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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute to Host Colloquy on Leading and Thriving in Challenging Times

May 8, 2009

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute to Host Colloquy on Leading and Thriving in Challenging Times

A global business leader, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist, a pioneering entrepreneur and prominent art collector, and a renowned strategic consultant to corporations and countries will share insights on taking “The Long View: Leading and Thriving in Challenging Times,” in a conversation convened and moderated by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute President Shirley Ann Jackson. This President’s Commencement Colloquy will be held on Friday, May 15, from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., in the Concert Hall of the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center, on the Rensselaer campus in Troy, N.Y.

Kenneth I. Chenault, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the American Express Company, will provide opening remarks, defining the qualities of leadership.  President Jackson will moderate the round-table discussion to follow with Mr. Chenault and Peter Schwartz ’68, an internationally renowned futurist, business strategist, and author, who is co-founder and Chairman of Global Business Network; Samuel Josefowitz ’42, an entrepreneur, chemical engineer, and prominent art collector and art expert, who for many years led the Swiss-based mail order book and record club business he created and pioneered. In 2005, Mr. Josefowitz was made an officer in the Légion d’honneur by the French government in recognition of his extraordinary contributions to French culture; and Robert C. Richardson, Ph.D., Nobel Prize winner in Physics (1996), who is the F.R. Newman Professor of Physics and Vice Provost for Research, Emeritus at Cornell University. 

“Rensselaer will honor these four outstanding leaders at our 2009 Commencement. The colloquy is an important opportunity to gain insight from them, as our graduates navigate the shift to this new phase of their lives,” President Jackson said. “We are in a time of tremendous economic uncertainty. A range of daunting global challenges must be addressed, including energy and climate change, health care, and a myriad of security issues. These world-class leaders understand the importance of taking the long view, of tapping into the opportunity that exists in the midst of troubling times, and of persevering despite obstacles and adversity. Their wisdom will be invaluable.”

The May 15th President’s Commencement Colloquy is open to the public.  For more information and/or to register, go to:  

The program can be viewed live via webcast at:    

The 2009 Rensselaer Commencement will be held on Saturday, May 16, at 9:30 a.m. on the Harkness Field, on the Rensselaer campus. Peter Schwartz ’68 will deliver the Commencement address and will receive an honorary degree, along with honorands Samuel Josefowitz ’42, Kenneth I. Chenault, and Robert C. Richardson, Ph.D. For more details on Commencement, go to

Contact: Gabrielle DeMarco
Phone: (518) 276-6542