Santa Clara University

SCU Today

Back to Blog

Ned Barnholt, retired CEO of Agilent Technologies, asks SCU graduates to prepare for a lifetime of learning

SANTA CLARA, Calif., June 10, 2005 – Edward W. "Ned" Barnholt, former president and chief executive officer of Agilent Technologies (NYSE: A), delivered the commencement address to Santa Clara University graduates at an evening ceremony today in the Leavey Center at SCU. Barnholt reminded the new graduates of the importance of a commitment to continuous learning. “Be prepared for change…..embrace it and make the most of it,” he said.

Reminiscing about his graduation 40 years ago and his career since with Hewlett Packard and Agilent Technologies, Barnholt shared with the graduates and their families and friends some of the lessons he had learned along the way. “I really never set out to be CEO-I just tried to do the best job I could,” he said. “The important thing is finding your passion-- something you really care about and enjoy doing,” he said. “It may take you several tries but it is worth it to keep looking.”

His advice to graduating students: stay true to your values and beliefs and keep your life in balance. “Remember your career is hopefully 30 to 40 years long and you don’t need to do everything tomorrow.”   

Barnholt received an honorary Doctor of Engineering leadership degree. Graduate degrees were conferred in the schools of Business, Engineering, and Education, Counseling Psychology and Pastoral Ministries. At the ceremonies, 370 M.B.A degrees and 255 masters in engineering degrees were awarded. In addition, 183 men and women received graduate degrees in education, 65 received graduate degrees in counseling psychology and 26 graduates received master’s degrees in pastoral ministries.

About Santa Clara University

Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located in California’s Silicon Valley, offers its 8,047 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, plus master’s and law degrees. Distinguished nationally by the fourth-highest graduation rate among all U.S. master’s universities, California’s oldest higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. More information is online at



<p>Ned Barnholt addresses SCU graduates.</p>

Tags: barnholt

Printer-friendly format