Five hundred and sixty-eight graduates made up the Class of 2019, hailing from 23 countries and 33 U.S. states plus Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico. Receiving master’s, bachelor’s, and associate degrees, this was LIM’s largest graduating class since the College was founded in 1939.
Lauren C. Anderson, a global advocate for women and youth and former FBI executive, gave the keynote address. Ms. Anderson also received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree at the ceremony and was presented with LIM College’s Distinguished Achievement Award.
Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, who represents New York’s 12th Congressional District, also addressed the graduating class. In 2016, LIM College presented Congresswoman Maloney—a staunch supporter of New York’s fashion industry—with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree in recognition of her civic and humanitarian accomplishments.
In her remarks, Ms. Anderson said, "You will come across people who will tell you, 'You can’t do that.' But you can! Don’t let anyone else set limitations on you. Most of us have moments of self-doubt and moments of lacking confidence, but they are just that—moments. You are the one who determines if you succeed or fail. No one else determines that. Only you."
In her remarks to the graduates, President Elizabeth S. Marcuse stressed the importance of being courageous, saying, “There will be times in your career when you’ll need to step out of your comfort zone and take a risk. This may mean taking a job, leaving a job, launching a new business, earning another degree or moving to a different country. While all these things can be very exciting, they can also be very scary. That’s o.k.! Having courage doesn’t mean that you won’t feel afraid. It means that you will continue to move forward despite that fear… Courage comes in many forms—and it’s something most of you have already shown you have in abundance.”
Alexandra Helmer, a Visual Studies major from Waynesville, North Carolina was the undergraduate Class of 2019 Valedictorian. After graduation Ms. Helmer will join the e-commerce/digital department at John Varvatos Enterprises, at the luxury men’s lifestyle brand’s corporate office in New York City.
Kikuno Nonoyama, a professor in the Arts & Sciences Department, received the Adrian G. Marcuse Award for Teaching Excellence. Named in honor of LIM College’s president from 1972-2002, this award is given to a faculty member who performs in exemplary fashion in the classroom and consistently embodies the College’s core values.
LIM College presented its Maxwell F. Marcuse Award to Kristi Sloe, Class of 1996, Vice President of Global Product Development for Laura Mercier. Named for LIM’s founder, the Maxwell F. Marcuse Award is the College’s highest alumni honor, recognizing a graduate who has reached the pinnacle of success within the business of fashion.
Bianca Caampued, Class of 2007, Co-Founder + Creative Director of Small Girls PR, a digital public relations agency, was this year’s Shining Star Alumni Award recipient, and Stefani O’Sullivan, Class of 2013, Global Brand Marketing Manager at Moda Operandi, a luxury e-commerce retailer, received the Rising Star Alumni Award.
President Marcuse concluded, “2019 is a particularly significant year for LIM College. In addition to having an absolutely stellar graduating class, we are also celebrating our 80th anniversary … One of the reasons LIM has been able to stand the test of time is that we have never stopped progressing as the world has changed around us. And while this 80th Commencement may seem like a good time to look back, it’s an even better time to look forward.”
The ceremony was streamed live online and is available for viewing at this link.