Mary Barra '85 delivers commencement speech

Jun 8, 2013

Mary Barra '85 delivered the charge to graduates at Kettering University commencement ceremonies June 8 in the Connie and Jim John Recreation Center.

Barra, General Motors senior vice president, Global Product Development, encouraged the graduating class of 201 students, to take advantage of both their education and their potential as the Millenial Generation to make the world a better place.

"There are 18 million of you in the 'Millenial Generation,'" Barra said. "You are the largest, richest and most tech savvy generation in history. But you are also the most inclusive and the most optimistic. Kettering students have an opportunity to impact the world. The practical, real-world experience that a Kettering education provides is as practical today as it was 30 years ago."

The student speaker, Kristen Russell, encouraged her classmates to not only seek opportunities for themselves, but to assist others as well.

"Investing in others creates happiness," Russell said. "Serve those around you. We are all here in this position (as graduates) because countless others have helped us."

Kettering University President Robert K. McMahan told the graduates that they are now part of an elite group as Kettering graduates, noting that great responsibility comes with being counted among the institution's alumni.

"You are now among some of the most successful and impactful alumni of any institution in the country," McMahan said. "The world needs you all to make a difference. We need your talent, energy, service, leadership and spirit to improve the human condition. Don't just make a living, help us all make better lives."

See commencement photos and photos from the Honors Breakfast on Facebook.

Watch Mary Barra's commencement address.