Commencement speakers announced



Kelly (left) spoke about moral leadership at this year’s Homecoming Weekend. Ivers (right) won a Grammy and has been nominated for an Emmy.

Stacey Franciamore, Assistant News Editor

President Dr. Joseph E. Nyre announced via an Iona press release on March 18 that Alfred F. Kelly Jr., CEO of Visa Inc., and Eileen Ivers, an award-winning violinist, would speak at this year’s commencement ceremonies.


The ceremonies will take place on May 18 in the Hulu Theatre at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Kelly will speak to undergraduate students at 11 a.m., and Ivers will address graduates at 3:30 p.m.


“Both Al Kelly and Eileen Ivers are admirable examples of Iona’s mission to move the world through the power of education,” Nyre saidin the press release. “We could not be prouder of their success or more excited to have them address the Class of 2019.”


Kelly graduated from Iona College in 1980 with a bachelor’s degree in computer science. A year later, he earned a master’s degree in business administration.


Before joining Visa as CEO in 2016, Kelly worked in strategic planning at PepsiCo from 1981 to 1985 and was the manager of information systems at the White House from 1985 to 1987.


Kelly then served as president, chairman and CEO of the 2014 NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Committee. He also served as chairman of the 2015 Papal Visit Committee for NYC and held various positions at American Express Company before becoming its president.


Ivers, a distinguished Irish fiddler, received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and graduated magna cum laude from Iona College in 1987.


Ivers has received a Grammy award, an Emmy nomination and has headlined performances with over 40 orchestras worldwide, including the London Symphony Orchestra and Boston Pops.


Ivers starred in the original “Riverdance” and is also a nine-time All-Ireland Fiddle Champion and All-Ireland Banjo Champion. Additionally, Ivers has collaborated with notable artists, such as Sting, the Chieftains, Patti Smith and Al Di Meola.


Ivers helped found Cherish the Ladies, a musical band that plays Celtic music, and has been featured on movie soundtracks including “Gangs of New York”and “Back to Titanic.”


Ivers has also recorded various albums and released an album in 2016 titled“Beyond the Bog Road,” which reached number one on the Alt-Country Roots Music Chart.


After speaking to their respective audiences, Kelly will accept a Doctor of Business Administration degree, and Ivers will receive a Doctor of Arts degree.