Wharton Graduation Speakers

Our 2021 Graduation speakers bring a diverse range of business acumen and embody the values we strive to uphold each day — innovative thinking, resilient leadership, and global collaboration. 
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Rosalind Brewer, WAM’01, CEO of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc.

Rosalind (Roz) Brewer is Chief Executive Officer of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc., appointed March 2021, and a Director on WBA’s Board. Today, she is ranked #27 on Fortune’s 50 Most Powerful Women in Business.

Most recently, Ms. Brewer served as Chief Operating Officer and Group President at Starbucks from 2017 to 2021. Prior to Starbucks, she served as President and CEO of Sam’s Club, a membership-only retail warehouse club and division of Walmart, Inc., from 2012 to 2017. Ms. Brewer previously held several executive leadership positions with Walmart beginning in 2006. Prior to joining Walmart, she served as President of Global Nonwovens Division for Kimberly-Clark Corporation, a global health and hygiene products company, from 2004 to 2006, and held various management positions at Kimberly-Clark beginning in 1984. She is a Board Member of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African-American History and Culture, and formerly served on the Board of Directors for Starbucks, Amazon, Lockheed Martin Corporation, and Molson Coors Brewing Company.

Ms. Brewer is currently Chairperson of the Board of Trustees for Spelman College, where she earned a BS in chemistry. She also attended Wharton’s Advanced Management Program and Stanford University’s Directors’ College.

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Tory Burch, C’88, Executive Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of Tory Burch LLC

Tory Burch is the Executive Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of Tory Burch LLC, an American lifestyle brand that started as a boutique in 2004 and has since grown into a global business with locations in New York, Paris, Shanghai, and more.

Social responsibility has been a part of the company since its inception. In 2009, Ms. Burch launched the Tory Burch Foundation as well as a Fellowship program to advance women’s empowerment and entrepreneurship in the U.S. by providing access to capital, education, and digital resources. Ms. Burch serves on several boards, including the Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and the Jay H. Baker Retailing Center at the Wharton School. In addition, she is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She has been recognized with numerous awards and honors, including the CFDA for Accessory Designer of the Year, Forbes’ Most Powerful Women in the World, and Glamour’s Women of the Year. Her first book, Tory Burch In Color, was a New York Times Best Seller. In 2015, she launched Tory Sport, a collection of performance activewear that balances cutting-edge functionality with classic design.

Ms. Burch graduated with a BA in Art History from the University of Pennsylvania.

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Sundar Pichai, WG’02, CEO of Google and Alphabet

Sundar Pichai is the Chief Executive Officer of Google and Alphabet, and serves on Alphabet’s Board of Directors.

He joined Google in 2004 and helped lead the development of Google Toolbar and then Google Chrome, which grew to become the world’s most popular internet browser. In 2014, he was appointed to lead product and engineering for all of Google’s products and platforms — including Search, Maps, Play, Android, Chrome, Gmail and Google Apps (now Google Workspace). Mr. Pichai became Google’s CEO in August 2015. Under his leadership as CEO, Google has been focused on developing products and services powered by the latest advances in AI. It has invested in new opportunities such as Google Cloud and YouTube and continued to be a leader in advanced technologies, including machine learning and quantum computing. He joined the Board of Directors of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, in 2017 and eventually became Alphabet’s CEO in 2019.

Mr. Pichai studied engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology. He graduated with a master’s degree from Stanford University and an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, where he was named a Siebel Scholar and a Palmer Scholar.

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Marc Rowan, W’84, WG’85, CEO of Apollo Global Management

Marc Rowan is Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder of Apollo Global Management, Inc., one of the largest alternative asset managers with assets under management in excess of $455 billion and a market capitalization of $11 billion. Apollo is focused on investments across credit-oriented capital markets, insurance, private equity, and real estate.

Currently, Mr. Rowan is Chair of the Board of Advisors of the Wharton School and a member of the University of Pennsylvania’s Board of Trustees. In addition, he is involved in public policy.  He is an initial funder and contributor to the development of the Penn Wharton Budget Model, a nonpartisan research initiative which provides analysis of public policy’s fiscal impact. An active philanthropist, Mr. Rowan is a founding member and Chair of Youth Renewal Fund and Vice Chair of Darca, Israel’s top educational network operating 40 schools with over 22,000 students throughout Israel’s most diverse and under-served communities. He also serves on the board of OpenDor Media, a digital media company centered on engaging Jewish and Israel content. He is an Executive Committee member of the Civil Society Fellowship, a partnership of ADL and the Aspen Institute, designed to empower the next generation of community leaders and problem solvers from across the political spectrum. He also serves on the boards of several technology-oriented venture companies.

Mr. Rowan graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School with a BS and an MBA in Finance.

Past Graduation Speakers

2020

In lieu of a traditional, in-person ceremony, the Wharton School saluted the Class of 2020 with 30-minute virtual celebrations.

2019

MBA

Jonathan (“Jon”) Gray, C’92, W’92, President and COO, Blackstone

MBA Program for Executives West

Anthony Noto, WG’99, Chief Executive Officer, SoFi

MBA Program for Executives East

David M. Rubenstein, Co-Founder and Co-Executive Chairman of the Carlyle Group

Undergraduate

Stacy Brown-Philpot, W’97, Chief Executive Officer, TaskRabbit

2018

MBA

Hamdi Ulukaya, Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Chobani, LLC

MBA Program for Executives West

Safra Catz, W’83, L’86, Chief Executive Officer of Oracle Corporation

MBA Program for Executives East

F. William McNabb III, WG’83, Chairman of Vanguard

Undergraduate

Jeff Weiner, W’92, Chief Executive Officer of LinkedIn

2017

MBA

Yuri Milner, Founder of DST Global

MBA Program for Executives West

K. Robert “Bobby” Turner, W’84, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Turner Impact Capital

MBA Program for Executives East

Adam Grant, Saul P. Steinberg Professor of Management at the Wharton School and Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania

Undergraduate

Nathaniel “Nat” Snead Turner V, W’08, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Flatiron Health

2016

MBA

Ruth Porat, WG’87, Chief Financial Officer of Alphabet

MBA Program for Executives West

Jacqueline Reses, W’92, Capital Lead of Square

MBA Program for Executives East

Anthony Noto, WG’99 (WEMBA 23), Chief Financial Officer of Twitter

2015

MBA

Neil Blumenthal, WG’10, and Dave Gilboa, WG’10, Co-Founders and Co-Chief Executive Officers of Warby Parker

MBA Program for Executives West

Josh Kopelman, W’93, Founder of First Round Capital

MBA Program for Executives East

David Pottruck, C’70, WG’72, Chairman of High Tower Advisors

2014

MBA

David Rubenstein, Co-Founder and Co-Chief Executive Officer of The Carlyle Group

MBA Program for Executives West

Neel Kashkari, WG’02, Former Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury Department

MBA Program for Executives East

Dan Tangherlini, WG’01, Administrator of the U.S. General Services Administration

2013

MBA

Andrea Mitchell, Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent for NBC News

MBA Program for Executives West

Inder Sidhu, WG’91, Senior Vice President of Strategy for Worldwide Operations at Cisco Systems

MBA Program for Executives East

Alex Gorsky, WG’96, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Johnson & Johnson

2012

MBA

Dr. Mehmet Oz, M’86, WG’86, talk show host and Director of Cardiovascular Institute and Complementary Medicine Program at New York Presbyterian Hospital

MBA Program for Executives

Carol Bartz, Former President and Chief Executive Officer of Yahoo! and Autodesk

2011

MBA

Vikram Pandit, Chief Executive Officer of Citigroup

MBA Program for Executives

Laurence M. Baer, President and Chief Operations Officer of San Francisco Giants

2010

MBA

Robert Kapito, W’79, Co-Founder and President of BlackRock

MBA Program for Executives

Paul Otellini, President and Chief Executive Officer of Intel Corporation

2009

MBA

Muhammad Yunus, Founder of Grameen Bank and 2006 Nobel Peace Prize Winner

MBA Program for Executives

Peter Robertson, WG’71, Chevron Corporation

2008

MBA

Jon M. Huntsman, Jr., Governor of Utah

MBA Program for Executives

Art Bilger, Managing Director of Shelter Capital Partners, LLC

2007

MBA

Lakshmi N. Mittal, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Arcelor Mittal and Founder of Mittal Steel

MBA Program for Executives

Patrick T. Harker, Dean of The Wharton School

2006

MBA

Leonard Lauder, W’54, Chairman of Estee Lauder Companies

MBA Program for Executives

Kenneth Moelis, W’80, WG’81, President and Joint Global Head of Investment Banking for UBS Investment Bank

2005

MBA

Alan Greenspan, Chairman of the Board of Governors for the Federal Reserve System

MBA Program for Executives

David Pottruck, C’70, WG’72, President and Chief Executive Officer of Charles Schwab