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Silicon Valley Icon Steve Wozniak to Speak at Santa Clara University Undergraduate Commencement June 16
SANTA CLARA, Calif., April 13, 2012 — Steve Wozniak, the iconic co-founder of Apple Computer, current chief scientist at Fusion-io, and one of the original architects of the personal-computing industry, will be the commencement speaker for SCU’s undergraduate class of 2012.
Wozniak will deliver his address at the University’s commencement ceremony taking place Saturday, June 16, at 8:30 a.m. at Buck Shaw Stadium. He will receive an honorary degree of Doctorate of Engineering Leadership.
The event will mark the University’s 161st commencement, as well as the centennial celebration for the University’s School of Engineering.
Wozniak’s career is the stuff of Silicon Valley legend. In 1976, he and Steve Jobs founded Apple Computer Inc. with Wozniak’s Apple I personal computer. The following year, he introduced the Apple II personal computer, with features like a central processing unit, a keyboard, color graphics, and a floppy disk drive. The development of the Apple II proved to be an integral step to launching the PC industry.
“I look forward to speaking to Santa Clara’s graduating class as they close this academic chapter of their lives and embark on the many adventures that await them in the next chapter,” said Wozniak, a longtime supporter of education, especially math, electronics, and science education for school-age children in the Bay Area.
He has spent many years supporting causes to spark a passion for math and science education in grade school students and their teachers, teaching grade school, stressing hands-on learning, and encouraging creativity for students. He “adopted” the Los Gatos School District by providing students and teachers with teaching tools and donations of state-of-the-art technology equipment. He also was the founding sponsor of the Tech Museum, Silicon Valley Ballet, and Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose.
“We are pleased to welcome Mr. Wozniak back to campus, as a reminder to our students that following their passions and nurturing their talents is a path to becoming men and women for others,” said Michael Engh, S.J., the president of Santa Clara University.
In 1981, Wozniak went back to UC Berkeley and finished his degree in electrical engineering and computer science. For his achievements at Apple Computer, Wozniak was awarded the National Medal of Technology by the President of the United States in 1985, the highest honor bestowed on America’s leading innovators.
In 2000, he was inducted into the Inventors Hall of Fame and was awarded the prestigious Heinz Award for Technology, The Economy and Employment.
He has been involved in a number of business and philanthropic ventures in recent years, including serving as chief scientist for Fusion-io and writing a New York Times best-selling autobiography, iWoz: From Computer Geek to Cult Icon, released in September 2006 by Norton Publishing.
A highly sought-out speaker, Wozniak’s extracurricular pursuits include playing Segway polo for the Silicon Valley Aftershocks team, and having appeared on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, The Big Bang Theory, and the reality show Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List.
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