ballmer-headshotGraduates, graduates, graduates, graduates, graduates, graduates.

OK — maybe that’s not exactly what former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is going to say at Husky Stadium on June 14, paying homage to his epic “developers” chant on stage at a conference in 2000.

But University of Washington graduates can certainly expect high energy and some sound advice from Ballmer, who will give the 2014 commencement speech in front of more than 5,000 grads and 40,000 friends and family members.

“Steve Ballmer is one of a handful of visionary technology leaders who over the past several decades have had a dramatic impact on how we live and work,” UW President Michael Young said in a statement. “I’m sure he will have some interesting things to say to our students as they get ready to make their own marks upon the world just as he did but in ways we can hardly imagine.”

Ballmer, who officially retired from Microsoft in February, recently did something similar when he spoke to students at the Saïd Business School in Oxford, U.K., offering up valuable entrepreneurial advice that he learned during his career — most of which (34 years) was with Microsoft. He also gave the graduation speech three years ago at the University of Southern California.

Here’s a list of recent UW commencement speakers:

As a 2012 UW graduate, I’m definitely jealous that the 2014 grads get to have Ballmer speak at commencement — especially if the 57-year-old comes on stage like this:

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  • Mike_Acker

    not good. they have folding chairs at those things.

  • along for the ride

    So many success stores: Microsoft’s great culture, Windows 8/8.1, leadership in mobile, securing an NBA franchise, the uphill struggle of inheriting a thriving company and leading it to mediocrity and irrelevance.

    Students would be wise to pay attention to the advice… and then do the opposite.

    • in context

      Hm, I dislike Microsoft as much as the next guy, but I don’t think Ballmer can be portrayed as a complete failure. After all, the man helped creating a multi-billion dollar company, almost from scratch. However, I do agree that today’s graduates should strive for the opposite, as Ballmer’s ways worked well in the 80s but are mostly obsolete in this century. Salesmen don’t belong at the helm of tech companies anymore, this is the era of the geek.

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