In his spring commencement address May 12 at the University of Missouri-Rolla, Dr. Calvin Cobb told almost 600 graduating seniors that they have been dealt a good hand of cards.
“It’s no secret that you are like Warren Buffet and Bill Gates – holding a very good hand of cards,” Cobb said. “But this does not guarantee success; you must play the hand skillfully. Fortunately, you are armed with the character and skills to do this.”
Elaborating on the analogy, Cobb said there are at least five good cards the students can count on: Being in the United States, having a supportive family, possessing a UMR degree, living in the Information Age, and getting support from past UMR graduates.
Cobb is president of Calvin Cobb & Co., a management and consulting firm established in 2005. He earned a bachelor’s degree from UMR in 1964, a master’s degree from UMR in 1965 and a Ph.D. from UMR in 1968. All of his degrees are in chemical engineering.
Previously, Cobb worked for Monsanto, The Pace Co. Consultants and Engineers, Wright Killen & Co. and Ernst & Young. Prior to starting Calvin Cobb & Co., he led the global hydrocarbons business for Invensys Process Systems.
UMR awarded Cobb a professional degree in 1986 and an honorary doctorate in 2001. In between, he was recognized with an Alumni Achievement Award in 1995. In addition to serving as UMR’s commencement speaker this spring, Cobb previously delivered a commencement address at UMR in 2001.
This year, Cobb received the UMR Chancellor Medal during commencement ceremonies. The Chancellor Medal is given to individuals who have contributed to the well-being, growth and development of the university.
Cobb spoke at two ceremonies Saturday. In addition to addressing bachelor’s degree candidates in the morning, he spoke to a group of graduate students receiving master’s and doctoral degrees in the afternoon.