(From left) Barneys New York Chief Operating Officer Daniella Vitale, Class of 2014 Valedictorian Shannon Oriole, LIM College President Elizabeth S. Marcuse, and Neva Hall, Executive Vice President of Specialty Stores for Neiman Marcus. Photo credit: Patrick Oehler

(From left) Barneys New York Chief Operating Officer Daniella Vitale, Class of 2014 Valedictorian Shannon Oriole, LIM College President Elizabeth S. Marcuse, and Neva Hall, Executive Vice President of Specialty Stores for Neiman Marcus. Photo credit: Patrick Oehler

Barneys New York Chief Operating Officer Daniella Vitale, a member of LIM College’s Class of 1986, told the 2014 graduates of LIM College that, “LIM allowed us to get dropped into the center of it all in New York. I sold shoes, sold cosmetics at B. Altman, was a dresser for fashion shows, and eventually became an assistant buyer. This helped shape my career and provided a foundation that complemented my education. It also made me realize early on that a strong work ethic, discipline and consistency matter. Successful careers are made by making smart choices,” in her keynote address at the College’s 75th Commencement exercises on May 22 at Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center in Manhattan. Ms. Vitale was also presented with LIM College’s Distinguished Achievement Award and an honorary Doctor of Commercial Science degree at the ceremony.

LIM College is focused exclusively on the study of business and fashion. More than 425 graduates made up the Class of 2014, the largest in LIM College’s history. They received MBA, bachelor’s or associate degrees, as well as the College’s first-ever Master of Professional Studies (MPS) degrees.

To help mark LIM College’s 75th Anniversary, representatives from graduating classes spanning from 1953 to 2013 marched in the Commencement procession and were seated on stage. The College also presented the first Maxwell F. Marcuse Award. Named for LIM’s founder, the award recognizes an LIM College graduate who has reached the pinnacle of success within the business of fashion. The winner of the inaugural award was Neva Hall, Executive Vice President of Specialty Stores for Neiman Marcus Stores and a 1974 graduate of LIM College.

LIM College President Elizabeth S. Marcuse also received an honorary Doctor of Commercial Science degree. In announcing President Marcuse’s honorary doctorate, William J. Borner, Chairman of LIM College’s Board of Trustees said, “Building on the unshakeable foundation established by her father, Adrian Marcuse, and grandfather, Maxwell Marcuse, before her, President Marcuse has continued the tradition of excellence that has characterized LIM College for the past 75 years. This honorary degree recognizes her own significant contributions to the advancement of education in the business of fashion.”

The valedictorian of LIM College’s undergraduate Class of 2014 was Shannon Oriole of Pelham, New Hampshire. In August Ms. Oriole will launch her career in Macy’s Executive Development Program. Trend forecaster and lifestyle consultant Andrea Praet (Class of 2003) received the Shining Star alumni award and Gina Mercatili (Class of 2012), Merchandise & Marketing Coordinator for the Barclays Center, received the Rising Star alumni award.

President Marcuse told the graduates, “One of the reasons LIM College has been able to stand the test of time is that we have never stopped evolving and progressing as the world has changed around us. While our 75th Anniversary is a fine time to look back, it is an even better time to look forward. Whether you now embark on your careers or enter graduate school, whether you stay in New York or pack your bags for an opportunity in Los Angeles, or even Beijing, the degree you are receiving today signifies that you have the knowledge, skills, and experience needed to face life’s challenges head-on.”