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Digital's Robert B. Palmer Addresses Bentley College Undergraduates at 79th Annual Commencement

May 15, 1998


WALTHAM, Mass.- Presiding over his first undergraduate commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 16, Bentley College President Joseph G. Morone welcomed Digital Equipment Corporation President Robert B. Palmer, who delivered an address to the Class of 1998. Degrees were presented to 876 undergraduate students who hail from 25 states and 53 countries.

Palmer was one of three distinguished guests to receive an honorary degree, when Chairman of the Bentley College Board of Trustees Gary A. Jennison and Morone conferred upon him a Doctor of Commercial Science degree. The other honorary degree recipients were Jennison, a 1966 graduate of Bentley and a founding partner of Corcoran Jennison Companies, who was awarded a Doctor of Commercial Science degree; and Frances K. Moseley, president and chief executive officer of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston, who was granted a Doctor of Humane Letters degree.

In his address, Palmer stated that his intent was "not to give you a blueprint for fame or a prescription for riches. . . . I think you will learn soon enough that success is a custom-made garment, not an off-the-rack one.

"I would rather share a few thoughts about the kind of success that comes from personal fulfillment- a few of the attributes that I believe we should all value," added Palmer. "I would like specifically to focus on integrity and attitude."

Drawing upon his 30-plus years of business experience in two highly competitive industries- computers and semiconductors- Palmer said he has been involved in virtually every type of business transaction from various perspectives. But no matter the situation, there is always one constant: "The core interpersonal issues of human relationships and the principles upon which to operate have remained surprisingly the same."

"By holding ourselves and others to high standards of integrity, we build strong relationships that are as important in business as they are in every other aspect of human interaction," said Palmer, who added that "Attitudes are vivid expressions of your state of thought. Attitudes can affect your success, your relationships, your health, and your sense of satisfaction and fulfillment.

"And finally," advised Palmer, "I firmly believe that it is necessary to achieve balance in your life."

Several students and faculty members were honored at the exercise. Christopher M. Ellis (Greenfield, Mass.), who earned a BS in Finance, received the Professor Robert J. Weafer Award for Undergraduate Academic Excellence; Linda Larkin (Waltham, Mass.), who earned a BS in Marketing, and Gary Landry (Burlington, Mass.), who earned a BS in Finance, were both selected as winners of the Alumni Association Award for Outstanding Achievement; Christopher D. Johnson (Orleans, Mass.), who graduated with a BS in Finance, was awarded the W. Michael Hoffman Prize in Business Ethics.

Professor of Law Gerald R. Ferrera (Framingham, Mass.) was the winner of the Gregory H. Adamian Excellence in Teaching Award; Professor of Management Mark M. Davis (Sudbury, Mass.) was named the Scholar of the Year; and Assistant Professor of Marketing Andrew Aylesworth (Framingham, Mass.) earned the Joseph M. Cronin Award for Excellence in Academic Advising.

BENTLEY UNIVERSITY is one of the nation’s leading business schools, dedicated to preparing a new kind of business leader – one with the deep technical skills, broad global perspective, and high ethical standards required to make a difference in an ever-changing world. Our rich, diverse arts and sciences program, combined with an advanced business curriculum, prepares informed professionals who make an impact in their chosen fields. Located on a classic New England campus minutes from Boston, Bentley is a dynamic community of leaders, scholars and creative thinkers. The Graduate School emphasizes the impact of technology on business practice, in offerings that include MBA and Master of Science programs, PhD programs in accountancy and in business, and customized executive education programs. The university enrolls approximately 4,100 full-time undergraduate, 140 adult part-time undergraduate, 1,430 graduate, and 43 doctoral students. Bentley is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges; AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business; and the European Quality Improvement System, which benchmarks quality in management and business education. For more information, please visit

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