As University of Wisconsin seniors are preparing for graduation and the traditions that come with it, officials announced Tuesday graduates will hear a commencement speech from a prominent UW alumna.
Carol Bartz, former CEO and president of Yahoo! and Autodesk, was chosen to deliver the commencement speech to the graduating class of 2012 at her alma mater. The four commencement ceremonies are set to take place May 19 and 20 at the Kohl Center.
Senior Class President Steven Olikara said Bartz was chosen by the class of 2012 officers because of her embodiment of the Wisconsin Idea.
“The Wisconsin Idea is about overcoming challenges, and that’s precisely what Bartz has done in her career. She is one of America’s most influential business leaders and a pioneer in the technology industry,” he said. “At the same time, she has been a tremendous advocate for women in business and has supported important causes, such as the American Breast Cancer Foundation and the American Heart Association.”
Bartz graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in computer science from UW. She is now consistently listed as one of “Fortune’s Most Powerful Women.”
Bartz said in a UW statement that she is excited to return to the campus.
“I’m so happy to be back in Madison as a commencement speaker,” Bartz said in the statement. “I missed my own graduation ceremony here in 1971, so I’m really going to enjoy this with the class of 2012.”
Bartz led Autodesk for 12 years as CEO before she was promoted to executive chairman. In 2009, she left to lead Yahoo!. Her work as CEO at Yahoo! involved modernizing technology platforms, acquiring companies for expansion and growing the consumer audience to 800 million, according to the statement.
Currently, Bartz is the lead director on the board of Cisco Systems, which is the worldwide leader in networking.
“We are honored to call Bartz a fellow Badger and excited for her to inspire her alma mater’s class of 2012,” Olikara said.
The commencement ceremonies will take place at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday.