Lowell Hawthorne to Receive Honorary Doctorate at Medgar Evers College’s Twenty-First Convocation, Sept. 26

July 12, 2011 | Medgar Evers College

On Monday, September 26th at 10 am, Medgar Evers College will celebrate its twenty-first convocation, when hundreds of students, faculty and staff, as well as members of the public will gather for the College’s annual academic celebration. This year, the College will confer an honorary doctorate to Mr. Lowell Hawthorne, the Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery & Grill.

“We are pleased to be able to honor an individual of such distinguished character and achievement at this year’s Convocation Ceremony,” said Dr. William L. Pollard, President of Medgar Evers College. “He truly reflects the highest standards to which our College aspires.”

The ceremony will take place in the College’s Founders Auditorium located at 1650 Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn, New York from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm. Kimberly Davis, who as president of the JPMorgan Chase Foundation is responsible for the firm’s philanthropic activities globally, shall be the keynote speaker. The event is free and open to the public.

Medgar Evers College has honored such luminaries as acclaimed ABC journalist Gil Noble, and celebrated jazz musicians Max Roach, Leonard Gaskins, and Randy Weston at previous Convocations.

About Mr. Lowell Fitzgerald Hawthorne

Lowell Fitzgerald Hawthorne is the Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery & Grill, the largest manufacturer, distributor and franchisor of Caribbean baked products in the United States. In 1996, Golden Krust became the first Black owned Caribbean business in the U.S. to be granted a franchise license. Today Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery and Grill has expanded by leaps and bounds, encompassing over 120 stores across nine states including New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland, Philadelphia, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Georgia and Florida. The Company provides employment for over 1,000 persons system-wide.

Hawthorne believes strongly in education for every field of endeavor. He instituted the GK University which provides rigorous instruction to new franchisees in areas such as Human Resources, Accounting, and Marketing. Hawthorne is also involved in a number of civic associations, and currently serves as Chairman of the American Foundation of the University of the West Indies. Born in Jamaica, he graduated from Oberlin High School and Grantham College, before migrating to the United States in 1981. He was employed as an accountant to the New York Police Department while pursing studies leading to an Associate degree at Bronx Community College, and later studied Business Administration at Baruch and Lehman Colleges.

About Kimberly B. Davis

Kimberly Davis is Managing Director of Global Philanthropy, President of the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, and a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. Her responsibilities include overseeing the firm’s philanthropic activities globally, employee volunteerism and strategic corporate marketing programs.
During her 30 years in the financial services industry, Davis has served in wide range of line and staff leadership roles, including Director of Recruiting, Training & Development for Global Banking, Human Resources Executive for Latin America, and National Sales Manager for Private Banking. Her academic training and corporate experience in sales, marketing, product development, strategic planning and HR development has helped her develop a unique set of skills used throughout her career, especially in the insight and creative delivery of her current role.

Davis earned a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Finance from Spelman College in Atlanta. She has completed ARC International’s Advanced Leadership Program and the Aspen Institute Executive Program.

Davis co-founded Springboard, Partners in Cross-Cultural Leadership, a leadership education and consulting company committed to building highly diverse teams. Her passion for the issues surrounding leadership for women prompted her to help develop, design and implement a national leadership center – Spelman LEADS — in collaboration with Spelman College, where she is a trustee. The center focuses on the unique leadership issues for Women of Color. She is also a trustee of the Kenan Institute at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and serves on the board of The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Business Civic Leadership Center and the Executive Leadership Council.

Davis has been a featured keynote speaker at numerous colleges and universities on “Leadership in the 21st Century”, guest lecturer at Smith College and a featured panelist at the Forbes’ Inaugural Women’s Leadership Summit. She has been featured in a number of publications, including The Business Journal’s 100 Most Influential Women, Black Enterprise, Forbes, Pink Magazine and FastCompany’s 100 Most Creative People in Business.

She is married to attorney St. Clair Davis and they have two children, Hilary and Jared.


About Medgar Evers College, CUNY

Medgar Evers College was founded in 1970 through the efforts from educators and community leaders in central Brooklyn. The College is named after Medgar Wiley Evers, a Mississippi-born black civil rights activist who was assassinated on June 12, 1963. The College is divided into four schools: The School of Business; The School of Professional and Community Development; The School of Liberal Arts and Education; and The School of Science, Health, and Technology. Through these Schools, the College offers 29 associate and baccalaureate degree programs, as well as certificate programs in fields such as English, Nursing, and Accounting. Medgar Evers College also operates several co-curricular and external programs and associated centers such as the Male Development and Empowerment Center, the Center for Women’s Development, the Center for Black Literature, and The DuBois Bunche Center for Public Policy.