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Best-selling author will be SUNY Potsdam’s commencement speaker

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POTSDAM - Bestselling author Emmett C. Murphy ‘65 will return to his alma mater as the keynote speaker for the SUNY Potsdam Bachelor’s Commencement Ceremony on May 18.

The renowned expert on leadership will share secrets for success with the Class of 2014, whom he will join as the recipient of an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.

After graduating with his bachelor’s degree in music education from SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music, with concentrations in psychology and literature, Murphy went on to earn his Ph.D. in organizational psychology from the University at Buffalo in 1974. He also completed advanced studies in operations research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and in clinical counseling at Upstate Medical Center.

Murphy’s first business was EC Murphy LLC, a management consulting firm that focused on corporate restructuring, cultural change and leadership development. The successful business was eventually purchased by the Voluntary Hospital Association of America and the University Health Consortium. Murphy’s award-winning research in the field of health care includes studies on the consequences of corporate restructuring on patient outcomes, and the development of new methodologies for redesigning health care systems.

Murphy has served in faculty, administrative and consulting roles with the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, affiliated with Harvard Medical School; Richard Beckhard Associates, affiliated with M.I.T.’s Sloan School of Management; the Mercer Consulting Group; Booz Allen Hamilton, and the University of London, among others. He went on to found another eight companies, including the Wilson Center for Leadership and Innovation, which he co-founded with Dr. Wilson Greatbatch, the inventor of the pacemaker. Murphy serves as president of the Wilson Center, and is also chair of Murphy Leadership, which uses research as a basis for change. His clients range from small businesses to international corporations, including IBM, GE, Hewlett-Packard and the U.S. Department of Defense, as well as health care systems, such as Johns Hopkins and Massachusetts General Hospital.

In addition to his research and business endeavors, Murphy is the author of 14 books, including the New York Times bestseller, “Leadership IQ,” as well as “The Genius of Sitting Bull: Thirteen Heroic Strategies for Today’s Business Leaders,” “Talent IQ” “Forging the Heroic Organization,” “The New Murphy’s Law” and “Leading on the Edge of Chaos: The 10 Critical Elements for Success in Volatile Times.” His research findings have been featured in news outlets such as USA Today and the New York Times, and he has appeared on ABC, CBS, CNN, CNBC, MSNBC and NPR.

Murphy and his wife, Carol (Erardi) Murphy ‘65, live in Clarence. They have two children, Mark and Lisa.

During commencement weekend, SUNY Potsdam will recognize the more than 1,100 students have who either completed their degree or were eligible to graduate between December 2013 and December 2014.

The 2014 Bachelor’s Commencement Ceremony will take place at 10:15 a.m. May 18 in the Academic Quad. Nearly 700 undergraduates are expected to turn their tassels and earn their bachelor’s degrees at the ceremony.

The college will hold its Bachelor’s Commencement Ceremony outside in the Academic Quad, rain or shine. Guests are asked to dress appropriately for the weather conditions and bring umbrellas, blankets or sunscreen if needed. There will be an option for guests who are uncomfortable with weather conditions to watch the ceremony live on a large screen inside, in the Barrington Student Union Multi-Purpose Room.

There is an emergency weather plan for the bachelor’s ceremony, in the case of extremely dangerous conditions like lightning. Under the emergency plan, there would be two bachelor’s ceremonies. At 10 a.m., one ceremony would be held for graduating visual arts, music, theatre and dance majors in Hosmer Hall at Crane. Immediately following, all other graduating students will attend a ceremony at 11:30 a.m. in the Jerry Welsh Gymnasium in Maxcy Hall. Each graduate has five tickets for the emergency plan; all other guests are welcome to view the ceremonies via live video in the Barrington MPR.

To learn more about commencement at SUNY Potsdam, visit www.potsdam.edu/commencement.

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