Prepare with a Solid Foundation for the Leap Ahead
JWU Charlotte Commencement 2010

By Melinda Law

Emily Malone ’10 is a nutrition lover, vegetarian chef, marathon runner and one of 432 students who walked across the Time Warner Cable stage to receive a diploma at the 5th Charlotte Campus Commencement. Her blog, “The Front Burner,” recapping classes at JWU, favorite reads, recipes and homework was voted Charlotte’s Best Food Blog by Creative Loafing magazine for its Charlotte Web Awards 2010. Her degree marks another chapter in her journey.

It was a leap of faith that drove Malone to leave a full-time job in nonprofit fundraising and event planning, and move eight hours away from friends and family to Charlotte. She took up running in 2007 and has since run in five marathons. “I had become really interested in health and nutrition as I became a better runner. Running and getting healthy really changed a lot about me, and it made me want to try to take that passion and turn it into a career,” she says.

“Today, we have come here to complete this part of our lives, but tomorrow starts the beginning of what we worked hard to accomplish,” student speaker Heather Head ’10, a marketing major from the College of Business, told Malone and fellow graduates of the Class of 2010.

“I remember bonding over group projects, club meetings, competitions, late nights and spring breaks,” she continued. “It is our time to embrace our lives and the knowledge we’ve acquired, and jump headfirst into the areas of business, culinary arts, baking and pastry and hospitality.”

JWU Charlotte Commencement 2010, Chef Walter RoyalWalter J. L. Royal ’10 Hon., executive chef of Angus Barn and The Pavilions at the Angus Barn in Raleigh, NC, and recipient of an honorary doctorate, assured graduates their time at JWU was of significant value. “In becoming an educated person, you build a foundation, and a foundation, a very solid foundation, is something that will prepare you for all the challenges ahead.” And vast choices abound.

“There is no doubt that you are graduating at a time when the economy is challenging,” said Patricia A. Rodgers ’10 Hon., hooded for an honorary doctoral degree in business administration.

“You may wonder how that will impact your future and how your career will be shaped as a result of the current business climate,” the CEO of Rodgers Builders Inc. continued. “I encourage you to be optimistic. Remain resilient and do all that you can to position yourself for a career that will bring you fulfillment.”

Malone and her fellow graduates are already finding employment locally and changing the face of Charlotte as restaurants and hotels grab grads for key positions. Rose Hand ’10 begins work as a marketing manager for Chartwells and the Compass Group; Amanda Netch ’10 is joining Charlotte’s Hospitality House, Kaitlyn Greene ’10, Charlotte Arrangements and Katy Charles ’10 and Jessica Allen ’10 have positions with LIVE NATION, Verizon Wireless. Bank of America and Wachovia, headquartered in the second largest banking city in the world, are training College of Business grads and putting them on the management fast track. Todd Credidio ’09 works in equity trading operations for Wells Fargo.

Malone is spending the summer as a culinary intern at US Department of Agriculture certified organic Poplar Ridge Farm, 20 minutes south of Charlotte. “A vegetarian myself, I’m hoping to eventually work in food media and education, helping others create healthy meals, and showing people how to create easy and nutritious food. Through my blog, which has over 2,500 daily readers, I’m hoping to inspire.”

After ceremonies, graduates poured out of the arena and into the arms of pleased parents, cheering relatives and friends. Wherever they are headed, it is with confidence and experience. In her blog, Malone posted, “I thank my lucky stars that I was given the opportunity to start my professional life over. In just one short year at Johnson & Wales University, I learned more about food and cooking than I ever thought possible.”

Charlotte Campus 5th Undergraduate Commencement
Time Warner Cable Arena

Total Degrees Awarded 432
College of Business 70
College of Culinary Arts 163
The Hospitality College 199

BS Degrees 256
AS Degrees 7
AAS Degrees 169

Honorary Degree Recipients (Commencement Speakers)
Doctor of Culinary Arts
Walter J.L. Royal, Executive Chef, Angus Barn and The Pavilions at the Angus Barn, Raleigh, NC

Doctor of Business Administration
Patricia A. Rodgers, CEO, Rodgers Builders Inc., Charlotte, NC