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Daemen announces undergraduate, graduate commencement speakers

by jmaloni


Tue, May 5th 2015 02:25 pm

First time two ceremonies planned

For the first-time ever, Daemen College will hold separate undergraduate and graduate commencement ceremonies, to be held May 16 at Kleinhans Music Hall.

John K. Castle, chairman and CEO of Castle Harlan Inc., a private merchant bank with more than 42,000 employees, will deliver the 2015 commencement address at the undergraduate ceremony set for 2:30 p.m.

Dr. John J. Connolly, president and CEO of Castle Connolly Medical Ltd., a New York City-based publisher of guides that assist consumers with finding the best health care, will give the address at the 7 p.m. graduate ceremony.

"The change to two ceremonies was necessitated by the growth of Daemen and ongoing improvements to provide the best commencement experience for our graduating students and their family and friends," said Dr. Michael Brogan, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college. "This is a very special day, and we believe this revised format will better meet needs of those in attendance."

During Castle's extensive business career, he has owned or controlled companies such as Delaware Management, the seventh-largest independent money manager in the U.S.; Ethan Allen, the furniture manufacturer and retailer; restaurant chains such as The Morton's Steakhouse; and many others. He has also published various titles related to family health, including "America's Top Doctors" and "New York's Top Doctors."

Before forming Castle Harlan, Castle served as president and CEO of Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette Inc., one of Wall Street's largest investment banks. He also served as a director of the Equitable Life Assurance Society of the U.S.

For the past 35 years, Castle has committed a substantial portion of his time to public service. He is a life member trustee of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a member of the New York Presbyterian Hospital board of trustees, and a trustee and chairman of the executive committee of St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City, as well as several other organizations he has served in various capacities over the past three decades.

Castle also is an adventurer. Among his many journeys, he has landed a small plane on the North and South Poles, trekked to the base of Mount Everest in Nepal, and recreated the entire Lewis and Clark water expedition, a total of more than 3,000 miles, from St. Louis to the Pacific Ocean.

Connolly is president/CEO of Castle Connolly Medical Ltd., which publishes a variety of books for consumers, including the "Top Doctors" series that features the popular "America's Top Doctors" guide, as well as "America's Top Doctors for Cancer" and "Top Doctors: New York Metro Area." He is chair of Castle Connolly Private Health Partners LLD, a concierge medicine company.

As an authority on identifying top physicians, Connolly is a frequent guest on television and radio shows, such as "Today," "Good Morning America, "20/20" and many others.

He has served for a decade as president of New York Medical College, the nation's second-largest private medical college. He is a fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine and the New York Academy of Sciences, and is a director of the Northeast Business Group on Health.

Connolly has served with a number of boards for various organizations, including the American Lyme Disease Foundation, of which he is founder and past chair, and he is chair emeritus of the Culinary Institute of America. Currently, he is a board member of the American Swiss Foundation, Baker and Taylor, Dearborn Risk Management, Air Methods Inc., and the Hudson Group advisory board.

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