Kendall College Welcomes Desiree Rogers, One Of America’s Most Successful Businesswoman, as 2014 Commencement Speaker

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Event to be Held on June 21 at Chicago Symphony Center

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“The students at Kendall College exhibit such passion and dedication to their education, and it’s an honor to be able to address them as their commencement speaker for this memorable ceremony,” said Rogers.

Kendall College is pleased to welcome CEO of Johnson Publishing Company, Desiree Rogers, to deliver the commencement address at its 2014 graduation ceremony. The event will take place at the Chicago Symphony Center on Saturday, June 21 at 10 a.m. The college will award degrees to students from the Schools of Business, Culinary Arts, Education and Hospitality Management.

“It’s an honor to host such an accomplished and innovative individual as Desiree Rogers as this year’s commencement speaker,” said Emily Williams Knight, president of Kendall College. “Desiree demonstrates the key values in business leaders that we work to instill in our students – perseverance, ingenuity, confidence and making an impact. As our students graduate and prepare to become leaders within their respective fields, we have no doubt that Desiree will serve as an inspiration and example of how commitment can pay off.”

As the current CEO of Johnson Publishing Company, Rogers, a Harvard Business School alumna, has helped establish the company as the curator of the African American experience through its brands and publications, including EBONY, JET and Fashion Fair Cosmetics. Her innovation and career accomplishments span a variety of industries, previously working on projects with the Illinois Lottery to increase its revenue model, serving as president of Peoples Energy’s natural gas utilities to transform the company into a customer-centric organization and spearheading the development of Allstate’s social networking strategy.

Given her track record of success, President Obama named Rogers the first African American Social Secretary in 2008, tasking her to bring the Obama’s nontraditional vision of the White House as the “People’s House” to life, which she did through events that focused on American art and culture. In addition to her career, Rogers serves as the Chairwoman of Choose Chicago and is a board member for not-for-profits including DonorsChoose and the Museum of Science and Industry. She also is on the executive committee of World Business Chicago, and on the Board of Directors for Pinnacle Entertainment.

“The students at Kendall College exhibit such passion and dedication to their education, and it’s an honor to be able to address them as their commencement speaker for this memorable ceremony,” said Rogers. “My hope is that they leave feeling as inspired by my story, as I am excited for them to enter the workforce and see their dreams of careers in these fields come to fruition.”

For more information about Kendall College and its degree programs, visit

About Kendall College
Kendall College, founded in 1934, is located in Chicago, Illinois and is a member of Laureate International Universities, a network of more than 75 accredited campus-based and online institutions in 30 countries throughout North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. More than 800,000 students study at Laureate schools. Kendall offers undergraduate degrees in business, culinary arts, early childhood education and hospitality management to a diverse community of more than 1,650 students. Kendall College was ranked the number one program in Chicago for preparing students for careers in hospitality management and culinary arts in a survey of management at Chicago’s leading hotels and Michelin Guide restaurants (TNS Global – 2013 Survey). Kendall College is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA),; 1-312-263-0456. For more information, visit

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Kyle Trompeter
Kendall College
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