Mr. Gould said, “Above all have passion for what you do! In 44+ years I have only had one job for just six months, the rest of the time I have had a passion.”

“As John Gardner said in a 1990 speech on personal renewal, ‘We learn by growing older, by suffering, by loving, by bearing with things we can’t change, by taking risks. You will learn that the world loves talent but pays off on character,’” Mr. Gould continued.

In concluding Mr. Gould told the students, “What I wish for you today and throughout your careers is the endless feeding at the trough of hope, of passion, of dreams, of learning, of constant self-renewal in the quest that everyone has within themselves to be more than you thought you could be.”

Mr. Gould was also presented with LIM College’s Distinguished Achievement Award and an honorary Doctor of Commercial Science degree. Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer also received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree at the ceremony, during which approximately 300 LIM College undergraduate students and 26 MBA graduates received degrees.

Said LIM College President Elizabeth S. Marcuse, “We are grateful to Borough President Stringer’s longtime commitment to supporting higher education. He has shown great support for many projects that have benefitted students throughout New York City and he understands the importance of higher education to the community’s ongoing economic health.”

The Valedictorian of LIM College’s undergraduate Class of 2012 was Alexis Michaelides of Astoria, New York. This summer, Alexis will begin her career by entering the Macys.com Merchant Executive Development Program.

President Marcuse told the graduates, “Regardless of where you started out, whether it was Connecticut, or New Jersey, or California – or where your professional journey beyond LIM College may take you – whether it is to a large corporation, a small firm, or a one-person start-up – it is your commitment, creativity, and love of learning that will set you apart from the crowd.”

(From left) Bloomingdale’s Chairman and CEO Michael Gould, Valedictorian Alexis Michaelides, and LIM College President Elizabeth S. Marcuse