Contact Dawn Insanalli, director of Public Relations, at (914) 637-2726 or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Rochelle, NY (March 16, 2012) – Joseph Plumeri, chairman and chief executive officer of worldwide Willis Group Holdings plc. has been named the 2012 Iona College Undergraduate Commencement speaker. He will deliver his address at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center North on Saturday, May 12. Joseph Plumeri will also be the recipient of an honorary doctoral degree.
An iconic American story, Joseph Plumeri’s background closely resembles the early history of Iona College. Similar to early Iona alumni, Plumeri is a first-generation college graduate. He was raised in the blue-collar, ethnically-mixed neighborhood of Trenton, NJ. Iona was founded for young men of blue-collar families to ensure access to higher education at a time when Catholics struggled for this same privilege. From 1940 to 1970, most Iona graduates were from Italian and Irish immigrant families and, although Plumeri’s family experienced discrimination, their belief in America ensured their drive to overcome diversity.
“Joe Plumeri possesses the same infectious drive and work ethic that Iona students aspire to live by,” said Joseph E. Nyre, Ph.D., president of Iona College. “His optimism is a gift beyond measure to these graduates, who will in turn carry this hope with them for life.”
Plumeri received his BA in history and education from The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA,and also attended New York Law School.
His leadership appointment to chairman and CEO of Willis Group Holdings plc. in 2000advanced Willis’ position to one of the world’s leading insurance brokers. Previously, Plumeri spent 32 years at Citigroup as CEO of Citibank North America where he led the integration of the consumer businesses at Citicorp and Travelers Group. He also served as chairman and CEO of Travelers Primerica Financial Services, vice chairman of the Travelers Group, and president and managing partner of Shearson Lehman Brothers.
Plumeri has been honored by numerous civic and philanthropic organizations such as the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation in 2009, the Jackie Robinson Foundation in 2010, the Sons of Italy Foundation, the Intrepid Foundation, the Boy Scouts of America, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation, among others.
Founded in 1940, Iona College is a four-year private, coeducational institution of learning in the tradition of the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers and American Catholic higher education. It is a diverse community of learners and scholars dedicated to academic excellence and the values of justice, peace and service. Iona offers undergraduate degrees in liberal arts, science, and business administration, as well as Master of Arts, Master of Science and Master of Business Administration degrees and numerous advanced certificate programs.
For questions or more information please contact:
Public Relations Office
Iona College, 715 North Avenue, New Rochelle, N.Y. 10801
Office: (914) 637-2726
Fax: (914) 637-2711
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