The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU students gather around a bucket of markers to write an encouraging note to put in “Welcome to the Shelter” kits at event in mid-April on SMU’s campus.
Dallas homeless recovery center, The Bridge, is a home
Morgan Shiver, Contributor • June 20, 2024
Instagram

Southwest Airlines co-founder to speak at commencement

 Southwest Airlines co-founder to speak at commencement
Southwest Airlines co-founder to speak at commencement

Southwest Airlines co-founder to speak at commencement

Seniors are ready to fly into life, and what better way to start than to hear advice from an expert in the airline industry.

Herbert D. Kelleher, co-founder and chairman of the board of Southwest Airlines, will give this year’s commencement address on May 17 in Moody Coliseum. Kelleher will also receive a Doctorate of Laws from SMU.

“No matter what careers our diverse graduates will be pursuing, the innovation and imagination exemplified by Herb Kelleher can provide valuable lessons for success,” SMU President R. Gerald Turner said in a press release.

Kelleher completed his undergraduate degree at Wesleyan University and earned a law degree with honors in 1956 from New York University.

Kelleher, 72, co-found Southwest Airlines in 1967 and has since created the fourth-largest domestic airline in the United States. Kelleher served as CEO of Southwest Airlines until last June.

Kelleher has received over 100 business awards and most recently was given the 2003 Bower Award for Business Leadership by The Franklin Institute.

“This is a great opportunity for students to receive insight from a powerful business leader,” senior finance major Chinyere Okoro said.

Kelleher will address the personal and business tactics used to make his company achieve corporate success.

Southwest Airlines, for 30 consecutive years, has achieved profitability and expansion. The U.S. Department of Transportation ranks Southwest Airlines No. 1 in customer satisfaction, and the airline has kept this rank since the early 1990’s. Fortune Magazine lists the company as first in the industry and second in the “2002 America’s Most Admired Companies” list.

“At a time when varied business organizations are facing considerable challenges, it will be instructive for our graduates to hear from a leader who has been a pioneer in management and human relations,” Turner said.

Seniors at commencement, as they end their college life, will get a preview of what the real world has to offer.

“I am looking forward to the most memorable speech of my college experience,” Blanca Ramirez, a senior economics with financial applications major, said.

More to Discover