KU News Release


Feb. 17, 2012
Contact: Jack Martin, Office of Public Affairs, 785-864-7100

Commencement to feature Ford CEO and KU graduate as speaker

Alan Mulally


More Information

LAWRENCE – Alan Mulally, president and chief executive officer of Ford Motor Company and University of Kansas graduate, will be the featured speaker at KU’s 140th Commencement, which is May 13.

Mulally is one of four inaugural recipients of KU honorary degrees, along with former Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation chair Sheila Bair, former Senate Majority Leader Robert Dole and composer Kirke L. Mechem.

“KU has educated countless individuals who have gone on to become world-renowned leaders. As they walk down the Hill and into the world, it’s fitting for graduates to hear from one of those leaders, Alan Mulally, who after earning two KU degrees has gone on to do great things,” said Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little.

During the ceremony, Gray-Little will welcome graduates and guests, as well as conferring degrees and delivering a farewell to the Class of 2012.

Mulally earned a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from KU in 1968 and a master’s degree from the university in 1969. He became president and CEO of Ford in 2006, successfully leading the company through one of the most challenging periods in the history of the American auto industry.

Prior to joining Ford, Mulally was executive vice president of The Boeing Company and president and chief executive officer of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Those roles capped a career at Boeing that began in 1969.

Among Mulally’s accolades are being named “Businessperson of the Year” by the readers of Fortune magazine, one of “The World’s Most Influential People” by TIME magazine, and one of “The 30 Most Respected CEOs” by Barrons magazine.

KU’s 140th Commencement will take place at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, May 13, in Memorial Stadium. More information is available here.


The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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