General Electric CEO and Chair Jeffrey Immelt to Give Boston College Commencement Address

Apr 14, 2010, 16:13 ET from Boston College

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass., April 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Jeffrey Immelt, whose tenure as CEO and chairman of General Electric has earned accolades from the international business community, will address the Boston College Class of 2010 at the University's 134th Commencement Exercises on Monday, May 24.

Some 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students will receive Boston College diplomas at ceremonies that day.

Immelt will receive an Honorary Doctor of Business Administration degree at the ceremonies, which begin at 10 a.m. in Alumni Stadium on the Chestnut Hill campus.

Boston College also will present honorary degrees to urban education reform expert Anthony Bryk, a 1970 BC graduate and president of The Carnegie Foundation; Yawkey Foundation Chairman and former Red Sox CEO John Harrington, of BC's Class of 1957, MBA '66; Sister Mary Hart of St. Katharine Drexel Parish in Roxbury; Joy Moore, a 1981 BC graduate and deputy head of academy at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa; and Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, former president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales and a current member of the Roman Curia Congregation for Bishops.

Immelt succeeded acclaimed business leader Jack Welch as chairman and CEO of General Electric in 2001. Four days after his tenure began, he was forced to confront the September 11 terrorist attacks that resulted in the deaths of two GE employees, the loss of $600 million in its insurance division and the catastrophic effect on its aircraft engine sector.

Immelt, however, successfully guided GE through the post-9/11 era, and today the company is the world's biggest maker of jet engines, locomotives, medical-imaging equipment and power plant turbines, producing $20 billion in exports. GE has been named "America's Most Admired Company" in a poll conducted by Fortune magazine and one of "The World's Most Respected Companies" in polls by Barron's and the Financial Times. Immelt has been selected as one of the "World's Best CEOs" three times by Barron's, and Time magazine included him among the world's most influential people in 2008.

Born in Cincinnati to a schoolteacher mother and a father who managed the General Electric Aircraft Engines Division, Immelt -- who holds degrees from Dartmouth College and Harvard Business School -- joined GE in 1982, working in the company's Plastics, Appliances and Medical businesses. He became an officer of GE in 1989 and joined the GE Capital Board in 1997.  

In February 2009, Immelt was appointed to the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board to provide President Obama and his administration with advice and counsel in fixing America's economic downturn.

On April 13, Boston College Law School announced that U.S. Senator Scott Brown (R-Mass.), a 1985 alumnus, would address the graduating class at its Commencement ceremony May 28.

Boston College was founded in 1863 by the Society of Jesus -- the first institution of higher education in the city of Boston. Today, it is one of the foremost universities in the nation, with a coeducational enrollment of 14,600 undergraduate and graduate students. Boston College draws students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries. Ranked among the top 34 national universities by US News & World Report, it is among the nation's most selective universities, with nearly 30,000 applications received for its 2,250-member Class of 2014, and is numbered among the top American private research universities. Its endowment of $1.5 billion is among the nation's 40 largest.

SOURCE Boston College