Rolls-Royce CEO, Former State Controller to Address 2009 Graduates of Saint Mary's College
For Immediate Release
Director of Media Relations
MORAGA, CA (March 9, 2009) âˆ’ Saint Mary's College of California will hold its 146th Commencement at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 23, 2009, with more than 500 undergraduates receiving diplomas at SMC Stadium. More than 150 graduate students will receive diplomas the following Sunday, May 24, 2009, at 2 p.m. at the McKeon Pavilion.
James M. Guyette president and CEO of Rolls-Royce North America and an alumnus of Saint Mary's College (â€˜67), will deliver the Commencement address for Saint Mary's undergraduates. Guyette oversees all Rolls-Royce companies and business units in North America, encompassing 7,300 people at more than 64 locations throughout the U.S. and Canada. Rolls-Royce North America, the global headquarters for the company's helicopters, small gas turbine engines, corporate aircraft and energy businesses, reports annual sales exceeding $3.9 billion. Guyette joined Rolls-Royce in 1997 after 28 years of executive leadership with United Airlines. He was an integral part of the team that developed the Boeing 777, for which he earned the Aviation Week & Space Technology Laurels Award.
Guyette has been on the Board of Regents of Saint Mary's College for more than 20 years and was the College's 2007 Alumnus of the Year. Over the years, he has contributed generously to the Guyette Family Scholarship to help deserving students.
"As an international business leader and an alumnus of Saint Mary's College, Jim will offer cogent insights and reflections about the challenges our graduates will face as they leave Saint Mary's. Jim has been proactive in his support of student development and leadership at Saint Mary's, and I am sure that he will give wise advice to our students and their families," said Brother President Ronald Gallagher.
Steve Westly, the former controller and chief fiscal officer of the state of California, will deliver the Commencement address for Saint Mary's graduate students. Westly ran a hotly contested campaign for governor of California in 2006, narrowly losing in the Democratic primary. During his four-year term as controller, Westly spearheaded tax programs to help close the state's budget deficit and led an effort to commit more than $1 billion to clean technology investments.
He chaired the State Lands Commission and served on 63 boards and commissions, including the nation's two largest public pension funds âˆ’ the California Public Employees' Retirement System and California State Teachers' Retirement System âˆ’ that together invest more than $350 billion. In addition to serving as the chief financial officer of the Golden State, Westly helped the online auction company eBay expand globally as the senior vice president of Marketing, Business Development, M&A and International.
With his wife, Anita, he also created the Westly Foundation, which provides education and health care services for children and underserved communities throughout California.
According to Westly, leadership in the 21st century is one of the great challenges facing not only the country but also all Americans. "I want to impart to Saint Mary's students life lessons, insights and a challenge, a challenge to change the world and to make a difference through business, government and community action."