Hampton University
Hampton University Welcomes C-Suite Executives as Speakers for School of Engineering & Technology 25th Anniversary Celebration
03/23/2021 - #137

Speakers to include: Brett Hart, United Airlines President; Jay Alexander, Keysight Technologies Sr. VP and Chief Tech Officer; and Michael Kennedy, KAI Enterprises CEO 

HAMPTON, Va. (March 23, 2021) – The Hampton University School of Engineering & Technology is celebrating its 25th Anniversary with a fully virtual and interactive experience featuring some of the nation’s top C-suite executives serving as keynote speakers on Friday, April 16, from 9 am until 4 pm. Tickets for the event are now on sale.

“We are very thankful to the C-suite executive leadership from United Airlines, KAI Enterprises, and Keysight Technologies for their support of Hampton and our School of Engineering & Technology’s 25th Anniversary celebration,” said Hampton University President, Dr. William R. Harvey. “Their commitment to building greater diversity within their industries begins by engaging with our young engineering and technology professionals and we are truly appreciative of them for sharing their experiences and valuable time with our students.” 

CEOs and Senior Vice Presidents are just one part of the anniversary celebration that also includes workshops, panel discussions, networking, and even a virtual evening gala. More specifically:

Brett Hart – United Airlines President: Opening Session Speaker

In his role as United's President, Mr. Hart Brett is responsible for leading the company’s external-facing functions including the government affairs, regulatory, corporate communications, advertising, market and community innovation, legal, global community engagement, and environmental sustainability teams. He also oversees business-critical functions such as the customer experience, corporate real estate, human resources, and labor relations teams.

Mr. Hart received his Bachelor of Arts in philosophy and English from the University of Michigan and a Juris Doctor from the University of Chicago Law School. He is married and has three sons. He is also a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha, Fraternity Inc.

In February 2021, six Hampton University graduates were featured on the Today show representing a diverse class of pilots and airline professionals, who are reflective of the changes in the industry and are breaking the color barrier in a predominately white industry. United Captain Kyle Whitaker, said, “Before Hampton University, I had never seen a Black airline pilot, so if you can see it, you can achieve it. And we may not have seen it outside of us, but we could see it in each other.”

“We are grateful and over-the-moon excited for Mr. Hart to inspire our students in the same way the University inspired Captain Whitaker and all the other aviation students who came after him,” said Dr. Joyce Shirazi, Dean, School of Engineering and Technology. 

“We are thrilled that Mr. Hart is able to speak. Our School is comprised of engineering, architecture, and aviation departments, so it is completely appropriate for Mr. Hart to serve as our opening event speaker,” said Dr. Demetris Geddis, Anniversary Event Co-Chair. 

Jay Alexander  - Keysight Technologies Inc. Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer: Evening Keynote Speaker

Mr. Alexander leads Keysight's central strategy and technology development team to focus on addressing top opportunities and market trends. His role is to optimize Keysight resources to grow in areas that provide competitive advantage across the electronic design and test ecosystem and to leverage Keysight's world-class technology and platform offerings.

Prior to Keysight, Mr. Alexander held numerous leadership positions within Agilent's Electronic Measurement Group, including serving as vice president and general manager and previously as R&D manager for the Oscilloscope and Protocol Division. Mr. Alexander earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Northwestern University and a master's degree in computer science from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He is a licensed professional engineer and a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Alexander currently serves on the Visiting Committee on Advanced Technology for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). He holds 24 U.S. patents.

“Keysight is a true friend of our School of Engineering and Technology,” said Geddis.

“Their most recent in-kind gift of $550,000 in equipment has been critical to our being able to help our students advance and to ensure that they leave the University with the proper skill sets that set them apart and ensure they are industry-ready. We so appreciative of Keysight and are so incredibly excited that Jay will be joining us.”

Michael Kennedy Jr. – CEO of KAI Enterprises: Opening Session Speaker

Michael Kennedy Jr., has spent his career building KAI Enterprises to its current prominence status, taking on leadership of the firm with his father Michael Kennedy Sr.’s retirement as CEO in 2017. Mr. Kennedy has served in all aspects of company operation including work in Business Development, as Vice President, as President, and now as CEO. Mr. Kennedy was instrumental in the company’s expansion to an integrated architectural, engineering, and construction services firm with four subsidiaries. KAI’s headquarters are in St. Louis, Missouri, and has offices in Atlanta, Georgia, Dallas, and San Antonio, Texas, as well as Omaha, Nebraska. Mr. Kennedy graduated from Hampton in 2000 with a degree in Business Management.

“Mr. Kennedy is an absolutely perfect addition to an already amazing line-up of speakers. His participation will bring the third element of the School’s academic offerings to the fore – Architecture. He’ll be great for our students and for our program,” said Dr. Geddis.

Finally, 100% of net proceeds from the anniversary event will be put towards endowed scholarships for the School of Engineering & Technology. Each ticket for this virtual celebration also includes an Anniversary Care Package, which comes with a commemorative wine flute, sparkling cider, anniversary t-shirt, and virtual program journal. To register and get your tickets, visit here: https://hamptonalumnievents.universitytickets.com/ and click on “School of Engineering & Technology 25th Anniversary Celebration.”

For more information, visit https://givetohamptonu.org/engineering-25th/. 

About United                                                                                                                       

United Airlines, Inc. (commonly referred to as United) is a major American airline headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. United operates a large domestic and international route network spanning cities large and small across the United States and all six continents. Measured by fleet size and the number of routes, it is the third-largest airline in the world. United’s mission statement is “to create an inclusive work environment, characterized by dignity and respect, that empowers every employee to serve the global marketplace and contribute to our success.” The statement shows how important the work environment at United Airlines is to its reputation. The company acknowledges that this is precisely what determines whether it will remain the yardstick for its competitors to emulate.

About Keysight Technologies                                                                                                

Keysight Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: KEYS) is a leading technology company that helps enterprises, service providers and governments accelerate innovation to connect and secure the world. Keysight's solutions optimize networks and bring electronic products to market faster and at a lower cost with offerings from design simulation, to prototype validation, to manufacturing test, to optimization in networks and cloud environments. Customers span the worldwide communications ecosystem, aerospace and defense, automotive, energy, semiconductor, and general electronics end markets. Keysight generated revenues of $4.2B in fiscal year 2020. More information is available at www.keysight.com.

About KAI Enterprises                                                                                                                

KAI Enterprises is a national design and build firm providing delivery-oriented building solutions with a diverse portfolio of experience, in-house multi-discipline professionals, and expertise in both design and construction delivery. Founded in 1980, KAI has grown into one of the largest minority-owned firms in the AEC industry. For nearly 40 years, KAI has been instrumental in transforming communities through its expertise in residential, commercial, K-12, higher education, healthcare, science and technology, aviation, mobility, sports and entertainment, government, water, and community-focused projects. KAI Enterprises is comprised of four distinct business units—KAI Design, KAI Engineering, KAI Build, and KAI 360 Construction Services.


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