Stephenson named SMU graduation commencement speaker

Southern Methodist University’s featured speaker in the 103rd all-University Commencement ceremony will be Randall L. Stephenson, chairman and chief executive officer of AT&T.


The ceremony, which is expected to award over 2,500 degrees, will be held on Saturday, May 19 at 9 a.m. in Moody Coliseum.

Stephenson earned his B.S. in accounting from the University of Central Oklahoma before earning his Master of Accountancy from the University of Oklahoma. His career began in 1982 at Southwestern Bell Telephone in Oklahoma, and in 2005, he was appointed to AT&T’s board of directors. Later, in 2007, Stephenson was appointed CEO.

Since his start as CEO, Stephenson’s career has had notable accomplishments including the acquisition of Time Warner, DIRECTV, and the purchase of Mexican wireless companies. He initiated AT&T’s “It Can Wait” campaign, accumulating over 19 million pledges of support against distracted driving.

“We are honored to have a pioneering business and technology leader of Mr. Stephenson’s stature as featured speaker at Commencement,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner.

In 2016, AT&T donated $2.5 million to SMU, endowing the AT&T Center for Visualization and funding its advanced research. Additionally, AT&T and SMU collaborated to start the Payne Stewart SMU Golf Training Center at the Trinity Forest Golf Club.

“He is a striking example of what can be accomplished when someone possesses a clear vision of where they want to go,” Turner said. “I know he will inspire each of our graduating students to form their own grand vision of what they want to accomplish in their lives with the knowledge they’ve acquired at SMU.”

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