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Xbox Live Manager to Speak at Guildhall Graduation

The general manager of Xbox Live will deliver the commencement address to the graduating class of The Guildhall at Southern Methodist University on September 22.
JJ Richards, general manager of Xbox Live Entertainment and Devices division at Microsoft, will deliver the commencement address at the next graduation ceremony at The Guildhall at Southern Methodist University, a graduate level program for game development. Dr. Peter E. Raad, executive director of The Guildhall at SMU, said of the speaker, “JJ follows in the foot steps of our two last commencement speakers, Richard Garriott of NCsoft and Randy Pittchford of Gearbox Software. With the release of Halo 3 on September 25, I'm sure JJ will have some very interesting things to say.” The much anticipated Halo 3 is likely to be a landmark title for Microsoft's; the company is already pressed with more than one million pre-orders for the game. This year's graduating class, known as Cohort 6, will be receiving a master's degree in interactive technology or a graduate certificate in digital game development at the ceremony. As general manager for Xbox Live, Richards drives strategy and manages profits and losses for the Live business. He is an alumnus of SMU, having majored in political science. Richards joined Microsoft in 2002 following a 10-year career at McKinsey & Company, where he focused on consumer high-tech and growing new online businesses. At Microsoft, he spent three years heading strategy and business development for the Microsoft Business Division, then later joined the Xbox side after Halo 2 was released. Richards launched the next generation of Xbox Live, Marketplace, Arcade, and MS Points. The ceremony, which is open to the public, will be held Saturday, September 22 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Crum Auditorium on the SMU main campus. For more information, visit www.guildhall.smu.edu.

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