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(Boston) – Ketchum Senior Partner & CEO Ray L. Kotcher urged Boston University College of Communication (COM) graduates to relish the idea of joining the global conversation that is integrating people and empowering them at unprecedented rates at commencement ceremonies held at BU’s Agganis Arena on May 14.
Over 570 bachelors and master degree recipients and their families attended the convocation, lead by COM Dean John J. Schulz, which followed the 133rd commencement of the nation’s fourth largest private university. The College of Communication, comprised by the departments of Film & Television; Journalism; and Mass Communication, Advertising and Public Relations, offers professionally oriented undergraduate and graduate programs in each discipline to nearly 2,500 enrolled students.
Kotcher, COM `83, asked the grads to consider his remarks a personal e-mail, not a commencement address.
“It’s a global dialogue powered by new technologies,” said Kotcher, who heads one of the world’s leading public relations agencies with 23 offices, 47 affiliates and associates around the globe. “We have moved from a time in which the news, information and entertainment were designed for mass consumption and delivered from central, agenda-setting organizations to a time in which individuals now can set the agenda, develop highly targeted specific content and create a conversation.”
When he graduated, Kotcher noted, daily news was generated by newspapers, three television networks and radio.
“And let me assure you, this is transformational…every bit as profound as fire, the wheel, the alphabet, the printing press or this country’s agricultural and industrial revolutions.”
Nearing the close, he underscored that this new, networked world requires a new generation of communication leaders and leadership.
“I urge you to join the conversation because your chosen field…enables you not only to create compelling conversations but to build and drive them in fresh, relevant and important directions…and with this ability to influence the global dialogue comes great responsibility,” said Kotcher, whose New York-based agency, founded in 1923, is a member of Omnicom Group, Inc. “The conversation and your voice in it – the powerful voice of the trained communicator – can truly alter the world.”
Notable COM alumni include Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly, “The Bourne Identity” producer Richard Gladstein, Pulitzer-prize winning New York Times writer Don Van Natta, Jr., and Bonnie Hammer, president of USA Network and SCI FI Channel.