Katie Lawson, 301-405-4622
COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland announced that David M. Baggett, a UMD alumnus and founder and president of Arcode Corporation, will deliver the university's winter commencement address on Dec. 20, 2016. He will be joined by this year’s student speaker, Jacob Lowenstein, who is graduating with degrees in accounting and finance.
"I am excited and honored to be addressing this graduating class of seniors," says Baggett. "The University of Maryland has transformed a great deal since I graduated nearly 25 years ago and has become one of the nation's top public research universities. I am proud to stand among top-notch students of the winter 2016 graduating class at an institution that I am proud to call my alma mater."
An innovative thinker who has been writing software since childhood, Baggett is always searching for new ways that technology can solve everyday, practical problems. The son of an electrical engineer and cookbook writer, Baggett earned degrees in computer science and linguistics from the University of Maryland in 1992. By the time he graduated, he had already founded companies that designed video game development systems and published interactive fiction.
While pursuing his master’s degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he became part of the team behind the groundbreaking and wildly popular Sony PlayStation video game “Crash Bandicoot.” Besides giving Sony a mascot, the game series from Naughty Dog Inc., where Baggett was a programmer and vice president, was pioneering in its graphic speed and detail.
In 1997, Baggett co-founded ITA Software, which revolutionized how people could travel with the help of cheaper and more powerful computer programs. By assisting airlines like America West and websites like Orbitz, the company’s software greatly expanded the choices and convenience of booking flights. As COO, Baggett oversaw software development, operations and customer relations, expanding the company from 20 employees to more than 500, with revenue topping $70 million a year. In 2011, Google acquired ITA for $700 million.
More recently, Baggett, founder and president of Arcode Corp., has focused his creative and entrepreneurial spirit on email and messaging: his new startup's product Inky makes it easy for anyone to encrypt their email with any mail account, ensuring confidentiality and preventing identity theft and phishing attacks.
Named a distinguished alumnus by both the College of Arts and Humanities and the Department of Computer Science, Baggett has supported undergraduate scholarships and post-baccalaureate fellowships at UMD in linguistics research.