May. 02, 2011

Alumnus Jeff Clarke to Address 145th Undergraduate Commencement May 14

Jeff Clarke


Geneseo alumnus Jeff Clarke

GENESEO, N.Y. - Jeff Clarke, a 1983 SUNY Geneseo alumnus, will address the college's 145th undergraduate commencement May 14. The ceremony's keynote speaker is chief executive officer and president of Travelport, a broad-based business services company serving the travel industry and corporations worldwide. He will address "Choices for Your Next Decade."

The college will confer an estimated 1,275 undergraduate degrees during two separate ceremonies at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the Ira S. Wilson Ice Arena on campus.

"Jeff has had an extraordinary career in business and finance and he understands the challenging global environment our graduates will enter," said SUNY Geneseo President Christopher C. Dahl. "Jeff comes from a family of educators and is a wonderful example of the power of a Geneseo liberal arts education. His forward-looking message will enlighten us all."

Clarke has 26 years of strategic, operational and financial experience with leading high-technology firms. In addition to his CEO responsibilities at Travelport, he serves on the company's Board of Directors and as chairman of the Board of Orbitz Worldwide. He also is a member of the Geneseo Foundation Board of Directors.

Before Travelport, Clarke was chief operating officer for CA Inc. (formerly Computer Associates). Prior to that, he was executive vice president for global operations at Hewlett-Packard. He began his career with Digital Equipment Corp. in 1985 and joined Compaq in 1998 after it acquired Digital. He was appointed Compaq's chief financial officer in 2001. 

Clarke earned his bachelor's degree in economics from Geneseo and a master's degree in business administration from Northeastern University. He grew up in Hamilton, N.Y., where his father was a professor at Colgate University and his mother a high school music teacher. Clarke lives in San Francisco with his wife, Suzette, and three children.

 During commencement, the college will confer an honorary doctor of humane letters degree upon renowned poet and librettist J. D. "Sandy" McClatchy, professor of English at Yale University. He also is editor of "The Yale Review" and president of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

"Sandy McClatchy is a fine poet and an incredibly versatile man of letters, and we are proud to honor his accomplishments with an honorary degree," said President Dahl. "He is no stranger to Geneseo, since he delivered our Phi Beta Kappa lecture two years ago. We wanted to bring him back to campus to honor his many artistic and literary achievements."

Geneseo graduate students will celebrate a week earlier during a master's degree ceremony May 7 at 10 a.m. in Wadsworth Auditorium. An estimated 60 graduate students will receive degrees.

Iris Banister, an accomplished author and highly sought motivational speaker, will address the master's ceremony. Banister received her master's degree in education from Geneseo in 1970. Geneseo offers master's degrees in education, accounting and communicative disorders and sciences.

Visit the college's commencement webpage for more information on the events.

Media Contact:
David Irwin
Media Relations Manager
(585) 245-5516