Medgar Evers College Announces Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery Grill President and CEO Lowell Hawthorne to Deliver Keynote Address at 42nd Commencement Exercises in June

Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery & Grill President & CEO Lowell Hawthorne.

Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery & Grill President & CEO Lowell Hawthorne.

More than 1,100 students earn their Bachelor’s and Associate degrees, including 160 Cum Laude, 85 Magna Cum Laude, and 43 Summa Cum Laude honors

Medgar Evers College (MEC) today announced that Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery & Grill President and CEO Lowell Hawthorne will deliver the keynote address at the College’s 42nd Commencement Exercises to be held at the Jacob Javits Center North in Manhattan on Saturday, June 1 at 12:00 noon.  Proud family, friends, faculty and staff will join President Dr. William L. Pollard, Interim Provost Dr. Karrin E. Wilks, and Board of Trustees Member Kafui Kouakou, who will bring greetings on behalf of the CUNY Board. This year’s commencement theme “What Was, What Is, What Will Be”. More than 1,100 graduates are expected to walk across the stage to receive their degrees and certificates in education, business and biology, including160 cum laude, 85 magna cum laude, and 43 summa cum laude honors.

“Benjamin Payton, former president of Tuskegee, in a speech given February, 25 1991 said, ‘There are too many people who get degrees and think they are educated. In order to be truly knowledgeable person one has to be engaged in serious, systematic lifelong learning’”, said Medgar Evers College President Dr. William L. Pollard.  “Our graduates know that what is expected of them calls for constant learning and constant renewal of their skills and competencies. As they live and work in their communities they understand that their future and the future of their families and communities will be built on what they have started at Medgar Evers College.”

“The graduates of Medgar Evers College are to be commended for their academic accomplishments, admired for their determination and persistence, and applauded for the positive contributions they will make to their community in the years ahead,” said CUNY Senior Vice Chancellor for University Relations Jay Hershenshon.

“It is always with a great sense of pride that students march across the stage to receive their degrees,” said Interim Provost & Senior Vice President Dr. Karrin E. Wilks. “Our students have worked hard to reach this pinnacle, and now, armed with the tools for success, we join them and their families as they celebrate the completion of the first leg in their journeys toward solid and dynamic futures.”

“As a City University of New York alum, I am proud to congratulate the students on joining the ranks of hundreds of thousands of other CUNY graduates,” said keynote speaker Golden Krust President & CEO Lowell Hawthorne. “Whether they are first-time to college, foreign-born or local, returning to school, or are balancing family and work life with school, we can rest assured that what the students learned at Medgar Evers College will be transferred as they move within our communities and beyond to share their knowledge.”

In many ways, Mr. Hawthorne is representative of the student profile at the College. Born on the island nation of Jamaica in the West Indies, he migrated to the United States, enrolled in and graduated from Bronx Community College. He went on to work as an accountant for the New York Police Department before striking out as an entrepreneur starting Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery & Grill in the Bronx in 1989.  The company is the nation’s largest manufacturer, distributor, and franchiser of Caribbean baked products, and is the first Caribbean-owned business in the U.S. to be granted a franchise license. Today the company has more than 120 stores across the United States.

Mr. Hawthorne received the Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2002, conferred with the Order of Distinction from his native homeland of Jamaica, and was conferred an honorary Doctor of Letters from Medgar Evers College in 2011. Most recently, he penned his autobiography, “The Baker’s Son.” His philanthropic interests include the Mavis & Ephraim Hawthorne Golden Krust Scholarship Foundation awarding more than 150 scholarships to institutions since its launching in 2005. Currently he is a director of the Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CACCI) and chairman of the Partnership Board of the American Foundation for the University of the West Indies. In 2010, he was named the Jamaica Observer’s Business Leader of the Year.

The Jacob Javits Center North is located at 655 West 34th Street; enter on  West 39th or West 40th Street entrances on 11th Avenue; arrival time is before 10:30 a.m.

 About Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery & Grill

Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery & Grill a privately held corporation, is a manufacturer and distributor of Caribbean food products. The company’s products can be found in its franchises, supermarkets, hospitals, schools, correctional institutions and food service facilities, sporting facilities, other retail outlets and at special outdoor events throughout the United States. In 1996, Golden Krust became the first Caribbean-owned business in the U.S. to be granted a franchise license, and also signified the company’s relocation to its plant in the South Bronx.

About Medgar Evers College

Medgar Evers College, a senior college within The City University of New York, was established in 1970 with a mandate to meet the educational and social needs of the Central Brooklyn community. With a commitment to students who desire a sound academic foundation as well as an opportunity for personal development, the College seeks to provide high-quality, professional, career-oriented undergraduate degree programs in the context of a liberal arts education. This year on June 12, 2013, the College will mark the 50th anniversary of the death of Medgar Evers who was killed as he returned home from his job as field secretary with the NAACP.


Dawn Walker/Medgar Evers College         (718) 530-4539

Candice Richards/Golden Krust                 (718) 655-7878 ext. 7146