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Xerox VP to speak at SMC graduation

Angela Saoud | Monday, March 29, 2004

Diane Daly McGarry, the vice president and chief marketing officer at Xerox Corporation, will be the Saint Mary’s commencement speaker, College officials announced Friday. “I’m thrilled, honored and overwhelmed,” McGarry , who attended Saint Mary’s in the late 1960s, said. “Some of the best experiences of my life were at Saint Mary’s, and I’m so looking forward to coming and meeting everyone.”Susan Dampeer, executive assistant to College President Marilou Eldred, said there are a number of reasons McGarry was chosen.”She has a wonderful life story,” Dampeer said. “When she was a student here, she was what we called a staff student worker. She worked everyday at the dining hall, in addition to having two part-time jobs, [as a] gas station attendant and a member of a rock band. She now has an enormous career. She is a wonderful person, a fabulous speaker and the students are going to love her.” After leaving Saint Mary’s, “I went from one great brand to another,” McGarry said.She began her career at Xerox in 1973 in Fort Wayne, Ind., after she filled in for a friend who decided not to take the interview with the company. She began at the company as a sales representative. From 1993 to 1998, McGarry served as the first woman president and chief executive officer of Xerox Canada.Now as the vice president and chief marketing officer, McGarry is in charge of worldwide marketing activities, advertising campaigns and sponsorship. She also oversees external communication, customers and employees. McGarry will receive an honorary degree at commencement.”It’s an overwhelming honor,” McGarry said. “I will treasure it, and the fact that it’s being given to me by Eldred makes is very special indeed.”McGarry is not only a successful businesswoman, but in the past two years, she has become a breast cancer survivor.”There have been a lot of difficulties for me to overcome,” McGarry said. “But the fact that I might be able to help someone who is going through the same thing with my words is a good feeling.” At commencement, McGarry plans to speak about her life experiences and wants to give her best advice to the class of 2004.”Don’t ever be afraid of your future path,” McGarry said. “Many people have plowed the way ahead, and you’re going to do the same thing for those that will come behind you. Everyone in the graduating class can make a difference in whatever they choose to do.”