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Distinguished Alumnus and Student Speaker Honorees

Graziadio Commencement

The Distinguished Alumnus Award and student speaker represent the highest honors the Graziadio School bestows upon an individual. During each commencement ceremony, the awards are presented to distinguished leaders and luminaries who have achieved preeminence in academia and business. The honorees deliver the keynote addresses at graduation and share their insights and guidance with the business leaders of tomorrow.

December 2015 Commencement Speakers


Jeff Stibel

Honorary Doctorate Recipient

Honorary doctorate recipient Jeff Stibel, author, entrepreneur, and brain scientist, addressed the graduates at the December 2015 Graziadio Commencement Ceremony as a distinguished alumnus.

Stibel is currently the vice chairman of Dun & Bradstreet and a founding partner of Bryant Stibel & Co. He was previously CEO of the Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corporation and president and CEO of Web.com, Inc. Stibel currently sits on the boards of a number of private and public companies, as well as academic boards for Tufts University, Brown University, and the University of Southern California. Stibel is the author of the New York Times bestseller Breakpoint (Macmillan, 2013) and Wired for Thought (Harvard Business Press, 2009). He holds a bachelor's degree from Tufts University in psychology, philosophy and cognitive science and a master's degree in cognitive and linguistic sciences from Brown University. Stibel was the recipient of a Brain and Behavior Fellowship while studying for a PhD at Brown University. He lives in Malibu, CA, with his wife Cheryl and two children, Lincoln and Dennett.


Don Bailey, MBA '86

Honorary Doctorate Recipient

Don Bailey (MBA '86), former CEO of Questcor, Inc. (QCOR), a specialty pharmaceutical company, is now on the board of MNK and chairman of its Portfolio Committee. Bailey was QCOR's CEO for seven years following a one-year stint as an independent director. During his tenure, the stock price of QCOR increased over 200 times and QCOR was named the number one growth company in the US three times by Forbes and Fortune. Bailey is also a director and audit committee chair of Biotie Therapeutics Corp. (BITI), a pharmaceutical company headquartered in Turku, Finland. Biotie is a Finnish public company and had an IPO in the U.S. in June 2015.

Bailey was the non-executive chairman of Staar Surgical (STAA), an ophthalmic products company from 2005 through June, 2014. He served as chairman and CEO of Comarco Inc., a defense-services company transformed into a wireless communications products company. He served as CEO from 1991 to 2000 and chairman from 1998 until 2007. Comarco increased in value approximately 15 times while he was CEO. He earned a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from the Drexel Institute of Technology in 1968, a master of science degree in operations research from USC in 1971, and an MBA from Pepperdine in 1986.

Bailey is a Senior Fellow in Entrepreneurship at Pepperdine University. He also serves on the board of the Business School at Chapman University and is a founding board member of the Institute for Innovation at the University of California, Irvine. Bailey, his wife of 48 years, Linda, and their three children manage their family office and philanthropic foundations.

Past Honorees


December 2006

Distinguished Alumnus
Richard D. Cordova, President and CEO, Childrens Hospital Los Angeles Video

Honorary Doctorate of Laws
Wesley G. Bush, President and CFO, Northrop Grumman Corporation
Duane Denney, Vice President and Director, Corwin D. Denney Foundation

August 2006

Distinguished Alumna
Gloria L. Austin, Chief Executive Officer, Brown & Toland Medical Group Video

Honorary Doctorate of Laws
Michael C. Kuan, Founder and Managing Partner, Strategic Impact Group

April 2006

Distinguished Alumni
Marco G. Maimone, Founder and President, Marco's Auto Body, Inc.
Lillian C. Maimone, CEO, Marco's Auto Body, Inc. Video

Honorary Doctorate of Laws
Thomas V. McKernan, President and CEO, Automobile Club of Southern California


December 2007

Distinguished Alumna
Forescee M. Hogan-Rowles, President and CEO, Community Financial Resource Center Video

Honorary Doctorate of Laws
Roger Ailes, Chair and CEO, FOX News; Chair, Fox Television Stations

August 2007

Distinguished Alumnus
Arif Shakeel, Former CEO and Director, Western Digital Corp.

Honorary Doctorate of Laws
Foster Friess, Founder, Friess Associates

April 2007

Distinguished Alumni
Robert C. Marshall and James R. Marshall, Co-founders and Managing Directors, Selby Venture Partners Video

Honorary Doctorate of Laws
Eli Broad, Founder and Chairman, SunAmerica Inc. and KB Home Video


December 2008

Distinguished Alumnus
Luis Faura, PKE MBA '04, President and Chief Operating Officer, C&F Foods Inc. Video

Honorary Doctorate of Laws
Wolf Hengst, President, Amala Holdings and Consultants; Former President of Worldwide Operations, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts Video

August 2008

Distinguished Alumna
Melody Mayberry-Stewart, MBA '83, Chief Information Officer, New York State Video

April 2008

Distinguished Alumnus
Alejandro Bustamante, MBA '82,President, Plantronics Mexico (PLAMEX)

Honorary Doctorate of Laws
Bonnie McElveen-Hunter, Owner and CEO, Pace Communications Video


December 2009

Distinguished Alumna
Susanna (Poon) Kass, MBA ’88, Chief Operating Officer, Trilliant Inc.Video

Honorary Doctorate of Laws
Anne Sweeney, Co-Chair, Disney Media Networks and President, ABC/Disney Television Group Video

August 2009

Distinguished Alumna
Fiona Ma, MBA '00, Majority Whip, California Assembly 

Honorary Doctorate of Laws
Bob Eckert, CEO, Mattel 

April 2009

Distinguished Alumnus
John Figueroa, MBA '97, President, McKesson U.S. Pharmaceutical Video

Honorary Doctorate of Laws
Mark Burnett, TV Producer, "Survivor," "The Apprentice," "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader" Video

Roma Downey, Emmy and Golden Globe nominated actress, “Touched by An Angel” Video


December 2010

Distinguished Alumnus Award
T. Kendall Hunt
Founder, Chairman of the Board, and Chief Executive Officer
VASCO Data Security International, Inc.Video

Honorary Doctorate Laws
Dr. Craig and Barbara Barrett
Former CEO, Intel; and Former Ambassador to Finland Video

Student Speaker
Dan Sanders
President, ACME Markets Video

August 2010

Distinguished Alumna Award
Lynn Powers, President and Chief Executive, Gaiam Inc. Video
Student Speaker
Matthew Brewer, Controller, California Institute of Technology Video

April 2010

Distinguished Alumnus
Dave Bowman, Vice President and General Manager, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems Video
Honorary Doctorate of Laws
Carl J. Schramm, President and CEO, Kauffman Foundation Video


December 2011

Distinguished Alumni Award
David T. Feinberg, M.D., MBA '02
President, UCLA Health System
Chief Executive Officer, UCLA Hospital System
Associate Vice Chancellor, UCLA Health Sciences   Video

Honorary Doctorate Laws
Paul N. Hopkins
Retired Chairman of Farmers, Group, Inc.
Retired Chairman of the Americas for Zurich Financial Services  Video

Student Speaker
Gabriel Crecion
Executive Master of Business Administration
The First American Title Company Video

August 2011

Distinguished Alumni Award
Bernard Kinsey
MBA 1973
President and Founder
KBK Enterprises, Inc. Video

Honorary Doctorate Laws
Richard G. Newmanrong
Chairman of the Board
AECOM Technology Corporation Video

Student Speaker
Scot J. Hutton
Bachelor of Science in Management
United States Marine Corps. Video 

April 2011

Distinguished Alumna Award
Robin Washington
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Gilead&nbspSciences, Inc.Video

Honorary Doctorate Laws
Dan T. Cathy
President and Chief Operating Officer
Chick-fil-A Video

Student Speaker
Gina Warren
Graziadio Emerging Leader Video


December 2012

Distinguished Alumni Award
Britta Wilson, Executive MBA ‘92
Vice President of Human Resources, Paramount Pictures Corporation Founder, Video

Honorary Doctorate of Laws
William McMorrow
Chairman and CEO, Kennedy Wilson, Video

Student Speaker
Linda LoRe, PKE ‘12
CEO and President, The Engagement Principle LLC, Video

August 2012

Distinguished Alumni Award
Jeff Sprecher, MBA '84
Founder, IntercontinentalExchange (ICE), Video

Student Speaker
Jack Schlafer, MSOD '12
Principal Program and Change Manager, Microsoft, Video

April 2012

Distinguished Alumni Award
Lore Harp McGovern, MBA ‘81
Director, McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT
Director, GoFish Technologies Inc.
Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Associates of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research at MIT, Video

Student Speaker
Kevin Streeter, BSM ‘11/MBA ‘12
Director, Ambulatory Surgery Center at Saint John's Health Center
Retired U.S. Navy Veteran, Video


December 2013

Distinguished Alumnus Award
Zack Hicks, BSM '97
Chief Information Officer, Toyota North America, Video

Commencement Speaker
Stevan Calvillo
Attorney at Law, Calvillo & Meyer, LLP, Video

Student Speaker
Margaret Stonestreet
Fully Employed MBA, Video

August 2013

Distinguished Alumnus Award
David W. Neu, PKE MBA '09
President, AmerisourceBergen, Video

Honorary Doctorate of Laws
Gary D. Burnison
CEO, Korn/Ferry International,Video

Student Speaker
Rui "Alice" Wan
MS in Applied Finance, Video

April 2013

Distinguished Alumni Award
Blake Irving, MBA '88
CEO, Go Daddy Video

Honorary Doctorate of Laws
Al Plamann
CEO, United Grocers, Video

Student Speaker
Thomas Mitchell, MBA '13
Full-time MBA, Video


December 2014

Student Speaker
Kenny Roberson
MS in Applied Finance

Kendrick (Kenny) Roberson hails from Carson, California in the County of Los Angeles. Having first attended El Camino College, Mr. Roberson attained an Associate’s Degree in the field of Economics. During his time at El Camino College, Mr. Roberson was a winner of a nationwide competition hosted by NASA, granting him the honor of National Aerospace Scholar. He has also taught college mathematics, and is currently employed by the Los Angeles Air Force, Space and Missiles Systems Center, where he helps estimate the cost of satellites. 

After transferring to Pepperdine for his undergrad, Mr. Roberson was a member of the Debate team, Director of the Genesis Gospel Choir, a transfer mentor, and a host of Songfest. In 2013, he achieved his Bachelor’s Degree in Economics, and was accepted into the Master of Science in Applied Finance program at the Graziadio School of Business and Management.  Kenny was involved in many events during his stay at Graziadio, and also enjoyed being a member of the Finance Club. 

Mr. Roberson hopes to use the knowledge gained from his MSAF degree to open his own wealth management firm. He understands that the future will require that he accomplish even more formidable tasks, and welcomes the manifold challenges.