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Mary Barra’s U-M Commencement Speech to be Livestreamed

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Mary Barra’s U-M Commencement Speech

Mary Barra’s U-M commencement speech will be livestreamed here.

General Motors CEO, Mary Barra, has been under relentless fire following the major GM recall of recent months, but she has held her own throughout the process, especially given that she only found out about the issue right after she officially became CEO of the company (and the first female CEO of a U.S. automotive company, ever) on January 15.

Recalls aside, Barra represents to the dreamers of our next generation that hard work and perseverance really can pay off and also demonstrates how to maintain focus even in the face of adversity. That is why the University of Michigan chose Mary Barra to deliver the commencement speech for the U-M Class of 2014 this Saturday, May 3, at 10:00am.

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Barra got her start with General Motors at just 18. She went on to graduate from Kettering University, which was then called General Motors Institute, with a degree in electric engineering in 1985.

“The commencement speaker is chosen to inspire graduates, both through the commencement address and by virtue of his or her accomplishments,” Rick Fitzgerald, U-M spokesman, told The Ann Arbor News. “As a Michigan native and the first female CEO of a major automaker we believe Mary Barra clearly fits that description.”

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Mary Barra’s U-M commencement speech will not, however, be her first. Last year, she spoke at the graduation for Kettering University, her alma mater. According to the Detroit Free Press, she told those graduating students, “Things will happen to you. Opportunities will arise that you simply cannot imagine today,” which almost seems prescient, given her subsequent promotion nearly a year later. She went on, “Embrace [the opportunities]. Enjoy them and at times you will have to overcome them.” Seriously, is this woman a clairvoyant?

You can check out Mary Barra’s U-M commencement speech via livestream at the university’s website.