UM graduates to receive parting words of wisdom from NIKE COO

NIKE COO Eric Spunk

Students graduating from the University of Montana this spring will receive their parting words from Erick Sprunk, the chief operating officer of NIKE.

UM officials made the announcement on Tuesday, noting that Sprunk graduated from UM in 1986 as a finance and accounting major before going on to lead NIKE’s manufacturing and procurement efforts.

“We’re thrilled to have Eric speak during our commencement ceremonies,” UM President Seth Bodnar said in a statement Tuesday. “He has incredible ties to the university, he has a world of experience to pass along, and he offers a prime example to our new graduates of what their UM education can do for them.”

Sprunk spent seven years at Price-Waterhouse-Coopers before joining NIKE in 1993, where he worked in a variety of senior financial, commercial and global-management roles.

He became one of the youngest people to hold the position of NIKE vice president, and the chief operating officer position was created especially for him.

Sprunk said his UM education played a critical role in his career success, and he and his wife, Blair, have contributed to the Missoula-based university in recent years.

The Sprunk family has deep ties to Missoula and UM, including his late mother, Rachel, who was an advocate for the performing arts. His son, Cooper, graduated from the College of Business last year and played on the Grizzly football team.

Sprunk will speak at two main graduation ceremonies in the Adams Center.