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Elon Musk and William Wang to Speak at 2011 USC Viterbi School of Engineering Commencement Ceremonies

Two dynamic and hugely successful technological entrepreneurs will address the Graduating Classes, Musk speaking to undergrads, Wang to graduate students

April 18, 2011 —

Elon Musk
Undergraduate Ceremony

Raised in South Africa and educated at Queen’s University and the University of Pennsylvania, entrepreneur-philanthropist, Elon Musk, earned the title as one of "America's 20 Most Powerful CEOs 40 and Under" from Forbes, in recognition of his business skills and his bold innovations in Internet commerce, clean energy and space exploration. Musk has been selected as the 2011 USC Viterbi Commencement Speaker for undergraduate students.

Musk’s best-known association may be PayPal™, the online financial services and email payments company that was acquired by eBay® in 2002. Musk then founded Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) in 2002. SpaceX manufactures and develops space launch vehicles, with an emphasis on low cost and high reliability. He is also the chairman of the board and principal owner of Tesla Motors, which is building cost-effective electric automobiles for the mass market.

Musk is a prominent philanthropist - the Musk Foundation focuses its philanthropic efforts on science education, pediatric health and clean energy. Among his many media appearances, Musk has appeared on The Colbert Report to speak on space technology and the future of commercial space travel.

Musk is no stranger to Viterbi. SpaceX collaborated with scientists and engineers from Viterbi’s Information Sciences Institute, to launch the CAERUS nanosatellite unit from Cape Canaveral in December 2010. The collaboration will take place once again in June 2012 for the launch of AENEAS, a three-unit cube satellite.

Williiam Wang
Graduate Ceremony

William Wang is the CEO and founder of VIZIO, Inc. A native of Taiwan, William came to the U.S. with his family at age 12 and later graduated from USC with a B.S. in electrical engineering. A great example of a “visionary serial entrepreneur,” Wang, at age 26, started the company MAG Innovision, then Princeton Graphic Systems, and eventually VIZIO Inc. in 2002.

Wang has guided the company to its present status as producer of the top selling brand of HDTVs in the U.S. In 2008, VIZIO was ranked #1 on the Inc. “500 Top Companies in Computers and Electronics” list. For two consecutive years (2009, 2010), VIZIO was named one of Fast Company’s “Top 10 Most Innovative Consumer Electronics Companies.” On a personal level, Wang has been recognized and received many awards including Ernst & Young’s “Entrepreneur of the Year” (2008) and The Orange County Business Journal’s “Business Person of the Year” (2010).

VIZIO, Inc., America’s #1 LCD HDTV Company (according to Q3 2010 iSuppli and DisplaySearch Reports), "Entertainment Freedom For All," headquartered in Irvine, California, is America’s HDTV and Consumer Electronics Company. In 2007, VIZIO skyrocketed to the top by becoming the #1 selling brand of flat panel HDTVs in North America and became the first American brand in over a decade to lead in U.S. TV sales. VIZIO is committed to bringing feature-rich consumer electronics to market at a value through practical innovation.


The undergraduate commencement ceremony will begin at 10:45 a.m  May 13 at Archimedes Plaza, immediately, following the University’s main commencement address.  The graduate ceremony will begin at 2:30 p.m. at Galen Center. Ph.D. candidates are invited to participate in the Graduate School’s Doctoral Hooding, Thursday, May 12, 2011 at 9:30 a.m. in Bovard Auditorium. No tickets are required for the ceremonies. For more information, please see http://www.usc.edu/dept/pubrel/specialevents/commencement/.