Westchester Community College Commencement Features Local Resident (May 18)0
WESTCHESTER COMMUNITY COLLEGE COMMENCEMENT CEREMONY ON THURSDAY, MAY 18; GOLDEN KRUST PRESIDENT AND CEO LOWELL HAWTHORNE TO ADDRESS NEAR RECORD NUMBER OF GRADUATES
Westchester Community College’s commencement ceremony will take place on Thursday, May 18 at 6:00 p.m. in the County Center Building in White Plains. Approximately 2,000 students will be granted degrees, making it one of the largest graduating classes in the history of the college. The commencement speech will be given by Westchester resident Lowell F. Hawthorne, President and Chief Executive Officer of Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery and Grill, the nation’s largest Caribbean franchise chain.
Westchester Community College President Belinda S. Miles will also address those gathered at commencement. “I am pleased that this notable entrepreneur will be inspiring our graduating students at commencement,” says Dr. Miles. “As an immigrant from Jamaica, his success story will be of interest to the thousands who will be on hand for this event, especially our many students from other countries including our English as a Second Language students, in addition to our Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management majors, our Entrepreneurship majors, and our English as a Second Language students.”
“As an entrepreneur educated in New York State, and a notable philanthropist who has ensured the education of hundreds of students through generous scholarships, he truly exemplifies the college’s motto: Building Minds, Building Futures,” says Dr. Miles.
Hawthorne migrated to the United States in 1981 along with his family, finding employment as an accountant and then later opening a Bronx bakery. Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery and Grill grew to more than 120 stores in nine states and now provides employment for over 1,500 individuals. Hawthorne, who holds an Associate degree from Bronx Community College and a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Lehman College, received the prestigious Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award and Jamaica’s highest honor for service to commerce and community development: The Order of Distinction, Commander Rank.
A sought after motivational speaker, his organization ranks in the Black Enterprise top 100 and among the Entrepreneur Magazine top 500. The Mavis and Ephraim Hawthorne Golden Krust Foundation, named in honor of his late parents, has awarded more than 300 scholarships to aspiring students in the United Sates and Jamaica.
Among the graduates at the May 18 ceremony will be student leaders and winners of the SUNY Chancellors Award for Excellence.
The college’s picturesque 218-acre main campus in Valhalla is the former estate of John Hartford of A&P fame. Since opening in 1946, more than 250,000 students have enrolled in classes held at the largest college in the county. The college offers more than 60 associate degree and certificate programs.