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AT&T Chairman and CEO to Address May Graduates at Saint Louis University

ST. LOUIS (April 22, 2019) — Randall L. Stephenson, the chairman and chief executive officer of AT&T, will deliver the commencement address at Saint Louis University’s spring commencement, May 18, at Chaifetz Arena. The ceremony begins at 9 a.m.

Randall L. Stephenson
Randall L. Stephenson

 Stephenson was named to his current position in 2007. Since then, AT&T has invested billions of dollars to become a worldwide leader in technology, media and telecommunications with hundreds of millions of customers. 

Under Stephenson’s leadership, the company has also committed $400 million to its signature philanthropic initiative, AT&T Aspire, which drives innovation in education to promote student success in school and the workplace. 

Stephenson also led AT&T’s “It Can Wait” campaign – an education and awareness program educating drivers about distracted driving. The program has amassed more than 25 million pledges of support. 

Stephenson began his career with Southwestern Bell Telephone in 1982 in Oklahoma. He served as the company’s senior executive vice president and chief financial officer from 2001 to 2004, and from 2004 to 2007 he served as chief operating officer. He was appointed to AT&T’s board of directors in 2005. 

The national president of the Boy Scouts of America, Stephenson also serves on the boards of directors of Emerson Electric Co. and Boeing. 

Stephenson received his bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Central Oklahoma and his master’s degree in accountancy from the University of Oklahoma. 

Honorary Degree Recipients 

Following his commencement address, Stephenson will receive an Honorary Doctor of Commerce from SLU. The University will also bestow honorary doctorates upon Robert Cardillo, Marie Kenyon (Law ’86) and Donald L. Ross. 

Robert Cardillo 

Robert Cardillo
Robert Cardillo

After 35 years of federal service, Cardillo retired in February as the sixth director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), which provides geospatial intelligence to policymakers, military leaders, intelligence professionals and first responders. 

Cardillo was the first career NGA employee to rise to director of the agency. During his tenure, he was noted for his collaborative efforts to bring public and private sectors together. As NGA director, he selected North St. Louis as the home of the agency’s planned $1.75 billion campus. 

Before becoming NGA’s director in 2014, Cardillo held senior positions in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Defense Intelligence Agency, where he started as an imagery analyst. He received several honors for distinguished service during his career. 

A product of Jesuit education, Cardillo earned a master’s degree in national security studies from Georgetown University in 1988. He earned a bachelor’s degree in government from Cornell University in 1983. 

Cardillo will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from SLU. 

Marie Kenyon, J.D. (Law ’86) 

Marie Kenyon, J.D. (Law ’86)
Marie Kenyon, J.D. (Law ’86)

Kenyon is the director of the Peace and Justice Commission of the Archdiocese of St. Louis and a lawyer whose career has focused on representing victims of domestic violence, homeless veterans, foster children, abused children and immigrants. 

Kenyon was asked to lead the commission 2015 by St. Louis Archbishop Robert J. Carlson. One of several archdiocesan initiatives that followed shooting death of Michael Brown, the commission addresses societal issues such as race, poverty, education and meaningful employment from a Catholic perspective.  

After earning a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Bradley University, Kenyon served in the Peace Corps in West Africa for two years, educating women and children on nutrition. She returned to St. Louis to attend law school and work in the public defender’s office. 

A year after earning her law degree at SLU, Catholic Charities asked Kenyon to establish and direct the Catholic Legal Assistance Ministry, which provides free legal representation to low-income clients and handles approximately 1,400 civil law cases annually. 

Kenyon is a past president of the St. Louis Bar Foundation and Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis and has served on the Missouri Bar’s Gender and Justice Task Force, the Women’s Place board and the Economic Justice Task Force of the Missouri Catholic Conference. In 2019, she received the Dudley C. Dunlop Distinguished Service Award from the St. Louis County Bar Association. 

Kenyon will receive an honorary Doctor of Public Service from SLU. 

Donald L. Ross 

Donald L. Ross
Donald L. Ross

Ross is the vice chairman of Enterprise Holdings Inc.  As a senior executive who worked his way up through the Enterprise Rent-A-Car ranks, Ross has been in the car rental industry for more than 50 years. Ross joined Enterprise Rent-A-Car in 1964, only seven years after the company’s founding. He has been instrumental in the company’s growth and played a key role in the development of its Car Sales and Truck Rental business divisions.  

A member of Enterprise’s Board of Directors, Ross is also active in business, civic and community organizations throughout St. Louis. He currently is a member of the Drury Development Corporation Board and serves on the Missouri Bar’s Judicial Performance Review Committee. 

He serves as vice chairman for the Missouri Baptist Hospital Board; is a member of the National Council of the Institute for Public Health at Washington University in St. Louis. He also served as the chair of the board of BJC Health Care and is a former board member of the St. Louis Muny Opera and DeSmet Jesuit High School. 

Ross serves as the chairman of the Board of the Roman Catholic Foundation of Eastern Missouri. He has received the Order of St. Louis King Award, the highest award given by the Archdiocese of St. Louis, for providing consistent and outstanding service to the work of the Church. 

Ross will receive an Honorary Doctor of Commerce from SLU.  

SLU Commencement Information


Note: Tiffany Anderson, Ed.D. (Ed ’94, Grad Ed ’01), noted nationally for leading a dramatic turnaround of the Jennings (Missouri) School District, was chosen to receive an Honorary Doctor of Public Service from SLU this year. She is unable to attend the ceremony and is expected to accept the honor next year.