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February 5, 2009

Katz alum to address honors convocation

Raymond W. Smith, an alumnus of the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business (KGSB) and a former Pitt trustee, will be the keynote speaker at Pitt’s honors convocation, to be held at 3 p.m. Feb. 27 in Carnegie Music Hall. His address is titled “Heisenberg’s ‘Certainty’ Principle.”

In 2005 Smith was named a Pitt Legacy Laureate. Previously, he received the University’s Bicentennial Medallion of Distinction.

Smith will receive an honorary doctorate during the convocation, which recognizes undergraduate, graduate and professional student academic achievement; student leadership, and faculty and staff accomplishments.

Smith, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, began his career at Bell of Pennsylvania. He held various positions in the company, including president and CEO. When the company merged to become Bell Atlantic, he was named vice chair and CFO, rising to chair, president and CEO.

In 1999, Smith became chair of Verizon Ventures. He also founded Arlington Capital Partners and became the chair of Rothschild, Inc., the oldest international investment banking firm in the world.

Smith is the first recipient of the Mickey Leland Award for Diversity in Telecommunications from the National Association of Black Telecommunications Professionals. The NAACP honored him for his continuing service to equal opportunity, and Harvard Business Review recognized him as a pioneer in the transformation of corporate culture.

Smith also was named CEO of the Year by CNBC, Top Manager of the Year by Business Week and Outstanding Corporate Leader and CEO of the Year by Financial World.

In addition to his Pitt MBA, Smith received BS degrees in industrial engineering and electrical engineering, both from Carnegie Mellon (then Carnegie Institute of Technology).

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