By  on May 23, 2008

William Lauder, president and chief executive officer of the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc., received the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters at the commencement ceremony of the Fashion Institute of Technology, which was held on Tuesday at Radio City Music Hall in Manhattan.

"It's such an honor to receive this kind of award from such a great institution, which educates and trains future leaders in our industry," said Lauder. "It's vitally important for the continued health of our industry to have this kind of institution."

Prior to delivering the commencement speech, Kate Betts, Time Style & Design editor, also stressed the importance of FIT's program and mission.

"This is the lifeblood of our industry and where it's heading in terms of both fashion and design," said Betts. "It's important to be in touch with the next generation, especially during times like this when so many things are going on and changing."

Also at the graduation, both Calvin Klein's Francisco Costa and Bare Escentuals Inc.'s Leslie Blodgett were presented with alumni awards.

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