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Posted on Mon, Mar 18, 2013 : 10:45 a.m.

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo to speak at University of Michigan graduation

By Kellie Woodhouse


Twitter's Chief Executive Officer Dick Costolo will speak at the University of Michigan's spring commencement.

AP Photo

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo will speak at University of Michigan's spring commencement ceremony.

Commencement will take place on May 4 at Michigan Stadium and during the ceremony Costolo, a U-M alumnus, will give the keynote address and receive and honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the university.

Costolo last visited campus in November 16, when he gave a talk about his experience as the top executive of one of the most popular social media companies in the world.


Students celebrate during a recent U-M commencement ceremony.

During that talk, Costolo told a packed audience at Rackham Auditorium that "it only makes sense to do what you want to do and what you're passionate about."

U-M officials began forging a deeper relationship with Costolo when a group of communicators visited Twitter's California office in the fall of 2012 to talk with Costolo and other Twitter leaders about how to maximize U-M's presence on Twitter.

From those discussions, the student-led @UmichStudents account was born. The university-sponored account has a different student tweeting each week so followers can get a sense of what it's like to be a student at the Ann Arbor school.

Costolo graduated from U-M in 1985 with a computer science degree and was a member of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity.

Costolo, who has worked for Google, as an entrepreneur and been a stand-up comedian, first joined Twitter in 2009 as the company's chief operating officer. In 2010 he became CEO of the San Francisco-based company.

William K. Brehm, a dedicated U-M donor and co-founder and former executive chairman of SRA International Inc., an information technology and strategic consulting firm, will also receive an honorary degree during commencement, as will biographer and historian David McCullough and economist Jeffrey D. Sachs. Former U.S. Representative Dale E. Kildee, businesswoman and scholar Rosabeth Moss Kanter and dancer Suzanne Farrell will also receive honorary degrees.

U-M's governing board is expected to approve the commencement speaker and honorary degrees during a public meeting on Thursday.

Recent spring commencement speakers include CNN medical correspondent and neurosurgeon Sanjay Gupta, Gov. Rick Snyder and President Barack Obama.

Kellie Woodhouse covers higher education for Reach her at or 734-623-4602 and follow her on twitter.



Mon, Apr 8, 2013 : 5:10 a.m.

Actually, the Phi Delts in 1985 studied as hard as they played. At that time, the house GPA was higher than the all-men's GPA and that is still true today. For Fall of 2012, the Phi Delts had a 3.31 GPA which was higher than the all-men's GPA (3.22) and all-university GPA (3.30). They ranked 9th in GPA among all 31 fraternities (


Tue, Mar 19, 2013 : 5:10 p.m.

@ManA2 If you read the article correctly the fraternity is Phi Gamma Delta (aka FIJI) not Phi Delt as you have indicated. However I agree with your assessment with respect to Phi Delta Theta. Phi Gama Delta has always been top-notch academically speaking.

Peter Raswono

Tue, Mar 19, 2013 : 8:21 a.m.

hi im the asian guy in the picture, may i have a higher resolution picture for my parents please? :) thanks

Morris Thorpe

Mon, Mar 18, 2013 : 3:49 p.m.

I've taken the liberty to write his speech. And I do believe it's under 140 characters. "Students, I am here to confirm you suspicions. You are most precious. The world awaits your thoughts on everything. No seriously, it does."

Morris Thorpe

Mon, Mar 18, 2013 : 3:50 p.m.

And yes, I do see the irony of my post!


Mon, Mar 18, 2013 : 3:27 p.m.

Great choice. He should be very interesting. Though I have to say, a Phi Delt from 1985? Remarkable. They weren't the single most academically focused folks on campus at that time.


Mon, Mar 18, 2013 : 3:29 p.m.

Wait. Hold that. He wasn't a Phi Delt, he was a Fiji. Big difference. Now it makes sense.


Mon, Mar 18, 2013 : 3:05 p.m.

Twitter is a scourge on society. The students will be too busy staring at their phones tweeting each other during the ceremony to pay attention to it. In fact I bet the speech will just be tweeted out to the audience. #YOLO