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City College Announces 2014 Commencement Honorees

Award-winning actress and singer Lillias White, '78, will receive the degree Doctor of Humane Letters from her alma mater, May 30.
Retail executive Millard Drexler, chairman and CEO of J.Crew, will be awarded the degree Doctor of Humane Letters by CCNY.
Henry D. Perahia, deputy commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation and a graduate of CCNY's Grove School of Engineering, will receive the degree Doctor of Science.

Doctor of Fine Arts to actress Lillias White; Doctor of Humane Letters to retail executive Millard Drexler; Doctor of Science to Transportation Deputy Commissioner Henry Perahia

The City College of New York today announced it will award honorary degrees at its 168th Commencement Exercises, May 30, to three distinguished New Yorkers in recognition of their professional accomplishments. The three recipients are:

  • Lillias White, Award-winning actress and singer;
  • Retail executive Millard "Mickey" Drexler, and
  • New York City Deputy Commissioner of Transportation Henry D. Perahia.

Ms. White and Mr. Perahia are City College graduates; Mr. Drexler attended City College but earned his degree at another institution.

Following are brief bios of the three honorees:

Lillias White, '78
Ms. White is an award-winning actress and singer. She will receive the degree Doctor of Fine Arts. In 1997, she won Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards for her performances in "The Life." Ms. White was also nominated for a Tony in 2010 her performance in "FELA!" Her other honors include a Drama League Award for best featured actress in a musical for her role in "Dreamgirls" (1987) and an Obie Award for her performance in the William Finn's "Romance in Hard Times." In 1999, she received a Townsend Harris medal from the Alumni Association of The City College of New York.

Millard (Mickey) Drexler 
Millard Drexler, who attended City College before transferring to SUNY Buffalo and Boston University, will receive the degree Doctor of Humane Letters. Mr. Drexler has been Chairman and CEO of J.Crew Group, Inc. since January 2003.  Under his leadership, J.Crew has become a leading global specialty retailer. Prior to joining J.Crew, Mr. Drexler spent 18 years at Gap, Inc., where he was named CEO from 1995 to 2003.  While at Gap, he established the Old Navy and Gap Kids chains. He serves as a director of Apple Inc., Warby Parker and Teach for America, a non-profit organization for educational opportunity.

Henry D. Perahia, '71ME, '73MME
Mr. Perahia will receive the degree Doctor of Science. As deputy commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT), he was responsible for the planning and administration of design, construction and maintenance of 788 city-owned bridges and tunnels. In 2011, he was a recipient of the Fund for the City of New York's Sloan Public Service Award for distinguished service to New York City. In 2012, the White House named Commissioner Perahia a "Champion of Change" for his 
oversight of the $175 million rehabilitation of the St. George Ferry Terminal. 

About The City College of New York 
Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided low-cost, high-quality education for New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. More than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in: the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; the Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture; the School of Education; the Grove School of Engineering; the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education, and the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership. U.S. News, Princeton Review and Forbes all rank City College among the best colleges and universities in t



Jay Mwamba
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