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Originally published Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 5:30 AM

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A dream fulfilled: Boeing CEO named honorary Gamecock

The Wrap by Ron Judd

Seattle Times staff columnist


What an honor it must have been for Jim “Light Bulb” McNerney, CEO of Boeing, once of Seattle, to receive an honorary doctorate in business administration from the University of South Carolina.

All he had to do to earn it was deliver a commencement-ceremony address Saturday before the university’s College of Arts and Sciences graduates. (It’s actually sort of a second-string gig. The main commencement address was delivered on Friday night by Vice President Joe Biden.)

We’re still anticipating copies of McNerney’s remarks, reportedly being delivered to Seattle by a South Carolina-built 787 Dreamsmoker. But rather than wait the traditional four to six months for airworthiness, we’ll offer up a few of the sample commencement-speech titles already circulating on the shop floor in Everett:

• “Think Globally, Raid Locally: Sucking the Marrow From a Once-Loyal Workforce.”

• “$27 Million a Year: It Never Goes as Far as You Think.”

• “The Underrated Art of Keeping a Straight Face.”

• “Congress, the Department of Defense and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee: Building a Career — and Securing That Eighth Vacation Home — on the Backs of Useful Dupes.”

• “Outsourcing, Inbreeding, and Corner-Cutting: My Rise to the Top.”

• “Proud to Be an Honorary Gamecock! Whatever that is.”

More dubious advice:

Sis, Boom, Blah: Anyone else feel that gigantic dip in broadband speed early last week? No cause for concern: It was just the annual posting of the exhaustive “Meet your Sea Gals” photo gallery on

Hey, University of Washington: Nothing against your plan to build a 50-story tower at Rainier Square. But must it look like something Lady Gaga would wear on stage?

Making All the Stops: Smart move by Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, D-San Francisco, to come out against a scheme to bail out Metro Transit with a new property-tax levy. But is there some unwritten rule that prevents local pols from even considering picking up at least part of the slack by simply raising fares?

Stay Thirsty, My Friend: We’re happy to see the entertaining Richard Sherman, Most Undeniably Influential Man in the Known Universe (Time), get a huge contract that will keep him in Seattle for an additional four years. If he becomes, as he says, the first athlete in the history of the world to be completely unaffected by that showering of tens of millions of dollars, more power to him.

Just Asking: The most popular name for boys in America last year was “Noah.” Seriously?

Meanwhile, in Lesser Washington: Thank God Congress is finally preparing to investigate another matter of urgent national importance — Benghazi. Just as soon as they tie up all the loose ends of Whitewater and the Haymarket Riot.

Ultra-Fast Forward: The University of Washington is developing some cool software that will show how you’ll look when you get old. Or, you can just sit through an extra-inning Mariners’ game and find a mirror.

And Finally: Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest officials say they’ll keep Gold Basin Campground, on the Mountain Loop Highway, open despite concerns about an Oso-type landslide. Upside to the down-slide: Should be a whole lot easier to get a reservation there for Memorial Day.

Ron Judd’s column appears each Sunday. Reach him at or 206-464-8280.

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