Wayne Chang announced as UMass commencement speaker

By Shelby Ashline

Collegian File Photo
(Collegian File Photo)

The University of Massachusetts announced Wednesday that the director of product strategy at Twitter and UMass alumnus Wayne Chang will be the featured speaker during undergraduate commencement on May 6.

According to a UMass press release, Chang will be awarded an honorary doctorate during the ceremony in which he will address an anticipated 5,500 graduating students, as well as their family and friends, at McGuirk Stadium.

While a sophomore at UMass, Chang founded i2hub, a file-sharing network that allowed thousands of college students to download music and movies, according to the Wall Street Journal. After retooling the site to handle increased traffic, Chang had to ultimately shut the website down in November 2005 in the face of legal pressure.

After his graduation, Chang co-founded Crashlytics, a mobile crash-reporting service operated out of Cambridge. Companies use Crashlytics to find out when their apps crash on consumer devices, and the root cause of the crash. When the company was purchased by Twitter for more than $100 million in 2013, Chang acquired his current position with Twitter, according to the release.

Chang has also been involved in more than 40 other notable startups and companies such as DraftKings, JetSmarter and Napster.

“Wayne Chang epitomizes the can-do spirit so many immigrants bring to our country as well as the entrepreneurial nature of his generation,” Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy said in the release, referencing Chang’s birth in Taiwan. “His inventions and investments are transforming how the world connects, communicates and conducts business. I’m sure his words will inspire our graduates as we bid them farewell.”

During the ceremony, the University will also award an honorary doctorate to Sheila Bair, chair of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation from June 2006 to July 2011. Bair was recognized in 2009 by TIME magazine as one of the world’s most influential people for her work with the FDIC.

According to the release, Bair has also served as a Senate aide, senior vice president for government relations at the New York Stock Exchange, assistant secretary for financial institutions at the U.S. Department of the Treasury and a faculty member in the Isenberg School of Management from 2002-06.

Shelby Ashline can be reached at [email protected]