College announces Mellody Hobson as 2022 Commencement speaker


Mellody Hobson, president and co-CEO of Ariel Investments and the chairwoman of Starbucks Corporation, will speak at The College of William and Mary’s 2022 Commencement Ceremony. 

Hobson previously provided remarks for the Class of 2020’s virtual commencement.

“She is an extraordinary businesswoman who generously gives of her expertise to improve the financial literacy of people around the world, laying the groundwork for a better future for all of us,” President Katherine Rowe said of Hobson.

As the first Black woman to be named the non-executive director of the Starbucks board of directors, Hobson has previously held roles with DreamWorks Animation and the Estée Lauder Companies. Hobson is also an active proponent of financial literacy among minority communities. In 2015, Time Magazine named Hobson one of the world’s “100 Most Influential People” and in 2018 the governor of Illinois awarded her the Order of Lincoln.

Hobson will receive an honorary degree alongside Stephanie Murphy ’00 (D-Fla.).

“It will be a special pleasure, as well, to welcome Congresswoman Murphy back to campus as we celebrate the university’s Asian Centennial,” Rowe said. “She made history as the first Vietnamese-American woman elected to U.S. Congress, and her legacy will be her leadership and service to the nation.”

This year’s undergraduate ceremony will be at 7p.m. on May 20 in Zable Stadium. The ceremony for graduate and professional students will be held the following day at 9a.m.. Chancellor Robert Gates ’65, L.H.D. ’98, will speak at both events. 


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Anna (she/her) is a history and government major from Washington D.C. She hopes to further The Flat Hat’s role on campus as a voice for the community by both bringing attention to impactful issues and uplifting diverse voices. Anna is also a goalie for the club field hockey team and a member of criminal justice and immigration-related organizations. In the moments she finds free time, she enjoys cooking and baking.


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