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bob chapek indiana university bloomington
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After this weekend, you can address Disney’s CEO by his new name: “Dr. Bob Chapek”

Like him or not, soon Disney fans can call the company’s head man “Dr. Bob Chapek,” as Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Chapek is getting back to his roots this upcoming weekend.

Disney+ subscriber growth slowed notably in latest quarter, putting  pressure on the company. - The New York Times

Disney CEO Bob Chapek/Credit: The New York Times

Veteran Disney CEO Bob Iger passed the torch on February 25, 2020, stationing Bob Chapek at the helm of The Walt Disney Company. Chapek is the seventh CEO in the company’s nearly 100-year history.

ALSO READ: Imagineers unfreeze Walt’s head, and he’s furious over Bob Chapek’s handling of his beloved Disney Parks

Chapek was born in August 1960 just outside of Chicago, Illinois, to working-class parents who, according to an interview with Bob Chapek in the Los Angeles Times worked constantly, outside of the family’s occasional vacations to Walt Disney World in Florida.

“That’s where I first developed a deep love for Disney and all that it stands for,” Chapek said during the interview.

Growing up, Chapek was known for his “innate ability to be consistently relied upon,” according to Brooksy Society. He took his responsibilities as an altar boy at St. John the Baptist Church every Sunday at 6:00 a.m. Chapek says his that ability came from his parents.

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File:St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Hammond, interior from entrance.jpg

St. John the Baptist Catholic Church/Credit: WikiCommons

“They instilled a work ethic in me and worked hard for the nicer things in life,” Chapek explained. “I saw their role-modeling, and it made a permanent impact on my drive and ambition.”

In 1977, Bob Chapek graduated from Clark High School. His mother, Marie, once said of her son that “he played hard and worked hard” and that “he put his heart and soul into everything.”

“If [Chapek] did a job, he was never satisfied,” his mother told The Times of Northwest Indiana, “he always wanted to do more, and he still has a heart for the Calumet region and feels very close to Hammond.”

This weekend, Northwest Indiana will welcome Bob Chapek back to his roots, as the Walt Disney Company CEO has been invited back to Indiana University Bloomington, from which he graduated in 1981 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology.

Indiana University Bloomington

Indiana University Bloomington/Credit: Indiana.edu

Bob Chapek will speak at the Bloomington undergraduate commencement ceremony to be held on May 7, 2022.

Bob Chapek had a long career with Disney before becoming the company’s CEO. According to to Brooksy Society:

“Before becoming Disney’s seventh CEO, Chapek’s roles included chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, head of Disney Consumer Products, president of distribution for The Walt Disney Studios and president of Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment. During his tenure, Disney Parks saw the largest investment and expansion in its 60-year history.”

Disney's chief on his war with Netflix, irking the talent and breaking with  the past | Financial Times

Credit: Financial Times

As part of the undergraduate commencement ceremony on May 7, Indiana University Bloomington will celebrate its hometown hero, Disney CEO Bob Chapek, with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.

About Becky Burkett

I'm an enthusiastic writer who finds joy in random things like cold weather, snow, "I Love Lucy," "The Andy Griffith Show," journals full of blank paper, countdowns to Christmas, the month of December, "Toy Story," "Sleeping Beauty," my 4 kids, my 4 shih tsus, Disney Parks history, Imagineering and visiting the parks. I think Walt Disney is the standard against which genius should be measured. I love to write about Disney Parks, Disney history, all things Imagineering and PIXAR. I adore the colors, story and art direction of Disney's "Sleeping Beauty" (Team Make it Blue!), and "Toy Story" is life (minus "Toy Story 4"). I believe Walt Disney was so much more than an entertainment and theme park tycoon; I believe he was a savant with a vision for life and how it could be if happiness and kindness are strived for. I love Biergarten at EPCOT and 1900 Park Fare at Disney's Grand Floridian. You can find me croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room, chillin' on the PeopleMover or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. I'm always looking for Imagineers in the parks, and I'd rather meet Joe Rohde and Tony Baxter than anyone in Hollywood! Hey, if you dream it, you really can do it!