document management. She was named Xerox chief executive officer in 2009 and assumed the role of chairman of the company in 2010.

“Ursula Burns and Xerox are iconic illustrations of our knowledge-based economy,” says University President Joel Seligman. “Ursula’s selection by President Obama as an advisor on global exports and improving U.S. science, technology, engineering, and math education highlights her national stature.”

“Xerox chief executive officers Ursula Burns, David Kearns, Joseph Wilson, and Anne Mulcahy are extraordinary leaders whose personal and professional achievements have placed an indelible mark on the University and the city of Rochester,” says Seligman.

Burns joined Xerox in 1980 as a mechanical engineering summer intern and later assumed roles in product development and planning. From 1992 through 2000, she led several business teams, including the office color and fax business, and office network printing business. In 2000, she was named senior vice president for Corporate Strategic Services, heading manufacturing and supply chain operations.

She then took on the broader role of leading Xerox’s global research as well as product development, marketing, and delivery. In April 2007, Burns was named president of Xerox, expanding her leadership to also include the company’s IT organization, corporate strategy, human resources, corporate marketing, and global accounts. At that time, she also was elected as a member of the company’s board of directors.

In addition to the Xerox board, she is a director of the American Express Corp. and also provides leadership counsel to many community, educational, and nonprofit organizations.

“We honor Ursula Burns with the George Eastman Medal, which recognizes a great benefactor of the University of Rochester who believed in the value of education, to applaud her dedication to nurture talent in others—in the same way she was encouraged as a student and a Xerox employee,” says Richard Feldman, dean of the College.

A native of Manhattan, Burns earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Polytechnic Institute of New York University, and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Columbia University.

 


Liesel Schwarz wearing a recycled-materials gown.

 

2011 honorees and award winners

Edward Peck Curtis Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching: Jonathan Baldo, associate professor of English at the Eastman School
Presented at the Eastman School ceremony

Eastman Medal: John Bruning, former president and CEO, Corning Tropel Corp.
Presented at the College ceremony

Eastman Medal: Ursula Burns, chairman and CEO of Xerox Corporation and College commencement speaker
Presented at the College ceremony

Doctor of Science: Esther Conwell, professor of chemistry and physics
Presented at the College ceremony

William H. Ricker University Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching: Philippe Fauchet, professor of electrical and computer engineering and physics
Presented at the doctoral ceremony

G. Graydon Curtis and Jane W. Curtis Award for Nontenured Faculty Teaching: Eleana Kim, assistant professor of anthropology
Presented at the College ceremony

Doctor of Science: Jay Last ’51, entrepreneur and former art press publisher
Presented at the College ceremony
Hutchison Medal: Eric Topol ’79M (MD), director of Scripps

Commencement Schedule

The University celebrates its 161st commencement ceremonies during May and June 2011. More than 2,000 individuals will have their bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees conferred.

School:

Time:

School of Nursing

Friday, May 13, 1 p.m., Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre

School of Medicine and Dentistry (MD candidates)

Friday, May 13, 4 p.m., Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre

Doctoral Degree Ceremony (PhD, EdD, DMA, and DNP candidates from all schools)

Saturday, May 14, 9:30 a.m., Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre

School of Medicine and Dentistry (MA, MPH, and MS candidates)

Saturday, May 14, 12:15 p.m., Kilbourn Hall, Eastman School

Warner School

Saturday, May 14, 2:30 p.m., Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre

The College (bachelor’s and master’s degree candidates)

Sunday, May 15, 9 a.m., Eastman Quadrangle

Eastman School

Sunday, May 15, 11:15 a.m., Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre

Simon School

Sunday, June 12, 10 a.m., Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre

Visit www.rochester.edu/commencement for updates and for more information.

Liesel Schwarz ’11 wears one of the new “green” gowns on sale at campus bookstores. The caps and gowns that bachelor’s and master’s degree candidates will be wearing to commencement this May are made of 100 percent postconsumer recycled plastic bottles.

The fabric is spun from molten plastic pellets. It takes an average of 23 bottles to make each gown. That means that with more than 1,500 gowns sold at the bookstores each graduation season, 34,500 bottles will be repurposed to create the regalia.

This shift to the environmentally friendly regalia was a joint decision made by the Office of Conference and Events and the bookstores.

“We feel these gowns fit in with the University’s ‘green’ mission,” says Erica Strawbridge, conference coordinator for conference and events. “We think the students will appreciate this change.”

Maria Ferrante, general manager of the bookstores, says students have told bookstore staff that they prefer eco-friendly products.

“We’re very excited to be introducing these gowns,” Ferrante says. “Not only are they better for the environment, but the fabric actually feels softer and more comfortable than what we’ve used for previous commencement ceremonies.”

Other features of the regalia include:

  • Size labels stamped with soy ink.

  • Plastic bags used to store the caps and gowns are made from recycled plastic.

  • Shipping cartons are produced from recycled cardboard.

  • If students don’t want to keep their gowns after commencement, they can drop them off at the bookstore to be recycled into new fabric.

  • They are softer to the touch and more breathable than traditional polyester fabric.

Commencement Schedule
The University celebrates its 161st commencement ceremonies during May and June 2011. More than 2,000 individuals will have their bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees conferred.
School    Time
School of Nursing    Friday, May 13, 1 p.m., Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre
School of Medicine and Dentistry (MD candidates)    Friday, May 13, 4 p.m., Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre
Doctoral Degree Ceremony (PhD, EdD, DMA, and DNP candidates from all schools)    Saturday, May 14, 9:30 a.m., Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre
School of Medicine and Dentistry (MA, MPH, and MS candidates)    Saturday, May 14, 12:15 p.m., Kilbourn Hall, Eastman School
Warner School     Saturday, May 14, 2:30 p.m., Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre
The College (bachelor’s and master’s degree candidates)    Sunday, May 15, 9 a.m., Eastman Quadrangle
Eastman School     Sunday, May 15, 11:15 a.m., Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre
Simon School    Sunday, June 12, 10 a.m., Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre


Visit www.rochester.edu/commencement for updates and for more information.

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