Kenneth Cole


DR. COLE, I PRESUME: Kenneth Cole is slated to deliver the commencement address Sunday at Merrimack College’s 67th undergraduate commencement exercises in Andover, Mass. Cole will be presented with an honorary doctorate in humane letters.

The ceremony will be available via webcast. Cole is a graduate of Emory University, where he majored in political science.

This isn’t Cole’s first honorary degree. He has received honors from Manhattanville College (Doctor of Humane Letters), The University of Illinois Public Health (Appreciation Award for his public health advocacy) and Northeastern University (honorary degree).

“I am honored to be delivering the commencement speech at Merrimack College, and I am humbled to be addressing these students at such a critical part in each of their journeys. I hope to leave them with some valuable lessons as they embark on their next chapters,” said Cole.

So how did the designer come to Merrimack’s attention? When Cole spoke at Northeastern’s commencement in 2009, there were some faculty members in attendance who are at Merrimack College and they reached out to him hoping he could deliver “an equally inspiring commencement speech to their current students,” said a Cole spokeswoman.

As for Sunday’s address, Cole said, “I hope to leave the students with the message that ‘what one stands for is more important than what one stands in.'”

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