Seeking Commencement Speaker? Google It.

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Google CEO Eric Schmidt has been selected to deliver the University’s 253rd Commencement address on May 18th. 

He’s in charge of running the business side of Google, but his name frequently appears in the news in connection with topics ranging from renewable energy to increasing broadband Internet access. Schmidt served as an occasional advisor to Barack Obama during his presidential campaign, and his popularity apparently transcends the political divide; Britain’s Conservative Party recently appointed him an advisor on their Economic Recovery Committee.

Hired by Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin as the company’s chief executive in 2001, Schmidt has overseen Google’s transition from a privately held enterprise to a publicly traded company with a market capitalization that now tops $100 billion. The corporation’s informal motto, which was included in the prospectus of its initial public stock offering, is “Don’t Be Evil.”

In addition to Schmidt, Penn will confer honorary degrees upon Yvon Chouinard, founder of the clothing company Patagonia; composer and emeritus professor George Crumb; South African Constitutional Court Justice Yvonne Mokgoro GrL’90; atmospheric chemist Susan Soloman; and microcredit pioneer Muhammad Yunus. 

—Sean Whiteman LPS’11

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