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Fortune 100 CEO and University Trustee Dr Ramani Ayer shares secrets of success with Class of 2007 - Part I

Good News Ezine
Maharishi University of Management, Iowa, USA
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8 July 2007

Dr. Ramani Ayer, Chairman and CEO of The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc., a Fortune 100 company, delivered the keynote address to the graduating class of 2007 at Maharishi University of Management. The University's 32nd commencement exercise took place on June 30 . . . on the M.U.M. campus.

Dr. Ayer is a member of the University's Board of Trustees.

Dr. Ayer told the audience how lucky they were to be graduating from M.U.M. Not only were they receiving a degree in their chosen subject, but they were also graduating with a degree in consciousness. 'There is no other university in the world that confers twin degrees. So, we're giving you two degrees for the price of one!'

He was referring to the Research in Consciousness component of the curriculum, where everyone at the university learns the practice of the Transcendental Meditation® program for academic credit. The TM® technique develops a student's total brain physiology allowing them to absorb and connect all the diverse aspects of their discipline to the underlying unified field at the basis of their own consciousness, the Self of everyone.

The 167 graduating students, received 41 bachelors degrees, 124 masters degrees, and two Ph.D.s. They represented 42 countries, parents and family members coming from as far away as Uganda and Nepal to attend. One of those students was Dr. Ayer's son, Austin, the class Valedictorian, who was also co-recipient of the Community Service Award. The Salutatorian, Sarah Neate, was awarded outstanding undergraduate student in Literature.

Coming to America

Dr. Ayer said that regardless of criticisms aimed at the United States, America remained the greatest land of opportunity. Describing his own experience as an immigrant, he said, 'Only in America can someone like me rise to become a Fortune 100 CEO. I came from a different country, a different background, with only $8.00 dollars in my pocket.' He recalled bringing two suitcases, one with clothes and the other filled with textbooks, because they were cheaper in India. After taking a taxi from the Kennedy Airport to the Port Authority, he paid the cab driver and dug deep in his pocket to give him a tip. The taxi driver told him to keep the tip, that he would need the money more.

After receiving an MA and Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Drexel University, Dr. Ayer invested his entire professional career at The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc., one of the largest diversified financial services companies in the nation.

During his 10 years as CEO, The Hartford grew from primarily a property and casualty company with $12.5 billion in revenue to a diversified financial services company with more than $26 billion in revenue. Under Dr. Ayer's leadership, The Hartford rose to become one of the Fortune 100 companies, and its share price appreciated more than 137%. The Hartford currently has 31,000 employees and manages assets of more than $377 billion. The company has received many awards for its management and customer service and is one of Fortune's most admired companies.


Dr. Ramani Ayer and his wife Louise have been financial supporters of Maharishi University of Management, contributing generously to the demolition of old campus buildings and to the new Argiro Student Center as well as establishing two endowed scholarship funds. One fund is the DeRoy C. Thomas Scholarship Endowment Fund to support scholarships for African-Americans, which Dr. Ayer established in honor of his mentor at The Hartford, DeRoy C. Thomas, who served as Chairman and CEO of The Hartford two terms before Dr. Ayer. The other fund is the Ayer Family Scholarship for financially disadvantaged students.

Dr. Ayer learned the Transcendental Meditation technique in 1971 while a graduate student at Drexel, and the advanced TM-Sidhi® program, including Yogic Flying, with his wife Louise, in 1979.

Dr. Ayer and his wife have also supported the teaching of the Transcendental Meditation program at a highly challenged, highly stressed inner-city school in Hartford, through contributions to the David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace. More than 100 of the school's 1,100 students learned the Transcendental Meditation technique this past year. Because the results were so dramatic, the school principal resolved that the entire student body would learn the technique this coming year.

Copyright © 2007 Good News!.

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