Giants President and CEO Larry Baer to deliver SF State Commencement keynote

SAN FRANCISCO, April 2, 2013 -- Fourth generation San Franciscan Laurence “Larry” Baer, president and CEO of the San Francisco Giants, will be the keynote speaker at San Francisco State University Commencement ceremony on May 25. Baer has been recognized nationally for his visionary business and baseball acumen, and locally for his contributions to the San Francisco business, education and healthcare communities.

A picture of Larry Baer smiling.

Baer’s keynote address to graduates will focus on “the art of the possible in life.” It’s a theme that fits well with the executive’s energetic personal and professional history, from his college days when he talked his way into broadcasting Oakland A’s games on the radio to his recent drive to build AT&T Park and keep the Giants in San Francisco to win the 2010 and 2012 World Series.

Baer attended nearby San Francisco Lowell High School, and said that SF State continues to be the influential community partner that he remembers from his youth in the public schools. “A school with the impact and the size of San Francisco State, and the connections that San Francisco State has, affects us all as citizens,” he said in a recent interview.

A limited partner of the Giants’ ownership group, Baer was named team president in October 2008, and CEO in January 2012. Baer is responsible for the overall day-to-day functioning of the Giants organization, both on the business and baseball sides of the operation.

During his tenure with the Giants, he was instrumental in directing the building of AT&T Park, the first privately financed ballpark in the nation since 1962. He was a key figure in forming the ownership group that in 1992 kept the Giants franchise from moving out of San Francisco and helped to sign 14-time All Star and 8-time Golden Glove outfielder Barry Bonds to the Giants in 1993. 

After earning Phi Beta Kappa honors at the University of California, Berkeley in 1980, Baer joined the Giants as the club’s marketing director. In 1983, he left the Giants to attend Harvard Business School, followed by a four-year tenure at Westinghouse Broadcasting in San Francisco and New York. He returned to the Giants in December 1992 from CBS, Inc. in New York, where he had served as special assistant to the network’s chairman, Laurence Tisch.

Baer received the San Francisco Distinguished Leadership Award in 1996; the prestigious “Sports Torch of Learning Award” by the Scopus Society of the American Friends of The Hebrew University in 1995; and the Anti-Defamation League’s Torch of Liberty Award in 2001. In 2010, Baer was the featured “Person of the Year” honoree at the San Francisco Boys and Girls Club Annual Gala and in January 2012 he was honored as the Harvard Business School’s “Alumnus of the Year.”

He is a member of the Board of Trustees of Boys and Girls Club of America, the Board of Directors of KQED, Inc., the San Francisco Committee on Jobs, the Bay Area Council and Comcast Sports Net Bay Area. He serves with his wife Pam as co-chair of fundraising efforts for the recently rebuilt San Francisco General Hospital.

SF State is the only master's-level public university serving the counties of San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin. The University enrolls nearly 30,000 students each year and offers nationally acclaimed programs in a range of fields -- from creative writing, cinema and biology to history, broadcast and electronic communication arts, theatre arts and ethnic studies. The University’s more than 219,000 graduates have contributed to the economic, cultural and civic fabric of San Francisco and beyond.

To learn more about the 2013 Commencement, visit the SF State Commencement website.