Iona College alumnus and entrepreneur James P. Hynes ’69, '01H will be this year’s keynote speaker at the 73rd
annual undergraduate commencement ceremony at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 20, in the Theater at Madison Square Garden.
Mr. Hynes earned international acclaim as an entrepreneur, innovator and business leader whose career includes 25 years of entrepreneurial success in the telecommunications industry. He co-founded and was first CEO of Inteliquent, a leading provider of interconnection services in the United States; was a founder and first CEO, of COLT, PLC, the first non-governmental telecom provider in Europe; and made numerous successful venture capital investments in early stage telecommunications and technology companies.
Hynes has supported Iona as a benefactor, a mentor to students and strategic leader. He currently serves as chairman of the Iona College Board of Trustees of which he has been a member since 1995.
“Mr. Hynes is not only an example of what Iona graduates can achieve, he’s been a major supporter and leader of the College’s advancement for more than four decades,” said President Joseph E. Nyre, Ph.D. “We’re honored and pleased that he’ll share his story with members of the Class of 2017.”
With a record-setting $15 million gift to the College, Hynes and his wife, Anne Marie, recently established Iona’s Hynes Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation
. They also funded the creation of the Hynes Athletics Center, which opened in 2005, home to the College’s Division 1 athletics program and 21 varsity teams.
“To have Mr. Hynes sharing the stage with the Class of 2017 is an absolute honor,” said Kayla Kosack, Iona senior and president of the Student Government Association. “He has acted as a role model for the students of Iona. To me, what more appropriate person should we have standing before us, introducing us to the rest of our lives, than one who received the same experiences and education -- and wore the same cap and gown as us? We are incredibly blessed to share an opportunity with Mr. Hynes to seal our Iona experience as undergraduates.”
Hynes has received several awards from Iona, including the Alumni Association's Brother Arthur A. Loftus Award for Outstanding Achievement in 1994, the Brother Patrick B. Doyle Award for Distinguished Service to the Alumni Association in 1996, and the Legacy Award at the 2015 scholarship award gala. He also received an honorary degree from the College in 2001. In addition to serving on the Iona board, Mr. Hynes has been a trustee of Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx and also on the North American Board of the Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business at University College Dublin. He holds a BA and an honorary doctorate from Iona College, in addition to an MBA from Adelphi University.
More information about Iona’s commencement ceremonies and surrounding events is online at www.iona.edu/commencement