Bestselling author and speaker Hilary Corna ’07 to deliver Elon’s 2022 undergraduate commencement address

Elon’s 132nd Commencement exercises will be held in Schar Center on Friday, May 20, 2022.

Hilary Corna ’07, a bestselling author, celebrated keynote speaker and host of the “UNprofessional” podcast, will deliver Elon University’s undergraduate commencement address to the Class of 2022 on Friday, May 20.

Bestselling author and speaker Hilary Corna ’07

A Business Fellow while at Elon, Corna studied abroad at Kansai Gaidai University near Osaka, Japan, and then graduated with degrees in international business and Asian studies along with a minor in Japanese. She bought a one-way ticket to Singapore after graduation to pursue her dream of launching a post-college career in Asia. Her fluency in Japanese landed her a job with Toyota as a senior executive officer, and she spent three years as a kaizen leader working with dealerships primarily in the Philippines and India to improve operations and share practices.

Those experiences paved the way for her first book, “One White Face,” a narrative nonfiction account of her time abroad that was published in September 2011 and is currently being adapted into a screenplay. Following the positive reception of her book, Corna embarked on a nationwide book tour sponsored by Toyota Motor USA. She was presented with Elon’s Top 10 Under 10 Alumni Award in 2013.

Corna has become a sought-after organizational consultant and keynote speaker, with a focus on how to make businesses and leaders more human-centric. Her talks have focused on leading through change and uncertainty, sparking innovation, and maintaining positivity, balance and mental health, among other topics. She’s appeared in media including The Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Forbes, NBC, Fortune, Mashable and Muse, and her clients include General Motors, the United Nations, State Farm and Toyota, among others.

Corna’s second book, “UNProfessional: A Manifesto,” will be published this year and takes its name from her podcast, which recently celebrated its first anniversary. In the book, Corna details a new way to do business — The Human Way — and focuses on helping businesses evaluate how human they are in four critical areas: brand, customer experience, culture and employee experience.

The 132nd Commencement Exercises will include two ceremonies for the Class of 2022 in Schar Center. The 9 a.m. diploma ceremony will be for the Martha and Spencer Love School of Business and the School of Communications. The 2 p.m. diploma ceremony will be for the Dr. Jo Watts Williams School of Education and Elon College, the College of Arts and Sciences.

Further details about 2022 Commencement will be shared here.