Texas Tech University

Commencement Speaker

Fall 2018

Edward E. Whitacre, Jr.

Former Chairman & CEO, General Motors Company
Chairman Emeritus, AT&T Inc.

Edward E. Whitacre, Jr.

Ed Whitacre joined General Motors as Chairman when the new company launched in July 2009 and held that position until the end of December 2010. He also served as Chief Executive Officer from December 2009 through August 2010. In his expanded leadership role, Whitacre set a clear vision for GM: Design, Build and Sell the World's Best Vehicles.

As chairman and CEO of AT&T from 1990 until retiring in June 2007, Whitacre led then-SBC Communications (SBC) on a disciplined growth strategy and through a series of industry-changing mergers and acquisitions, including the 2005 acquisition of AT&T Corp., after which the company adopted the venerable name, AT&T Inc. (AT&T).

Under Whitacre's leadership, SBC made significant domestic and international investments. In addition, SBC established several groundbreaking strategic partnerships with companies such as Yahoo! and Echostar, enabling SBC to set the pace for DSL sales as well as enter the video market. SBC joined with BellSouth to create Cingular Wireless, which in 2004 acquired AT&T Wireless. SBC and the new AT&T have been repeatedly named by Fortune magazine as the most admired telecommunications company in America and the world. Forbes magazine named AT&T "Company of the Year" for 2006.

Whitacre previously served as a member of The Business Council, the President's National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee and the boards of the Institute for International Economics, Anheuser-Busch Companies, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation, Exxon Mobil Corporation and the PGA Tour.

Born on November 4, 1941 in Ennis, Texas, he graduated from Texas Tech University in 1964 with a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering. He began his career with Southwestern Bell Telephone Company in 1963 as a facility engineer in Lubbock, Texas. Whitacre's leadership extends into the community where he has been actively involved with the Boy Scouts of America, the Board of Regents of Texas Tech University, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and United Way.

In recognition of his commitment to business and community, Whitacre was named one of the Top 25 Executives of the Year by BusinessWeek. He also has earned a number of awards for his contributions to business and civic affairs, including the Corporate Leadership Award from the National Minority Supplier Development Council and the Obelisk Leadership Award.

His book, American Turnaround - Reinventing AT&T and GM and the Way We Do Business in the USA, with Leslie Cauley, was released in February 2013.

Mr. Whitacre is married to Linda Whitacre and they have two married daughters and four grandchildren.

 

Previous Commencement Speakers


Lamar Smith

Lamar Smith
Summer, 2018

Jason Jenkins

Jason Jenkins
Spring, 2018

Abner Euresti

Abner Euresti
Fall, 2017

Jeffrey Noel Lastrapes

Jeffrey Noel Lastrapes
Summer, 2017

David J. Schmidly, Ph.D.

David J. Schmidly, Ph.D.
Spring, 2017

John T. Montford

John T. Montford
Fall, 2016

Andres Alcantar

Andres Alcantar
Summer, 2016

Mark Lanier

Mark Lanier
Spring, 2016

Marsha Sharp

Marsha Sharp
Fall, 2015

Mark Griffin

Mark Griffin
Summer, 2015

Arcilia Acosta

Arcilia Acosta
Spring, 2015

Dr. Mica R. Endsley-Jones

Dr. Mica R. Endsley-Jones
Fall, 2014

Douglas E. Barnhart

Douglas E. Barnhart
Summer, 2014

Kent Hance

Kent R. Hance
Spring, 2014

Dr. O. Wayne Isom

Dr. O. Wayne Isom
Fall, 2013

Paul L. Foster

Paul L. Foster
Fall, 2013

Duane Nellis

Duane Nellis
Summer, 2013

Senator Ted Cruz

Senator Ted Cruz
Spring, 2013

Congressman Randy Neugebauer

Congressman Randy Neugebauer
Spring, 2013

Ray Maybus

Ray Maybus
Fall, 2012

W. Mark Lanier

W. Mark Lanier
Spring, 2012

Jerry S Rawls

Jerry S. Rawls
Spring, 2012

Bernard T. Mittemeyer, M.D.

Edward E. Whitacre, Jr.
Fall, 2011

Bernard T. Mittemeyer, M.D.

Bernard T. Mittemeyer, M.D.
Summer, 2011

Ginger Kerrick

Ginger Kerrick
Fall, 2010

Judge Royal Furgeson

Judge Royal Furgeson
Spring, 2010

Chancellor Kent Hance

Chancellor Kent Hance
Fall 2009

Donald E. Powell

Donald E. Powell
August, 2009
Undergraduate Commencement

Karen P. Hughes

Ambassador Karen P. Hughes
May, 2009
Graduate School Commencement

Scott Pelley

Scott Pelley
May, 2009
Undergraduate School Commencement

Clay Sell

Clay Sell
August, 2008

Dr. Dale E. Klein

Dr. Dale E. Klein
Spring, 2008
Graduate School Commencement

James A. Barker, III

James A. Baker, III
Spring, 2008
Undergraduate School Commencement

Commencement Speakers

Katharine Hayhoe
Fall, 2007
Graduate School Commencement

Commencement Speakers

Paul L. Foster
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Undergraduate School Commencement

Commencement Speakers

Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst
Fall, 2007
Undergraduate Commencement

Commencement Speakers

Geoff Wayne
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Commencement Speakers

Dr. John W. Ryan
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Graduate School Commencement

Commencement Speakers

The Honorable Roger Williams, Secretary of State
Fall, 2006
Undergraduate School Commencement

Grandmaster Susan Polger

Grandmaster Susan Polger
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Undergraduate School Commencement

Commencement Speakers

Dr. William M. Marcy
August, 2006

Commencement Speakers

Ambassador Gregory W. Engle
Fall, 2006
Graduate School Commencement

Commencement Speakers

Margaret Spellings
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Undergraduate Morning Commencement

Commencement Speakers

Dr. Shelby D. Hunt
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Graduate School Commencement

Commencement Speakers

Senator John Cornyn
Spring, 2006
Law School Commencement

Commencement Speakers

Dr. Donald R. Haragan
Spring, 2006
Undergraduate Afternoon Commencement

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Wyman Meinzer
Summer, 1999

Commencement Speakers

Dr. Kishor C. Mehta
May, 2005

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Carole Keeton Rylander
Fall, 1999

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George Bush
Spring, 1999

Commencement Speakers

George W. Bush
Spring, 1997

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Queen Noor of Jordan
Fall, 1996

Commencement