Hobson, an alumna of Princeton University, is an influential businesswoman and noted as a voice for financial literacy. Aside from Starbucks, she is the co-CEO and president of Ariel Investments and serves as the director of JPMorgan Chase. Previously, Hobson served as the chairman for the Board of DreamWorks Animation until that company’s sale and also as a long-standing board member of Estée Lauder Companies. Aside from her business ventures, Hobson participates in many community outreach programs such as After School Matters, a non-profit organization based in Chicago. She also works alongside her husband, director George Lucas, on other ventures including the Hobson Lucas Family Foundation.
“We are thrilled to welcome Mellody Hobson to campus in person at long last – and delighted that she will celebrate the accomplishments of our graduating class with us,” said W&M President Katherine A. Rowe. “She is an extraordinary businesswoman who generously gives of her expertise to improve the financial literacy of people around the world, laying the groundwork for a better future for all of us.”
Along with Hobson, Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.) is also scheduled to speak. An alumna of William & Mary, Rep. Murphy is noted as the first Vietnamese-American woman elected to the U.S. Congress. She currently serves on the House Ways and Means Committee, the House Armed Services Committee, and as chief deputy whip of the House Democratic majority. Prior to being elected to Congress, Rep. Murphy was a recipient of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Civilian Service while serving as a national security specialist in the office of the U.S. Secretary of Defense.
“It will be a special pleasure, as well, to welcome Congresswoman Murphy back to campus as we celebrate the university’s Asian Centennial,” said President Rowe. “She made history as the first Vietnamese-American woman elected to U.S. Congress, and her legacy will be her leadership and service to the nation. While we are proud to claim her as an alumna already, it is an honor to recognize her inspiring public service in this way.”
Along with Ms. Hobson and Rep. Murphy, William & Mary Chancellor Robert M. Gates will speak during the commencement ceremonies and a variety of events planned during the special celebration.
William & Mary’s commencement weekend will run May 19-20, 2022. The ceremony for the university’s undergraduate students is scheduled to take place on May 20 at 7 p.m., with the school’s graduate and professional students graduating on May 21 at 9 a.m. Both events are expected to take place at Zable Stadium.
To learn more about the university’s commencement celebration, please visit the William & Mary website.