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Iona Celebrates Commencement 2015

New Rochelle, NY (May 21, 2015) Iona Gaels were in full force at the College’s 71st commencement exercises at the Theater at Madison Square Garden (MSG) in New York City on May 16. As friends and family cheered, nearly 1,000 undergraduate and graduate students from the School of Arts & Sciences and the Hagan School of Business processed across the stage to receive their diplomas and transition to their places among Iona’s more than 40,000 proud Gael alumni.

During the ceremonies, special honors were conferred on Dorothy H. Wickenden, executive editor of The New Yorker, and keynote speaker for the undergraduate ceremony. Wickenden received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa. Also celebrated at the undergraduate exercise was Patrick J. Martin, Ph.D., ’62, co-founder of the Patrick J. Martin Foundation who received the honorary degree Doctor of Science, honoris causa.

“Those of us who aren’t graduating today are experiencing a vicarious thrill as you receive your diplomas--thinking about all of the lives you are yet to touch and change,” said Wickenden. “We have more confidence in you than you have in yourselves. Your minds aren’t narrow and foolish. They are expansive and generous. Take a leap of faith. The future is yours to shape--and so are the transcendent ideals of the past.”

Undergraduate student speaker Kerri-Leigh Heeseman delivered a response on behalf of the graduates. “Make the rest of your life amazing,” said Heeseman. “Move the world with the knowledge that you acquired here, smile at the memories that you have made, and always remember to fight the good fight.” 

The graduate ceremony honored Iona College alumnus Edward V. Filardi, ’65, partner with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom one of the largest law firms in the world. Filardi was the keynote speaker for the graduates and received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree, honoris causa.

Filardi serves as co-head of Skadden’s Intellectual Property and Technology Group and has extensive experience in patent, trade secret, unfair competition and antitrust-related matters, specifically regarding litigation and dispute resolution.  He is a registered U.S. patent attorney with extensive jury trial and appellate experience and has litigated patent and other technology-related cases for both plaintiffs and defendants.

For further information on Commencement 2015 please click here.

About Iona College:
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. Iona College is the second largest private sector employer in New Rochelle, N.Y.