Carson Kressley Will Give 2013 Undergraduate Commencement Address

Fashion celebrity Carson Kressley will address undergraduate students at Philadelphia University 129th Commencement. Photography by Rainer Hosch.

Emmy Award-winning fashion celebrity Carson Kressley will address undergraduate students at Philadelphia University’s 129th Commencement on Saturday, May 11.  At the ceremony, Kressley will be awarded the honorary degree Doctor of Humane Letters.

Throughout his career as a television star, celebrity stylist, author and fashion designer, Kressley has won fans for his roles in “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” as well as Lifetime’s critically acclaimed show, “How to Look Good Naked,” ABC’s “True Beauty” from executive producers Tyra Banks and Ashton Kutcher, Oprah Winfrey’s “Your Own Show: Oprah’s Search for the Next TV Star,” and his current show on the Oprah Winfrey Network “Carson Nation,” in which Kressley travels to small towns across the U.S., transforming lives one person at a time with humor and style.

Kressley also heated up the dance floor as a contestant on the 13th season of ABC’s mega-hit “Dancing with the Stars” and is a New York Times best-selling author with three books to his credit, including “You’re Different and That’s Super,” a children’s book promoting diversity and tolerance.

“Carson Kressley is a tremendous friend to Philadelphia University,” said President Stephen Spinelli Jr., Ph.D. “His energy and enthusiasm are contagious, and he has a real heart for encouraging students and young professionals to pursue their goals.  He has been successful on many levels and serves as a role model for our students, who are taught to think and work across disciplines.  We couldn’t be more proud to have Carson as our Commencement speaker.”

Kressley has a history of supporting PhilaU, visiting campus in March 2012 to encourage students in the fashion programs and participate in a student-led interview on his experiences in the industry.  Kressley also introduced Spirit of Design Award recipient Tommy Hilfiger at the 2011 Philadelphia University Fashion Show and, in 2006, a PhilaU fashion design student was presented with the Carson Kressley Scholarship for outstanding design work.

“What an honor it is to receive this degree from Philadelphia University.  I’m a big fan of their solid educational programs and entrepreneurial spirit,” Kressley said.  “Although I’m not an academic, I certainly know my way around the fashion world and hope to inspire the graduating class by sharing my ‘anything is possible’ story.”

In a separate ceremony, Robert Nydick ‘78 will give the graduate Commencement address and will be awarded the honorary degree Doctor of Humane Letters.  Nydick, professor of management and operations at Villanova University and a Philadelphia University trustee, will speak from his years of experience teaching students how businesses make sound decisions.

Nydick studied business at PhilaU and earned his master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and Ph.D. from Temple University in operations research. Nydick, who taught at Philadelphia University for seven years, currently teaches undergraduate and MBA students at Villanova in areas of decision sciences, operations management and operations research. He has published his research in top journals.

More than 800 undergraduate and graduate students will receive diplomas at the 2013 Commencement ceremonies on May 11.

Both the undergraduate and graduate Commencement ceremonies will be held on Philadelphia University’s Alumni Field this year. The ceremony celebrating undergraduate students will take place at 3 p.m. and the ceremony celebrating master’s and doctoral students will take place at 10 a.m.  There will be a tent set up for Commencement exercises with seating both under and outside of the tent.

For more information about the ceremonies, academic attire, Grad Finale, parking, tickets and accommodations, please visit

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