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Google's Boss of Branding Addresses UC Class of May 2015


UC's Spring Commencement featured more than 6,300 graduates – a record-setting number. Kirk Perry, president of brand solutions at Google and a UC alumnus, gave the commencement address. View a photo gallery of memorable moments.

Date: 5/2/2015 4:00:00 PM
By: Tom Robinette
Phone: (513) 556-1825
Photos By: Joseph Fuqua II, UC Creative Services

UC ingot   It was a big day all around at the University of Cincinnati. One of the leaders of the biggest brands in the world offered advice to graduates at UC's biggest Spring Commencement.
UC students sing their alma mater
UC students sing their alma mater sing during the Spring Commencement morning ceremony on May 2 at Fifth Third Arena. A record number of degrees were conferred.


UC alumnus Kirk Perry, president of brand solutions at Google and a former Procter & Gamble executive, gave the commencement address at UC's Undergraduate Commencement Ceremonies on May 2 at Fifth Third Arena. The Doctoral Hooding and Master's Recognition Ceremony was held May 1. This spring’s celebration set a UC record for total degrees conferred.

Google's Perry, the former president of global family care at P&G, also was given an honorary doctorate, the university's highest honor. He challenged students to live uncomfortably, for those moments in life in which we're uncomfortable often result in ones that we remember with the most pride. He also encouraged the students to run with the pack. 

"It goes against what society tells us, but few things are you able to do on your own," Perry said. "A pack helps get things done. Never run alone."

Now that's Cincinnati Smart.
Google's Kirk Perry gestures while speaking
President of brand solutions at Google and UC alumnus Kirk Perry gestures as he delivers his commencement address to students during the Spring Commencement morning ceremony on May 2 at Fifth Third Arena.


The class of May 2015 is highlighted by 6,335 students eligible to graduate. They are earning 659 associate degrees, 3,663 bachelor's degrees, 1,564 master's degrees and 296 doctoral degrees for a total of 6,445 (some students earn multiple degrees). It's a record number of degrees being conferred at UC, exceeding the previous high set last spring.

UC President Santa J. Ono welcomed bachelor's and associate degree recipients Saturday. In his remarks, he compared the academic journey to a fast-paced action movie filled with deadline pressure and obstacles to navigate. He reminded the students that though many challenges remain ahead, their UC education is the key to the future and that will always be with them.

As many of these graduates step off campus and into their careers, their new UC degree will be a big help. Data collected by UC’s Career Development Center in its spring 2014 Destination Report for bachelor’s degree students show that UC graduates transition well into the workforce. Based on responses in the report:
  • UC bachelor's degree graduates’ average starting salary was $44,057.
  • 94 percent accepted a position related to their field of study.
  • 63 percent participated in a co-op or internship before graduating.
  • 69 percent who participated in a co-op or internship have full-time jobs after graduating.
  • 79 Fortune 500 companies hired UC graduates.
COMMENCEMENT BY THE NUMBERS
UC student Christina Beer, right, shakes hand with President Santa J. Ono
UC student Christina Beer, right, shakes hand with President Santa J. Ono during the Spring Commencement morning ceremony on May 2 at Fifth Third Arena.


Take a statistical look at UC’s class of May 2015 online.

COMMENCEMENT PHOTO GALLERY

Get a vivid glimpse of this year’s ceremonies.

STAND-OUT STUDENT STORIES

Read in-depth about some of this spring's graduates:
HONORARY DEGREES AND AWARDS

UC bestowed four honorary doctorates, its highest award, and one President's Award for Excellence during Spring Commencement. Recipients are:
MOMENTS CAPTURED