Commencement, plan B

By: | Issue: June, 2015
May 28, 2015

Getting a spring cancellation from a confirmed commencement speaker—particularly a high-profile one—is a planning team’s nightmare. Pepperdine University’s Seaver College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences had Sir Anthony Hopkins lined up to speak for its May 2 commencement, but a scheduling conflict for the actor called for a new plan. To the rescue: health technology entrepreneur Elizabeth Holmes, CEO of Theranos and the youngest female billionaire in America. According to the Pepperdine University Graphic, the student newspaper, Holmes had already been under consideration and the board of regents approved her invite via email to hurry along the process. Pepperdine commencement speakers are reportedly not compensated.