Secrets of their success: Fortune 500 CEOs discuss Union, influences and dealing with setbacks

Publication Date

This year, a special event for Steinmetz Day brought back to campus three alumni who are CEOs of Fortune 500 companies for a wide-ranging conversation that was nostalgic, informative and inspirational.

James Loree ’80, president and CEO of Stanley Black & Decker; Richard Templeton ’80, chairman, president and CEO of Texas Instruments; and Devin Wenig ’88, president and CEO of eBay, shared a stage with President David R. Harris in front of a packed room Friday in the Stanley O’Brien ’74 Center for Collaboration and Engagement.


From left to right: President David R. Harris; Richard Templeton ’80, chairman, president and CEO of Texas Instruments; Devin Wenig ’88, president and CEO of eBay; and James Loree ’80, president and CEO of Stanley Black & Decker.

Harris moderated the hour-long discussion, “Developing Leaders for an Uncertain Tomorrow.” Union was recently included among the top 30 schools that graduated the most current CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. With 2,200 students, the College was the smallest school to make the list.

Harris was introduced by Sarah Taha ’19, a biomedical engineering major. She had an internship with Stanley Black & Decker last summer and has an offer of full-time employment after she graduates next month.

The conversation touched on the role Union played in each man’s success, how students can thrive in an ever-changing world and the importance of a well-rounded liberal arts education.

“Union helped me to become a happy, healthy, adjusted adult,” said Wenig. He emphasized that the definition of success doesn’t mean one has to become a CEO of a major company. “It’s the life experiences I had here, the educational diversity and the people diversity.”

Templeton and Loree echoed the theme that all three CEOs could trace the foundation of their success back to Union.

At Union, Loree graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor of arts degree in economics. He was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, one of the highest distinctions given for academic achievement. He is a member of the College’s Board of Trustees.

Templeton graduated with a bachelor of science in electrical engineering and was a member of the football team.

Wenig received a bachelor of arts in political science. He holds a law degree from Columbia University Law School.

The entire conversation is available on Facebook.