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2022 commencement speaker named

Nintendo of America President Doug Bowser will give the keynote address to the Class of 2022.

Nintendo of America President Doug Bowser will give the keynote address for the University of Utah’s 2022 general campus-wide commencement.

U President Taylor Randall and Jessica Wojciechowski, president of the Associated Students of the University of Utah (ASUU), announced the commencement speaker at Tuesday’s Board of Trustees meeting.

Bowser, a graduate of the Class of 1984 and longtime consumer packaged goods and technology company executive, brings a uniquely global perspective, a wealth of practical experience, and a “cool” factor to the annual address, Randall said.

“The reach of Doug Bowser’s career is undeniable. I’d guess nearly every member of our student body has had some experience playing a Nintendo video game,” Randall said. “Beyond that, Doug is a dedicated alumnus and supporter of this university. His international experience and practical wisdom about the nexus between culture and education will be particularly relevant to our Class of 2022, as the importance of understanding diverse perspectives is an essential part of higher education, the workforce, and our communities.”

The university’s general campus-wide commencement is scheduled for Thursday, May 5 at 6 p.m. in the Jon M. Huntsman Center. In-person college convocations will be held May 5-6. Learn more here about the general commencement and college convocations.

Utah fans and alumni took note when Bowser was named president of Nintendo of America in April 2019, overseeing the company’s business operations throughout the United States, Canada and Latin America. He joined Nintendo in May 2015 as vice president of sales.

“I came to the U with no declared major—just a variety of interests. My early years were about exploration, which led to tremendous personal growth,” Bowser said. “Settling on the College of Humanities and a degree in communications was a perfect fit and has been incredibly beneficial to me throughout my career. Critical and comparative thinking, communication, and cultural understanding and appreciation—these are skills and perspectives I draw from every day in my position.”

Prior to joining Nintendo, Bowser spent eight years at Electronic Arts, beginning as vice president of retail strategy and marketing, then as vice president of global business planning. Before joining Electronic Arts, Bowser worked at Procter & Gamble for 23 years where he held positions of increasing responsibility in the U.S.; Hong Kong; Mexico City, Mexico; and Caracas, Venezuela.

Bowser currently serves on the executive board of the Entertainment Software Association and is also on the executive board of directors for the Pacific Science Center in Seattle.

“I’ve been fortunate to have a career that’s allowed me to work globally and live on three continents,” Bowser said. “In my travels across Asia and the Americas, including years living in Hong Kong, Mexico and Venezuela, I’ve learned how crucial it is to listen to and understand others’ perspectives.”

“My hope for our new graduates is that, by inviting open conversation and new ways of thinking, they can continue to build upon these important skills and drive the kinds of changes they want to see, as they embark on their own journeys,” he added.