College announces former DreamWorks chair Mellody Hobson as 2020 Commencement speaker

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March 3, the College of William and Mary announced that former DreamWorks chair Mellody Hobson will serve as the 2020 Commencement Ceremony speaker May 16. In addition to speaking at the event, Hobson will be given an honorary degree.  

Hobson served as President  of Ariel Investments for nearly 20 years before being promoted to her current position as co-CEO and chair board of trustees. As co-CEO and Board of Trustees chair, she is responsible for managing the company’s activity beyond research and portfolio management, and also leads their publicly traded mutual funds. In addition to chairing DreamWorks Animation’s board until the company’s recent sale, highlights from Hobson’s career include serving as a director of JPMorgan Chase and Quibi, as well as vice chair of the Starbucks Corporation. 

Throughout her career, Hobson has used her voice to stress the significance of financial literacy by serving as a contributor for CBS News and ABC’s “Good Morning America”, along with writing at Black Enterprise Magazine. Her charitable pursuits extend to chairing the nonprofit organization After School Matters, vice chairing World Business Chicago and co-chairing the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art. 

Hobson received various honorary degrees from accredited universities, including one last year from her alma mater, Princeton University, which awarded her their prestigious Woodrow Wilson Award. She was also previously featured as one of Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People” of 2015.  

“Mellody Hobson embodies the highest ideals of a William & Mary education: excellence, curiosity and generosity. We cannot wait to hear from her,” College President Katherine Rowe said in a press release.

“Mellody Hobson embodies the highest ideals of a William & Mary education: excellence, curiosity and generosity. We cannot wait to hear from her,” College President Katherine Rowe said in a press release.  

Attorney and supporter of the College Donald Patten as well as artist, performer and writer Faith Ringgold will receive honorary degrees at the College’s 2020 Commencement Ceremony. Ringgold specializes in mixed media artwork and is also a writer, teacher and lecturer, as well as an author of various children’s books. Patten practices law in Newport News, Va., and served on the College’s Board of Visitors 1999 to 2003 and was the College’s rector from 2001 to 2003.  

“Our honorees are game-changers in their disparate fields, whose vision and leadership serve as wonderful inspirations for William & Mary’s graduates at Commencement,” Rowe said.