The University of Houston C. T. Bauer College of Business welcomed two of the country’s foremost business professionals at its Spring 2008 commencement ceremonies. Fran Keeth, retired CEO of Shell Chemicals, Inc., gave the keynote address at the graduate commencement ceremony on May 9, and Cameron CEO Jack Moore addressed undergraduates on May 10.
Both Keeth and Moore are Bauer College of Business and University of Houston alumni. Keeth received her bachelor’s degree in ’77 followed by her masters in accountancy in ’80 and finished her doctorate of jurisprudence in ’88, while Moore received his bachelor’s in ’77. Additionally, both speakers honed in on a similar subject in their addresses, one that has become an integral part of curriculum at Bauer – leadership.
“You can be a leader,” Keeth told graduates. “A leader is not just a CEO or head of a company. It can be anyone at any level. Let your love of your work and what you do in life define your success and nobody else. It’s the positive difference that you make in the lives of others that is the most important part of leadership.”
Moore echoed that sentiment and identified the characteristics of great leaders as being willing to take risks, having passion, being successful and having a strong character. “It’s OK to take risks,” he said. “One thing all leaders have in common is the lack of fear of failure. If you pursue your dreams, they will become your passions. Great leaders realize that while failure can be contagious, success can be infectious.”
The leader of Bauer College embodies those characteristics, Moore pointed out to students. Dean Arthur D. Warga has guided the college through its greatest successes despite having been diagnosed with brain cancer in 2005. “For most of us, that would have forced retirement, but not Arthur. He never skipped a beat in his determination to make Bauer a great business school,” Moore added.
Both speakers also noted the importance of family in graduates’ lives. “My father taught me honesty, integrity and how to do the right thing,” Moore said. “Those are principles I apply every day in leading my business. Look no further than this room to find those people in your lives. Listen to them, and learn from them. Today is your time. Begin your journey as a leader.”
Keeth and Moore were the perfect choices to provide words of wisdom to graduating students, Warga said. “With Fran and Jack we are again fortunate to have two exemplary individuals in our commencement ceremonies,” he added. “They are both not only very passionate about the experience they had at the University of Houston and at Bauer, but they are also strong supporters of the University. That level of commitment always translates into an inspiring message for our soon-to-be alumni. Further, Fran and Jack are an embodiment of exemplary leadership qualities in their professional and personal lives.”
Moore joined Cameron’s Drilling and Production Systems in 1999 and was appointed to his current position in April 2008. He is also a longtime friend of Bauer, serves on the Dean’s Executive Board and is former chairman of the University of Houston Alumni Association.
Keeth spent 37 years with Royal Dutch Shell, plc, and was the first female CEO of a petrochemical company. She is a member of the Boards of Directors of Verizon Communications, Inc., and Arrow Electronics, Inc., and gives back to the community through her work with Child Advocates, Inc., and participation in the ARP Taxaide Program, both in Houston.
Outstanding student awards were given to Robert Wilson, Outstanding Executive Master of Business Administration Student; Kristen Senechal, Outstanding Master of Business Administration Student; Marsha Dhingra, Outstanding Master of Science in Accountancy Student; and Ron Kremer, Outstanding Master of Science in Finance Student. Accounting and management undergraduate Jessica Fung was honored as the Outstanding Undergraduate for Spring 2008.
Bauer students walk into Hofheinz Pavilion, ready to become UH Cougar alumni and college graduates, during the Undergraduate Programs Commencement.
UH President and UH-System Chancellor Renu Khator congratulated graduates at both ceremonies on their achievements and encouraged them to become active alumni. “Cougars are everywhere,” she said. “They make Houston one of the greatest international cities of the 21st century. You represent the ‘can do’ spirit of Houston.”
About the University of Houston
The University of Houston, Texas’ premier metropolitan research and teaching institution, is home to more than 40 research centers and institutes and sponsors more than 300 partnerships with corporate, civic and governmental entities. UH, the most diverse research university in the country, stands at the forefront of education, research and service with more than 35,000 students.
About the Bauer College of Business
The C.T. Bauer College of Business has been in operation for more than 60 years at the University of Houston main campus. Through its five academic departments, the college offers a full-range of undergraduate, masters and doctoral degrees in business. The Bauer College is fully accredited by the AACSB International – the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. In August 2000, Houston business leader and philanthropist Charles T. (Ted) Bauer endowed the College of Business with a $40 million gift. In recognition of his generosity, the college was renamed the C.T. Bauer College of Business.