2008-2009

Xerox President Ursula Burns Named WPI's 2009 Commencement Speaker

Xerox President Ursula M. Burns will deliver the address at WPI’s 141st commencement exercises on May 16, 2009.
Xerox is the global leader in document management solutions with $17.6 billion in annual revenues. Burns was named president, and elected a member of the company’s Board of Directors, in April 2007; having begun her career at Xerox as a mechanical engineering intern in 1980.

WORCESTER, Mass. – February 24, 2009 – Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) announced today that Xerox President Ursula M. Burns will deliver the address at the university’s 141st commencement exercises on May 16, 2009.

Xerox Corporation is the global leader in document management solutions with $17.6 billion in annual revenues.  Burns was named president, and elected a member of the company’s Board of Directors, in April 2007.   Her appointment came after 27 years of earning positions of progressively greater leadership responsibility, having started with the company as a mechanical engineering intern in 1980.

"Ursula Burns began with an education in mechanical engineering and built upon her skills and abilities to achieve the presidency of one of the most important innovative business companies of our time," said WPI President and CEO Dennis D. Berkey.  "She is someone with whom WPI graduates can relate, and is a superb role model."

As Xerox’s president, Burns is responsible for global research, development, engineering, marketing and manufacturing of technology, supplies and related services.  She also oversees the company's IT organization, corporate strategy, human resources and ethics, marketing operations, and global accounts.

Burns is credited with driving a technology strategy that launched more than 80 products in the last three years, giving Xerox its broadest portfolio of document management systems and software ever.   She is also credited for having helped the company through an aggressive, multibillion-dollar turnaround plan that significantly strengthened Xerox's competitive position in the marketplace. 

Burns serves on numerous professional and community boards, including American Express Corp., Boston Scientific Corp., CASA (the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University), FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), National Academy Foundation, MIT, the U.S. Olympic Committee, and the University of Rochester. Last year, Fortune listed her 10th in the magazine's "50 Most Powerful Woman" ranking.   She earned her bachelor’s degree from Polytechnic Institute of New York, and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Columbia University. 

February 24, 2009

Contact: Eileen Brangan Mell, Director of Public Relations, +1-508-831-6785, ebmell@wpi.edu