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FA M I LY C ON N E C T ION COMMENCEMENT 2019

PROV I DEN C E

NORTH MIAMI

CH AR LOT T E

This is a publication of Johnson & Wales University specifically created for families and designated contacts of JWU students.


C OM M U N I T Y OF L IGH T S A N D OPP OR T U N I T Y The Denver Performing Arts Center’s Boettcher

commitment to provide job and internship

Concert Hall provided the perfect ‘in the round’

opportunities to our students and graduates

ambiance to house 3,000 people for the Denver

each year. He encouraged graduates to own their

Campus commencement

entrepreneurial outreach: “It

ceremony. The traditional

all begins with a handshake.”

bagpiper led the procession,

Benjamin Garcia ’10,

followed by a special

director of special events for

performance of the national

CaterWest at the National

anthem by Kassidy

Western Stock Show,

McKevitt ’19.

welcomed the new graduates

Student speaker Asianna

into JWU’s alumni network.

Harris ’19 said she was

Garcia shared four life

honored to be the first

lessons: be yourself, never

woman of color, first applied

stop learning, try differently,

psychology major, and first

and don’t get comfortable.

honors student to deliver the

He concluded his speech by

commencement speech for a JWU Denver graduating class.

requesting that graduates Asianna Harris ’19 student speaker

She shared her realization

for growth. “This is our moment to account for how much we have grown as students and professionals and take this leap into the unknown,” she said. Honorary degree recipient Sean McNicholas, president and CEO of Service Systems Associates,

on their journey. As the graduates reopened their

that big transitions and uncomfortable situations are the best opportunities

close their eyes to reflect

eyes, the audience held their flashlights high to represent the opportunities and support ahead of them. With smiles, cheers and tears, the Class of 2019 was sent forth to continue to make an impact on the world and encompass the Wildcat Way.

delivered the commencement address. McNicholas truly represents the JWU community with his

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COMMENCEMENT 2019


DENVER

C OM M E NC E M E N T GA L L E RY


COMMENCEMENT GALLERY

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C

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2019 PROV IDE NCE CA MPUS

DE N V E R CA MPUS

Total Undergraduate Degrees Awarded John Hazen White College of Arts & Sciences College of Business College of Culinary Arts College of Engineering & Design College of Health & Wellness College of Hospitality Management

1,508 232 407 253 94 9 513

Total Undergraduate Degrees Awarded John Hazen White College of Arts & Sciences College of Business College of Culinary Arts College of Hospitality Management

222 27 38 108 62

Bachelor’s Degrees Associate Degrees

136 86

Bachelor’s Degrees Associate Degrees

1,384 124

Total Graduate Degrees Awarded (MBA) Honorary Degree Recipient and Commencement Speaker Sean K. McNicholas, president, Service Systems Associates

Honorary Degree Recipient and Commencement Speaker, morning ceremony Nigel Travis, chairman, Dunkin’ Brands Inc. Honorary Degree Recipients and Commencement Speaker, afternoon ceremony Mehmet Gürs ’93, chef and partner, Istanbul Food & Beverage Group (speaker) Derek Joseph Wagner ’99, chef and owner, nicks on broadway Total Graduate Degrees Awarded Doctoral Degrees (Ed.D.) Graduate Degrees (MBA, M.A.T., M.S., M.Ed., M.S.P.A.S.)

CH A RLOT TE CA MPUS

334 14 320

Total Degrees Awarded John Hazen White College of Arts & Sciences College of Business College of Culinary Arts College of Hospitality Management

340 2 106 94 138

Bachelor’s Degrees Associate Degrees

246 94

Honorary Degree Recipient and Commencement Speaker, graduate ceremony Cynthia R. Bigelow, president and chief executive officer, Bigelow Tea

Honorary Degree Recipient and Commencement Speaker Gary Ward Guittard, president and chief executive officer, Guittard Chocolate Company

NOR TH MI A MI CA MPUS

J W U ONLINE

Total Undergraduate Degrees Awarded John Hazen White College of Arts & Sciences College of Business College of Culinary Arts College of Hospitality Management

266 21 84 67 116

Bachelor’s Degrees Associate Degrees

206 60

Total Graduate Degrees Awarded (MBA)

13

Total Degrees Awarded Bachelor’s Degrees Graduate Degrees (MBA, M.S.)

TOTA L DEGREES AWA RDED: 3,034

22

Honorary Degree Recipient and Commencement Speaker William David Wilkinson, president and chief executive officer, Atlanta Police Foundation

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Includes fall 2018, winter 2019 and expected spring 2019 graduates; does not include summer 2019 graduates.

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329 153 176


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M O R N I N G C E R E M O N Y:

‘DE F IN E C OM M I T M E N T F OR YOU R SE L F ’ Aspirations became reality at the morning

He also found inspiration in his peers, who stayed

commencement ceremony, where undergraduate

their educational course while juggling academic

students from the colleges of Arts & Sciences,

and extracurricular responsibilities — often while

Business, Engineering & Design, Health & Wellness,

working multiple jobs. Pezza concluded his speech

and Hospitality Management

by urging the Class of

were the first to receive their

2019 to persevere: “My

degrees.

fellow graduates, define

Student speaker Nicholas

commitment for yourself, and use it to tackle everything

Pezza, an accomplished student-athlete and member

you do in life.”

of the Wildcat Investment

Nigel Travis ’19 Hon.,

Value Fund (WIVF), JWU

chairman of Dunkin’

Providence’s student-managed

Brands Inc., encouraged

portfolio fund, traced how his

new graduates to embrace

time at JWU helped transform

technology. He also

his definition of commitment.

emphasized the importance

Prior to JWU, he said, “my

of remaining passionate about

understanding of the word was

what you do: “Stay true to the

rudimentary; it simply meant hard work.”

Nicholas Pezza ’19 student speaker

Joining JWU’s hockey team

path you want and follow it hard.” Sometimes, however, there

marked the first shift. “No matter what adversity

are unexpected bumps in that road. “The world is

we faced, the men I played with showed up with the

not tidy and will never be,” he told graduates. “My

same intensity each day because of a commitment to

advice is to bend with the road, and to see every

something greater than themselves.” Pezza also took

challenge as beneficial in your development. ... Do

inspiration from JWU’s faculty, who “expanded our

not always plan the next step or next job but focus

understanding of the word through their unwavering

simply on being successful today. Success will follow

dedication to our development as students

those who do a great job.”

and individuals. Through them, I learned that commitment means selflessness and dependability.”

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A F T E R N O O N C E R E M O N Y:

BE INST IGAT OR S OF CH A NGE At JWU’s afternoon ceremony, undergraduates from

Mehmet Gürs ’93, ’19 Hon., chef and owner of Mikla

the College of Culinary Arts and from the College of

and partner of the Istanbul Food & Beverage Group,

Hospitality Management’s Food Service Management

and Derek Joseph Wagner ’99, ’19 Hon., chef and

program received their diplomas.

owner of nicks on broadway, were each awarded a

For student speaker Diane

Doctor of Culinary Arts.

Saraceni, a JWU Continuing

Both chefs are staunch

Education student graduating

believers in the ability of food

magna cum laude in Baking &

to transform lives. Chef Gürs’

Pastry Arts, baking started as

keynote speech served as a

a “passionate hobby.”

call to action: “Our work is

During her time at JWU, she

changing. It is not just about pushing out new dishes or

juggled a full-time job with

serving up the coolest or

multiple passion projects,

best-tasting stuff anymore.

including serving as president

Chef José Andrés has been

of a local animal shelter.

nominated for the Nobel

“Many people don’t realize

Peace Prize. And food-related

the amount of grit that goes

businesses are more and more

into this program,” she noted. “We’ve endured excruciatingly long labs in hot kitchens.

Diane Saraceni ’19 student speaker

We have made best friends

instigators of change.” He urged graduates to be part of that change: “Not only can

with compression socks and literally gained over

we make life better, but we can also make it tastier.

one million steps on our pedometers. And, when

Filled with pleasure — that is, if we choose good

our pizza dough was too sticky or our bread dough

over bad.”

was over-proofed, we didn’t give up. We simply

In conclusion, he urged the crowd to pause to

remembered what Chef Lumi [Cirstea] always told us: ‘Love your dough, and your dough will love you back!’”

appreciate the magnitude of their achievements: “Standing where you are today is a privilege. Being a part of this community is a privilege. Let’s be proud of it!”

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A N D T H AT ’ S T H E W IL D CAT WAY When students arrive at the North Miami

Wilkinson’s words of wisdom resonated with the

Campus, the four tenets of the Wildcat Way —

graduates, including U.S. Army veteran Enrique

pride, courage, character and community — set

Lesende. A sergeant with JWU North Miami

the tone for what it’s like to be a Wildcat. During

Campus Safety & Security, Lesende decided to

the 2019 commencement ceremony, that theme

set an example for his family by pursuing his

could not have been more

MBA. In exchange for his

apparent.

hard work, Lesende got

Honorary degree recipient

to share this special day with his son, Matheus

Dave Wilkinson, who

S. Cravalho, who also

served 22 years with the

graduated with his

United States Secret Service, recounted

bachelor’s degree.

moments when those

“It meant the world to

four tenets helped guide

me to graduate with my

his decisions as assistant

son,” Lesende says. “I

special agent in charge

had to move at a fast

of presidential protection

pace to be sure we would

under Presidents Clinton

graduate together. So, in

and George W. Bush. He

the summer I took three

recalled advising the

classes to be able to make

president as he decided to “leave Flight 93 in the air

Matheus S. Cravalho ’19 (L) and Enrique Lesende ’19, father and son graduates

or bring it down to prevent

that during difficult situations, making the right decision requires sound judgment.

J W U F A M I LY C O N N E C T I O N

Between Wilkinson’s accomplishments and

even more lives from being lost on September 11,” and reminded graduates

that dream come true.”

Lesende’s achievements, our 2019 graduates show that they are prepared to make a difference in their community — and that’s the Wildcat Way.

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I T WA S L E A DING U P T O T H IS Graduates filed into the Spectrum Center loading

ceremony when she earned an associate degree

dock to don their gowns, take selfies and touch

in applied science from JWU’s College of

up their decorative caps at the JWU Charlotte

Culinary Arts.

2019 Commencement Ceremony on Saturday,

Born with epilepsy, Worth suffered grand mal

May 18. Nearly 550 students were ready to accept their diplomas.

seizures during her younger years. The Culinary Arts and Food Service

Commencement student

Management major was

speaker Rebecca Curtis ’19

seizure-free for six years

addressed her graduating

— until her junior year.

class. “Every decision we

Worth says sometimes

have made and every class

she can feel the seizures

that we have taken has led

coming on. “I get dizzy,

us to this moment,” she

start stuttering a little bit

said. “When you stood in a

and get light headed, but

lab for six hours straight,

normally I have seizures

it was leading up to this.

when I’m sleeping,”

When you felt like you

she says.

gave everything and had

Fortunately, her absence

nothing left to give, it was

this year was not due to

leading up to this. Now, I

health issues. Worth has

am not saying it was easy by any means, but what I

Samantha Worth ’19

am saying is, it was totally

could not attend the ceremony to receive her bachelor’s degree in Food Service Management, she participated in the 2017 commencement

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family friend who also has epilepsy. She helped plan

worth it.” Samantha Worth ’19 would agree. Although she

formed a tight bond with a

this friend’s wedding and knew it was important to attend — the wedding just happened to be on the same day as commencement.

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COMMENCEMENT 2019

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JWU Family Connection | Denver Campus, Commencement 2019  

JWU Family Connection | Denver Campus, Commencement 2019