Commencement celebrations begin Friday
Businessman, author, Brookings Fellow, he led the federal agency from 2013-2017
Tom Wheeler, who served as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from 2013 to 2017, will be the keynote speaker at Rochester Institute of Technology’s 133rd annual commencement celebration.
Wheeler, who is presently a Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution and the Shorenstein Fellow for Media and Democracy at the Harvard Kennedy School, will speak at the Academic Convocation, set for 10 a.m. May 11 at the Gordon Field House and Activities Center.
RIT President David Munson said the university is proud to have Wheeler speak to its graduates.
“For more than four decades, Tom Wheeler has been involved in telecom, and the results of his work at the FCC—including adoption of Net Neutrality, privacy protections and increased cybersecurity—are still highly relevant topics in today’s world,” Munson said. “Our graduates and their families will surely learn from his insights.”
Wheeler is the only person to be selected to both the Cable Television Hall of Fame and the Wireless Hall of Fame, for which President Barack Obama—who appointed him to the FCC—nicknamed him “the Bo Jackson of telecom.”
At the FCC, Wheeler led the efforts that resulted in the adoption of Net Neutrality, privacy protections for consumers and increased cybersecurity, among other policies. During the Obama-Biden Transition of 2008-09, he led activities overseeing the agencies of government dealing with science, technology, space and the arts.
As an entrepreneur, Wheeler started or helped start multiple companies offering cable, wireless and video communications services. From 1976 to 1984, he was associated with the National Cable Television Association, serving as its president and CEO from 1979 to 1984. He went on to hold leadership positions with several other companies, including president and CEO of the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association and managing director at Core Capital Partners, a venture capital firm investing in early stage internet protocol (IP)-based companies. He is currently CEO of the Shiloh Group, a strategy development and private investment company specializing in telecommunications services. And he co-founded SmartBrief, the internet’s largest curated information service for vertical markets.
He is also the author of several books, including Take Command: Leadership Lessons from the Civil War and Mr. Lincoln’s T-Mails: The Untold Story of How Abraham Lincoln Used the Telegraph to Win the Civil War (HarperCollins, 2006). His commentaries on current events have been published in the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, and numerous other leading publications.
Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush each appointed him a trustee of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. He is the former chairman and president of the National Archives Foundation and a former board member of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS).
A graduate of The Ohio State University and the recipient of its Alumni Medal, Wheeler lives in Washington, D.C.
At the Academic Convocation, Munson will confer degrees upon some 3,500 undergraduate and graduate students. The event kicks off RIT’s two-day commencement celebration. For more information, go to www.rit.edu/commencement.
April 24, 2019
Running in Circles: Engineering students build Human Hamster Wheel
The big wheel will turn, but the hamsters will be humans instead. Students in RIT’s Engineering House built a Human Hamster Wheel, and instead of running in circles, as the cliché goes, their 7-foot wheel will produce electricity. Open to children and adults, the wheel will be one of many interactive exhibits featured at this year’s Imagine RIT: Creativity and Innovation Festival on April 27.
April 23, 2019
RIT researchers help conduct experiment to study how the first stars and galaxies formed
While many people flock to warm destinations for spring break, two RIT experimental cosmologists spent theirs 6,800 feet high on snow-covered Kitt Peak at the Arizona Radio Observatory. They were deploying an instrument to a 12-meter telescope for a project called the Tomographic Ionized-carbon Mapping Experiment (TIME), which aims to study the universe’s first stars and galaxies.
April 23, 2019
Gas prices got you down? Imagine RIT attendees can get up to speed on electric, hybrid ‘e-bikes’
Imagine RIT visitors interested in learning about electric and hybrid-electric bikes get to participate in an interactive exhibit and discussion on the growing travel mode inside the Golisano Institute for Sustainability on April 27.
April 22, 2019
Imagine RIT preview: How phones and laptops can be tracked via their radio waves
A team of computing security students will demonstrate how the unique properties that exist in the radio waves of a wireless device can allow a third-party to single out, fingerprint and track that specific Wi-Fi device during the Imagine RIT: Creativity and Innovation Festival on Saturday.