Mayer to Speak at HMC Commencement

Marissa Mayer, Vice President of Search Products and User Experience at Google and the company’s first female engineer, will deliver the keynote address at the 2011 commencement ceremony for Harvey Mudd College on Sunday, May 15, at 1:30 PM.

“We are pleased that Marissa Mayer has accepted HMC’s invitation to be this year’s commencement speaker,” said HMC President Maria Klawe in an email to The Student Life. “As Google’s first female engineer and the youngest member of its executive operating committee, Mayer will offer our graduates an important perspective and build on the tradition of distinguished commencement speakers HMC has welcomed over the years.”

Recent commencement speakers at HMC have included Bill Nye, Dean Kamen, Freeman Hrabowski, Mae C. Jemison, and Orson Scott Card.

According to Klawe, the process for selecting Mayer as commencement speaker began by soliciting input from various members of the HMC community, particularly the senior class. ASHMC Senior Class President Brigid Poling HM ‘11 was involved in the process, among other students.

“In making the final decision…[my] cabinet [and I] weigh many different factors before selecting a speaker who is someone of notable academic or professional accomplishment and whose insight and perspective are relevant to the graduating seniors as well as the larger campus community,” Klawe said.

Mayer, a Wisconsin native, earned her B.S. in symbolic systems and her M.S. in computer science with a focus in artificial intelligence from Stanford University. In Oct. 2010, she was appointed to Google’s executive operating committee and tasked with overseeing all of the company’s location-based and local services, which include Google Maps, Google Maps for Mobile, Local Search, Google Earth, Street View, Latitude, and other products.

Mayer was hired in 1999 as Google’s 20th employee and first female engineer, and was named one of the 50 Most Powerful Women in the world by Fortune magazine last year. She has acted as a public face for the company and received extensive media coverage, most notably in a July 2009 issue of Vogue.

“The campus community is really excited that Marissa Mayer will be our 2011 commencement speaker,” Klawe said. “She’s had an accomplished career working on the cutting edge of Internet technology and has a lot of insights to offer our students.”

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