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Caterpillar CEO Jim Umpleby to Present Rose-Hulman Commencement Address

Thursday, February 22, 2018
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Jim Umpleby, 1980 mechanical engineering graduate, Rose-Hulman trustee, and CEO of Caterpillar Inc. will deliver the institute's commencement address on May 26.

Jim Umpleby, chief executive officer of Caterpillar Inc. and a 1980 graduate, will return to his alma mater May 26 to present the commencement address.

Umpleby became CEO and a member of the board of directors of Caterpillar, one of the 30 Dow Jones Industrial companies, Jan. 1, 2017. Caterpillar is the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives. In his first year as CEO, Umpleby led his management team to launch a new strategy for profitable growth, increasing Caterpillar’s focus on operational excellence, expanded offerings and services. Under Umpleby’s leadership, Caterpillar’s 2017 sales and revenues were $45.5 billion, an 18-percent increase over 2016 levels.

Umpleby joined Caterpillar subsidiary Solar Turbines in 1980, after earning a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at Rose-Hulman. Over the course of his career at Caterpillar, he has held leadership positions in a variety of functions across the world. Immediately prior to becoming CEO, Umpleby was group president of Caterpillar’s energy and transportation business segment.

“Jim will provide our students, faculty, staff and commencement guests his personal insight on the background and attributes required to lead one of the world’s most admired and successful companies,” says Rose-Hulman President Jim Conwell. “I have long admired Jim and his leadership skills. He’s innovative and brings a unique mindset to any challenge, and that should lead Caterpillar to an even brighter future.”

Umpleby completed an executive leadership program at the International Institute for Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland. He serves on Rose-Hulman’s board of trustees and, effective March 1, on the board of directors of Chevron Corporation. He also serves on the board of directors of the U.S.-India Strategic Partnership Forum and the Peterson Institute for International Economics, and is a member of the Latin American Conservation Council and the Business Roundtable.

Rose-Hulman presented Umpleby, a former student body president, with an honorary doctorate in engineering in 2016, and he was named a trustee of the institute in 2015. He received the Rose-Hulman Alumni Association’s Career Achievement Award in 2000.