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UC Alum and CEO of JCPenney Will Address Spring Commencement Ceremonies

Mike Ullman is gaining international attention – transforming the culture and driving long-term growth at one of the nation’s largest department store, catalog and e-commerce retailers.

Date: 4/12/2006 12:00:00 AM
By: Dawn Fuller
Phone: (513) 556-1823
Photos By: UC Foundation

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Mike Ullman

Myron E. “Mike” Ullman III, an alumnus of UC’s College of Business and chairman and chief executive officer of JCPenney Company, Inc., will share candid insights from the world of retail with graduates at the University of Cincinnati All-University Commencement ceremonies on Saturday, June 10. However, the event will not be the typical pomp and circumstance Commencement address. In a unique approach to UC|21 efforts to place students at the center of the university, Ullman will not only speak, but will be interviewed as part of this spring’s Commencement ceremony.

The former UC Vice President for Business Affairs and member of the UC Foundation Board heads a corporation with annual revenues of over $18 billion, operates 1,050 department stores across the United States, has 150,000 employees, and is the nation’s largest marketer internet retailer of general merchandise.

Ullman, a native of Canfield, Ohio, graduated from UC with a bachelor’s of science degree in industrial management in 1969 and served as UC’s Vice President for Business Affairs from 1976-1981. He was elected chairman of the board and CEO of JCPenney Company, Inc., in 2004.

In a recent article in “The Wall Street Journal,” Ullman was described as revolutionizing JCPenney’s 104-year-old corporate culture in order to motivate and retain its employees and attract new talent to the company.  Steps JCPenney is taking range from  loosening the suit-and-tie formal business attire tradition to creating programs to recognize employees for loyalty and good work.

In 2002, Ullman received the Carl H. Lindner Medal for Outstanding Business Achievement from the UC College of Business and was the recipient of the UC Alumni Association’s William Howard Taft Medal for notable achievement in 1993.

His distinguished career in international business, government and academics includes service as chairman and CEO of DFS Group Limited, the world’s largest travel retailer; director general and group managing director of Paris-based LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton; chair and CEO of R.H. Macy & Company, Inc. (leading the company out of bankruptcy with its sale to Cincinnati-based Federated Department Stores in 1994); managing director and CEO of The Wharf Holdings, Ltd., one of the largest diversified groups in Hong Kong; and international accounts manager for IBM Corporation. Ullman was appointed a White House Fellow by President Ronald Reagan from 1981-1982.

Ullman is chairman of the board of Mercy Ships International, chairman of the University of California/San Francisco Medical Center Executive Council, and in addition to JCPenney serves on the board of the Starbucks Coffee Company. He resides in Dallas, Texas, and Montrose, Colorado.

UC’s All-University Commencement Ceremonies will be held at 9:45 a.m. and 1:45 p.m. Saturday, June 10, in Fifth Third Arena at Shoemaker Center. All students from winter and spring quarters who are eligible to graduate are invited to march in the ceremony. Each of the marching graduates will have his or her name announced at the ceremony and will be personally congratulated by President Zimpher and college deans as part of the UC|21 vision to place students at the center of the university. The doctoral hooding ceremony will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, June 9, in Fifth Third Arena at Shoemaker Center.

UC Commencement Web site

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