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Peters to address ’08 grads

Liz Harter | Friday, April 4, 2008

Three days after Notre Dame announced the speaker for its 2008 Commencement exercises, Saint Mary’s announced its speaker as well.

The College revealed that Susan Peters, vice president of Executive Development and Chief Learning Officer of General Electric (GE), and 1975 graduate will deliver the principal address on Thursday, May 17.

Along with delivering the commencement address, Peters will receive an honorary doctor of humanity degree. Colleen Ryan, a member of the College Board of Trustees, and Mary Kay Kinberger, a nun who worked with the Marianites of Holy Cross community in New Orleans, will also receive degrees, according to a news release from the College.

“It is a true honor to be named as the commencement speaker for the class of 2008,” Peters said. “It is particularly meaningful to come back to Saint Mary’s and share some thoughts with the graduates, knowing that I was in their shoes 33 years ago.”

A graduate with a degree in English literature, Peters has been active in the Saint Mary’s community since she graduated. She currently serves on the President’s Advisory Council.

She also spoke at the College in 2005 as a Shannon Executive Scholar Lecture speaker. The Shannon lecture takes place annually and features an outstanding alumna speaking to students.

Peters was recently nominated to serve on the national Board of Directors of Girl Scouts USA and will begin her term in late 2008.

She joined GE in 1979 through the Human Resources Management Program and was appointed a company officer in 1997. In 2007 she assumed responsibility for all leadership training and for GE’s Management Development Institute.

“Susan Peters is an extremely accomplished alumna. I look forward to recognizing both her exceptional career at GE and her commitment to Saint Mary’s,” College president Carol Ann Mooney said in a statement from Susan Dampeer, executive assistance to the president.

“She is an engaging speaker and I know that she will connect with our graduates and their families,” Mooney said.

Like many students, senior Monica Mastracco was excited to learn the speaker of the Commencement address at her graduation.

“Just learning that she is a graduate, that’s fantastic,” Mastracco said. “I am really happy to hear that we have a Saint Mary’s alumna to come back to the College.”

She said it will be helpful to see an accomplished women like Peters speaking to a group of women who will soon be starting their own careers and lives after graduating.

“I’ve gone to the Commencement ceremony the last two years, and the speakers have been great and have had insightful things to say but it will be nice to see in a physical manifestation the actual quality of graduates that this College is putting out into the world,” Mastracco said.