Jim McKelvey Jr., a 1987 graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, will address graduating students at the McKelvey Engineering Recognition Ceremony May 16 at the Field House in the Athletic Complex.
A successful serial entrepreneur, McKelvey Jr. is co-founder of Square, a revolutionary financial services and mobile payment company credited with empowering businesses of all sizes around the globe. In addition, he is an independent director of the St. Louis Federal Reserve but is better known for his involvement in several St. Louis-based startups, including co-founder of Six Thirty, founder of LaunchCode, co-founder of Third Degree Glass Factory, founder of Mira Publishing (as a Washington University student). He also is the author of "The Art of Fire: Beginning Glassblowing," a textbook for novice glassblowers.
As a child, McKelvey Jr. spent formative time at the Engineering school with his father, James M. McKelvey Sr., during McKelvey Sr.'s tenure as dean. McKelvey Jr. applied early decision to Washington University and enrolled in 1983, graduating in 1987 with degrees in economics and computer science. While a student, McKelvey Jr. wrote two computer programming textbooks.
In 2012, the Engineering school presented McKelvey Jr. with its Alumni Achievement Award to recognize his groundbreaking entrepreneurship. In 2017, the university recognized him with the Robert S. Brookings Award, which honors individuals for their extraordinary dedication and generosity to Washington University. In addition to currently serving as a university trustee, he also has served as a member of the Alumni Board of Governors.