Convocation Speaker

Image of William F. Baker at a podium

On Sunday, May 17, William F. Baker, a triple alum and 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award-winner, will remotely deliver the convocation address during Case Western Reserve University’s virtual 2020 commencement ceremonies.

Baker served as president and chief executive officer of New York Public Television for 21 years. Before serving as president of New York Public Television, he was president of Westinghouse Television and chair of its cable and programming companies for 10 years. There, he launched five cable networks, including the Discovery Channel and the Disney Channel. His contributions to public and cable television broadcasting are many, and he is the recipient of seven Emmy Awards.

In addition to his illustrious broadcasting career, Baker has had a distinguished academic career as well. He earned bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from Case Western Reserve and holds nine honorary doctorates from universities in the United States and Europe. He is also the co-author of five books on leadership and organizational behavior.

Read more about the 2020 speaker, William Baker

Baker will join a long list of previous distinguished speakers, including:

  • Beth Mooney, KeyCorp Chairman and CEO
  • Toby Cosgrove, MD, past CEO of Cleveland Clinic 
  • Fred Gray (LAW ’54, HON ’92), celebrated civil rights attorney 
  • Mark Weinberger (LAW ’87, MGT ’87), EY Global Chairman and CEO
  • Barry Meyer (LAW ’67), Retired Warner Bros. Chairman and CEO
  • Mohamed Ibn Chambas (LAW ’84), Joint Special Representative of the African Union – United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur
  • Katie Couric, journalist and author
  • Peter B. Lewis, Philanthropist and former Chairman of Progressive Insurance
  • Julie Gerberding (WRC ’77, MED ‘81), previous director of the Centers for Disease Control
  • and many other notable leaders