Peterson awarded honorary doctorate

Jul 9, 2009

Kettering alumna Marissa T. Peterson '83 was awarded an honorary doctor of Management degree at New Student Convocation.

Marissa T. Peterson ’83 received an honorary Doctor of Management from Kettering University at New Student Convocation July 9. Dr.Stan Liberty, president, and Dr.Michael Harris, provost, conferred the degree on Peterson in front of approximately 275 incoming freshmen and their families.

Peterson retired as the executive vice president for Sun Microsystems, Inc., of Palo Alto, California, in 2006.  She originally joined Sun in 1988 as a commodity manager and held several increasingly responsible positions including chief customer advocate and executive vice president, Worldwide Operations.  During her career with Sun, she won the President's Excellence Award, as well as the Silicon Valley Tribute to Women and Industry. 

She emigrated from the Philippines in 1978 after winning a GM Fellowship to attend college and was one of the youngest graduates in the history of Kettering/GMI.

Peterson earned her bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from Kettering/GMI in 1983 and her MBA from Harvard University. After serving on the initial team of Saturn, she became a management consultant at Booz, Allen, and Hamilton, and then joined Sun.

Peterson, of Freemont, Calif., has won several honors and recognitions during her career, including the YWCA "Top Women In Leadership" Award, the Kettering University Management Achievement Award, and she has given back to her alma mater by endowing the Peterson Scholarship for students at Kettering who demonstrate academic excellence and financial need.  She was named among 100 of the Most Influential Women in Business in 2003.

She is a former member of Kettering’s Board of Trustees and takes an active role in helping to ensure the school's future through an array of activities.