Apple chief operating officer to speak at Auburn University commencement May 14

Click here for Tim Cook’s address to the graduates

AUBURN – Auburn University alumnus Tim Cook, chief operating officer for Apple Inc., will deliver the commencement address at Auburn’s spring ceremonies on Friday, May 14.

The university will award approximately 2,967 degrees at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. ceremonies at Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum. Cook, a native of Robertsdale and a 1982 industrial engineering graduate of Auburn, will speak at both ceremonies.

“It is a tremendous honor and pleasure for me to be Auburn’s commencement speaker this year,” Cook said. “I love Auburn and the unique spirit that pervades the university and look forward to playing a small role in a big day for the class of 2010.”

Cook is responsible for all of Apple’s sales and operations, including worldwide management of Apple’s supply chain, sales, service and support for all its products. He also heads Apple’s Macintosh division. He has been widely credited with streamlining company operations, enabling Apple to build an international business reputation to match the company’s standing as the industry leader for quality and design innovation.

Cook joined Apple in 1998, after a rapid rise through the corporate ranks with other major information technology companies, including IBM and Compaq. While working for IBM in the Research Triangle of North Carolina, he earned an M.B.A. from Duke University.

Since 2005, Cook has served on Nike’s board of directors, and in 2009 he was elected to the board of directors for the National Football Foundation.

At Auburn, Cook has served as chair of the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering Alumni Council. He has established the endowed Fund for Excellence, the Cook Leadership Scholarship and a professorship in Industrial Engineering.

The 10 a.m. commencement ceremony on May 14 will include the colleges and schools of Engineering; Forestry and Wildlife Sciences; Liberal Arts; and Sciences and Mathematics. The 2 p.m. ceremony will be for the colleges and schools of Agriculture; Architecture, Design and Construction; Business; Education; Human Sciences; and Nursing.

The ceremonies can be viewed live through the university’s website at

Auburn’s professional schools, the School of Pharmacy and the College of Veterinary Medicine, will hold separate ceremonies for their graduates.

Overall, Auburn will award 2,240 bachelor’s degrees, 424 master’s degrees, 226 professional degrees, eight specialist degrees and 69 doctorates.

The College of Liberal Arts will award the most degrees, 519, followed by the College of Business with 496 and the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering with 302. The College of Sciences and Mathematics will award 238 degrees; College of Education, 220; College of Human Sciences, 115; College of Architecture, Design and Construction, 159; College of Agriculture, 94; School of Nursing, 65; and School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, 32.

The School of Pharmacy will present 123 doctor of pharmacy degrees, and the College of Veterinary Medicine will present 94 doctor of veterinary medicine degrees. Nine professional degrees in audiology will also be awarded.

(Written by Roy Summerford and Charles Martin.)

Contact: Mike Clardy, (334) 844-9999 (, or
Charles, Martin, (334) 844-9999 (