Honorary degrees will be presented to R.I.’s general treasurer and CEO of Hope Global during Bryant Graduate School Commencement May 17

May 11th, 2012

Cheryl Merchant of Hope Global will address the 174 graduates and their guests


SMITHFIELD, R.I.  - Cheryl Merchant, left, president and CEO of Rhode Island-based manufacturer Hope Global, and Gina Raimondo, general treasurer of Rhode Island, will receive honorary doctorates of business administration during Bryant University's Commencement ceremony for its Graduate School of Business.

The ceremony begins at 5 p.m. and is expected to last until 6:30 p.m.

One hundred seventy-four students will graduate from the Graduate School of Business with one of the following degrees:

Reporters and photographers who plan to attend should contact Tracie Sweeney, Bryant University director of public relations, 401-232-6183, tsweeney@bryant.edu

The Graduate School of Business is part of the University's College of Business, one of only 5 percent of all business programs in the world accredited by AACSB International - the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

The Graduate School ceremony precedes the undergraduate Commencement ceremony to be held Saturday, May 19. (Separate press release available.)

Cheryl Merchant

Honorary Doctor of Business Administration

Cheryl Merchant has a 28-year record of accomplishment in automotive manufacturing, from operation start-ups, mergers, acquisitions, and relocations to shutdowns. She began as production supervisor at General Motors, and quickly advanced to positions at Mazda, Ford Motor Co., and Lear Corporation. Merchant has managed manufacturing plants around the world including facilities in Mexico, Canada, Poland, England, and the United States. Under her leadership, Cumberland, R.I.-based Hope Global - which manages textile solutions for automotive, commercial and industrial use - has doubled its revenue and expanded operations to include plants in China, Mexico, and the Czech Republic as well as Rhode Island. She serves on the Governor's Economic Development Council and is a Trustee of the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council.


Gina M. Raimondo

Honorary Doctor of Business Administration

Rhode Island General Treasurer Gina M. Raimondo is a recognized leader and coalition builder dedicated to economic reform in the State of Rhode Island. During her first 18 months in this role, her commitment to redesigning the state's public employee pension system resulted in the R.I. Retirement Security Act. A forceful advocate for transparency, she created the Ocean State Investment Pool, updated the state's bond disclosure practices, and launched the state's first investor relations portal. Before being elected general treasurer, Raimondo was co-founder and general partner of Point Judith Capital, a venture capital firm. She currently serves as vice chair of the Board of Directors of Crossroads Rhode Island. Raimondo is a graduate of Harvard University and Yale Law School, and was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University.


Keywords: Cheryl Merchant, Commencement, events, Gina Raimondo, Graduate School of Business