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“You have terrific opportunities in front of you. Use them as great opportunities to continue to learn,” said Commencement Speaker Scott C. Donnelly, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Textron Inc.


Vaughn College celebrated its 87th Commencement on Saturday, May 11, 2019 in the William R. DeCota Hangar. Scott C. Donnelly, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Textron, Inc. delivered the commencement address to nearly 200 graduates and their families. He was also awarded an honorary degree by President Dr. Sharon B. DeVivo at the ceremony.

Textron is one of the world’s best-known multi-industry companies, recognized for its powerful brands such as Bell, Cessna, Beechcraft, E-Z-GO, Arctic Cat and many more. The company leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative products and services.

Donnelly joined Textron in July 2008 as executive vice president and chief operating officer and was promoted to president and chief operating officer in January 2009. He became CEO in December 2009 and was elected chairman of the board effective September 1, 2010.

“There is an old adage in the pilot profession. When you pass your check ride for your private pilot’s license the FAA examiner will tell you that this license is really just a license to learn,” said Donnelly. “Today, after a lot of hard work, you have all earned your diplomas. I recommend that you take that same sage advice; you have terrific opportunities in front of you. Use them as great opportunities to continue to learn.”

Donnelly was president and CEO for General Electric (GE) Aviation, the world’s leading producer of large and small jet engines for commercial and military aircraft and a major provider of flight management, actuation and power management systems, and served as senior vice president and director of GE Global Research, the world’s largest and most diversified industrial research organization.

Donnelly joined GE in 1989 as manager of Electronics Design Engineering for GE’s Ocean Systems Division in Syracuse, NY. He went on to serve in a variety of leadership roles for the company, and in 1995 he moved to GE’s Industrial Control Systems business, where he held various management positions. Donnelly was named a vice president of GE in 1997, responsible for Global Technology Operations at GE Healthcare.

Donnelly received a bachelor’s degree in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He is on the Board of Directors for Medtronic plc and the National Air and Space Museum and the Board of Trustees for Bryant University.

About Vaughn
Founded in 1932, Vaughn College is a private, nonprofit, four-year college that enrolls more than 1,500 students in master’s, bachelor’s and associate degree programs in engineering, technology, management and aviation on its main campus in New York City and online. The student-faculty ratio of 15 to 1 ensures a highly personalized learning environment. Ninety-six percent of Vaughn College graduates are placed in professional positions, 80 percent in their field of study, or choose to continue their education within one year of graduation. They work in 20 countries and all 50 states. The institution serves many first-generation college students and is recognized by the US Department of Education as a Hispanic-Serving Institution. For more information, visit

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