College Announces 2014 Graduation Speakers

April 4, 2014

Laura Alber, C’90, will speak at this year’s graduation ceremony for the University of Pennsylvania College of Arts and Sciences. As president and chief executive officer of Williams-Sonoma, Inc., Alber is recognized as an innovator in the business world. The event, scheduled for May 18 at 6:30 p.m. at Franklin Field, will also feature Dau Jok, C’14, as the student speaker.

Alber graduated with a degree in psychology. She started her career in the fashion industry, first with her own small business and later at Gap, Inc. and Contempo Casuals. Under her leadership, Williams-Sonoma, Inc. has launched multiple new brands, including Pottery Barn Kids, Pottery Barn Bed + Bath, and PBTeen. In 2012, she was named one of San Francisco Business Times’ most influential women. Alber also serves on the advisory board of The Jay H. Baker Retailing Center, an interdisciplinary industry research center at the Wharton School, and is also on the board of the visual technology company RealD 3D. She is a strong supporter of financial aid in the College and, alongside her husband, George E. “Ned” Klingelhofer, established the The Alber-Klingelhofer Endowed Scholarship. Alber resides in San Francisco with her husband and three children.

Dau Jok, from Des Moines, Iowa via South Sudan, is a graduating philosophy major with a minor in African Studies. Jok is the two-time co-captain of Penn’s varsity men’s basketball team and the founder and director of the Dut Jok Youth Foundation, which aims to empower Southern Sudanese youth through education, recreational sports, and leadership-building activities. Jok was a 2011 Kathryn Davis 100 Projects for Peace recipient, and in 2014 was one of five men recognized by NCAA Division I Basketball for their commitment to improving communities. He was recently named collegiate winner of the Wooden Citizenship Cup by the Athletes For A Better World organization. Jok plans to attend the University of London to pursue a Master of Sciences in Global Leadership.