Chu, Byers and Nuti to Give Commencement Addresses

Georgia Tech celebrates 236th commencement

Georgia Tech celebrates its 236th commencement with approximately 2,800 undergraduates and graduate students during ceremonies on Friday, May 7, and two ceremonies on Saturday, May 8, at the Alexander Memorial Coliseum.

Secretary Stephen Chu will be speaking at the Ph.D. and Master’s ceremony to be held on Friday at 7 p.m.  A distinguished scientist and co-winner of the 1997 Nobel Prize for Physics, Chu was appointed by President Barack Obama as the 12th Secretary of Energy in January 2009.

Chu has devoted his recent scientific career to the search for new solutions to America’s energy challenge–a mission he continues with even greater urgency as Secretary of Energy.  He is charged with helping implement President Obama’s ambitious agenda to invest in alternative and renewable energy, end the country’s addiction to foreign oil and create millions of new jobs.

Prior to his appointment, Chu was director of the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and professor of physics and molecular and cell biology at the University of California.  He successfully applied the techniques he developed in atomic physics to molecular biology, and since 2004, motivated by his deep interest in climate change, has led the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab in pursuit of new alternative and renewable energies.  Previously, he held positions at Stanford University and AT&T Bell Laboratories.

Chu holds undergraduate degrees in mathematics and physics from the University of Rochester, and a Ph.D. in physics from the University of California, Berkeley, as well as honorary degrees from ten universities.

Brook H. Byers will give the address for the morning undergraduate ceremony for the Colleges of Architecture, Computing, Management, Sciences and the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts, which starts at 9 a.m.  A venture capital investor since 1972, Byers is the managing partner of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers in Menlo Park, California.  He has been closely involved in more than 50 new technology-based ventures, more than half of which have already become public companies.  

Byers formed his first life sciences practice group in the venture capital profession in 1984 and led KPCB to become a premier venture capital firm in the medical, healthcare and biotechnology sectors.  KPCB has invested in and helped build more than 110 life sciences companies that have developed hundreds of products to treat major underserved medical needs for millions of patients.  

Byers was the founding president and then chairman of four biotechnology companies that were incubated in KPCB’s offices and went on to become public companies with an aggregate market value of more than $8 billion.

Raised in Atlanta, Byers holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Georgia Tech and an MBA from Stanford University.

William R. Nuti, chairman and chief executive officer of NCR Corporation, will give the commencement address for the undergraduate ceremony for the College of Engineering.   Under Nuti’s leadership, NCR is transforming itself into “a self-service giant,” leading how the world connects, interacts and transacts with business.  NCR’s assisted- and self-service solutions and comprehensive support services address the needs of the financial services, retail and hospitality, travel and gaming, entertainment, healthcare and public sector, and software and technology services industries in more than 100 countries.

Nuti has a wealth of global and industry-specific experience in high technology.  Before joining NCR in 2005, he served as president and CEO of Symbol Technologies, where he led a challenging but highly successful turnaround effort.  Under Nuti’s leadership, Symbol returned to profitability for the first time in five years, and from 2002-2004 increased revenue growth by 24 percent.

Nuti joined Symbol following more than ten years at Cisco Systems, where he held positions of increasing responsibility, advancing to the dual role of senior vice president of the company’s Worldwide Service Provider Operations and senior vice president of U.S. Theatre Operations.  In these roles, he led Cisco’s field operations and technical operations, professional services, marketing, and U.S. sales divisions.  Prior to that, Nuti served as president of Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and more than doubled Cisco’s revenue to more than $7 billion in the region.

Nuti holds a bachelor’s degree in finance and economics from Long Island University.

The Georgia Institute of Technology is one of the world's premier research universities. Ranked seventh among U.S. News & World Report's top public universities and the eighth best engineering and information technology university in the world by Shanghai Jiao Tong University's Academic Ranking of World Universities, Georgia Tech’s more than 20,000 students are enrolled in its Colleges of Architecture, Computing, Engineering, Liberal Arts, Management and Sciences. Tech is among the nation's top producers of women and minority engineers. The Institute offers research opportunities to both undergraduate and graduate students and is home to more than 100 interdisciplinary units plus the Georgia Tech Research Institute.