Walsh College


Wednesday, January 30, 2013 - Walsh College Confers Honorary Doctor of Laws Upon Chrysler Group Chairman and CEO Sergio Marchionne During Commencement Ceremony

Walsh College bestowed an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree on Chrysler Group Chairman and CEO Sergio Marchionne at the college’s 100th commencement ceremony on Saturday, January 26. Marchionne, who also is CEO of Fiat S.p.A., was the keynote speaker for the event, which was held at Zion Christian Church, in Troy, Michigan.

Speaking to more than 2,000 attendees, including more than 200 graduates, faculty and family, Marchionne advised the group: “The road you choose is really not important. What is very important is how you choose to travel along it. There are many doors along each of our paths, and behind each of those doors are things that can change us and our lives. But only those who have learned to appreciate every experience, whose minds are open to change, are capable of seeing those doors.”

Walsh and Chrysler Group have enjoyed a long and growing relationship. Nearly 548 Walsh alumni work at Chrysler Group, as do 26 current Walsh students. Marchionne noted that he has challenged his employees to move with agility and decisiveness, and extended that challenge to Walsh graduates, adding, “I hope some of you will consider taking that challenge with us.”

Master of science in accountancy candidate Matthew Sluss of Royal Oak also addressed the class as student speaker.  Walsh President and CEO Stephanie Bergeron stated, “We’re thrilled to offer our students and graduates the chance to hear from exceptional leaders, and we are proud that so many of our students have gone on to work for corporations such as Chrysler.”

Marchionne became one of only 40 distinguished leaders to receive an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Walsh since the college’s founder, Mervyn B. Walsh, was honored as the first recipient in 1975.

Walsh College now annually holds commencement ceremonies in winter and spring to recognize students graduating in September and December, and March and June, respectively.