Plepler named commencement speaker in recognition of leadership, passion

The College recently announced that Richard Plepler ’81, chairman and CEO of Home Box Office, Inc. (HBO), will address the Class of 2015 at Commencement, scheduled for May 9. At the ceremony, Plepler will also receive an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from Dan Porterfield, president of the College.

Plepler was selected to speak as recognition for his leadership, passion for culture, and interest in national and international affairs.

According to the article on F&M’s News website, “HBO Chief Plepler ’81 to Deliver Commencement Address,” Plepler worked for U.S. Senator Chris Dodd following his graduation. In 1984, he founded a public relations firm and ran it for eight years before gaining employment at TimeWarner. In 2007 — after working for Jeffrey Bewkes, who oversaw HBO — Plepler became HBO’s co-president before becoming CEO in 2013.

“Richard Plepler shows us there are no boundaries to your aspirations with a liberal arts education,” Porterfield, said in the F&M News article.

Plepler and his wife often host dinner parties in their homes and invite guests like politicians, actors, writers, artists, journalists, and more — according to F&M News’ article, Shimon Peres, former prime minister of Israel, has been a guest — to discuss politics, foreign affairs, the arts, and more. Plepler also furthers himself by reading extensively.

“There’s so much to learn and to keep abreast of — you can never go wrong learning too much,” he said.

Plepler is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, serving on the President’s Advisory Board, sits on the board of trustees for the New York Library, and is on the National Advisory Board of the W.E.B. DuBois Institute for African American Research at Harvard University.

“I very much look forward to conveying to the graduates what I’ve learned over the years in my career, and sharing what insights I’ve gained since my graduation,” Plepler said.

Junior Steven Viera is the Managing Editor. His email is sviera@fandm.edu.

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