State Street Corporation Chairman, President and CEO Joseph L. “Jay” Hooley focused on the opportunities and challenges presented by the Digital Revolution, as more than 900 students received undergraduate and advanced degrees at Suffolk University’s Sawyer Business School commencement exercises on May 18 at the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion on the Boston waterfront.

Hooley told graduates that “managing the steady torrent of information racing at you from all directions will be essential to your success – and sanity.”

Sawyer Business School graduates are ready to fill the need for “business and technology-savvy workers with strong analytical skills and real-world experience” who can communicate effectively and present bold ideas, he said.

Employers “need people who are entrepreneurial, inquisitive, and not afraid to challenge the status quo. … They need workers with diverse backgrounds and experiences, and a global perspective,” said Hooley.

The State Street leader talked about how the Digital Revolution has transformed his firm, saying: “We have evolved into a technology-enabled financial services company that focuses on serving institutional investors. In fact, today I consider us to be much closer to a technology company than a bank.”

One anecdote focused on how Hooley’s initial skepticism about the launch of a State Street internal social network was dispelled when he saw how employees used it “to engage with one another about ways to work more effectively and use their vast experience to address client questions.”

Yet he warned the graduates not to allow technology to rule their lives.

“Don’t get so consumed by data that you lose balance or perspective,” he advised. “Information is only a commodity – it’s what you do with it that matters, so reserve time to think, and develop your ideas into insights. Put down your devices; tune out now and then. And find balance in your personal and professional lives.”

Honorary degrees

The following honorary degrees were awarded during Sawyer Business School exercises:

• Hooley, honorary Doctor of Commerce degree
John Harthorne, chief executive officer for MassChallenge, Inc., a start-up accelerator that provides support to entrepreneurs around the world, honorary Doctor of Commerce degree
• Financial executive Robert C. Pozen, former chairman of MFS Investment Management and a senior lecturer at Harvard Business School, honorary Doctor of Business degree

Student Statistics

Sawyer Business School bachelor’s degrees: 578
Sawyer Business School master’s degrees: 386

College of Arts & Sciences commencement

Boston Medical Center President and CEO Kate Walsh spoke at the College of Arts & Sciences commencement at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, May 18, at the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion. Walsh, president and CEO of Boston Medical Center has improved access to quality health care for some of the poorest patients in Massachusetts in addition to strengthening the hospital’s finances and operations to ensure the long-range stability of clinical care and medical education programs. Walsh received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.

Suffolk University Law School commencement

Anti-Defamation League National Director Abraham Foxman spoke at Suffolk University Law School commencement exercises May 17 at the Citi Performing Arts Center –Wang Theatre in Boston’s Theatre District. Foxman, a worldwide leader in the fight against bigotry, is a Holocaust survivor who joined the ADL in 1965 and has devoted his life to fighting anti-Semitism, bigotry and discrimination throughout the world. The Law School granted Foxman an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.

U.S. Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) also gave remarks. The senator received an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree.