jwu commencement:north miami

jwu commencement:north miami

Zagats Offer Survey of Wisdom to 2010 Graduates
JWU North Miami Commencement 2010 Zagats

By Lorenza Galella

Eugene “Tim” and Nina Zagat, co-founders of the Zagart Survey®, have shared many things: the success of their careers, the better half of their lives in marriage and the lectern at the 2010 Commencement ceremony in Miami. Among their other shared experiences, the couple took the stage together as they received honorary Doctorates of Business Administration in Travel-Tourism and Hospitality Management.

Beginning their journey as a pair in law school, the Zagats later embarked on a future in surveys with the help of cosmopolitan friends and colleagues in New York City. The secret to their success? “Renew what you’re doing.”

Advice to students was mutual. “Against all obstacles, do something you really enjoy. And along with that, work hard to innovate every day,” said Tim. “Come up with new ideas and implement them,” Nina urged.

With Zagat Survey reviews reaching more than 100 countries, the co-founders are familiar with the importance of technology and the convenience of its reach. Nina has harnessed the power of her iPhone and tweets on the go. “You’re very lucky to be in a time when new tech things are happening,” Tim said. “Embrace the power of these new tools.”

In a world where user-generated content has taken hold, the Zagats were ahead of their time when they collaborated to provide collective reviews to the public in the 1970s.

Along with the Zagats, Jacques Pépin received an honorary Doctorate in Culinary Arts in recognition of his storied career as chef, writer and teacher. The author of 26 books, host of 11 television cooking shows, and a teacher in numerous capacities, Pépin represents the pinnacle of culinary success. His illustrious career includes service as personal chef to three French heads of state, director of research and new development at Howard Johnson, New York Times columnist, and dean of special programs at The French Culinary Institute.

Following the hooding of the three industry leaders came the graduation of more than 300 students eager to put their education to work. Dana Beninati ’10, earning degrees from both the College of Culinary Arts and The Hospitality College, gave voice to the excitement of the Class of 2010 as she addressed the audience. “Over the years, the city of North Miami has become our home … [us] sporting the blue shine of a JWU name tag … this small item has been replaced by a very well-deserved tassel and a world-class education to guide us on our way,” said Beninati.

JWU North Miami Commencement 2010Touching on the singular span of these JWU graduates across more than 20 countries, Beninati highlighted the value of a global network 83,000 alumni strong. She invoked the wisdom of American philosopher, Howard Thurman, when he said, “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

Inspired by Thurman, Beninati proposed a challenge to graduates. “Find something that moves you, shakes you or provokes a curiosity in you like none other before, and never forget the way it makes you feel. Then, discover a way to share it all with others.”

North Miami Campus 17th Undergraduate Commencement
Miami Beach Convention Center

Total Degrees Awarded 328
College of Business 85
College of Culinary Arts 119
The Hospitality College 124
BS Degrees 228
AS Degrees 100

Honorary Degree Recipients
Doctor of Business Administration in Travel-Tourism & Hospitality Management (Commencement Speaker)
Nina S. Zagat, Co-founder and Co-chair, Zagat Survey, New York, NY

Doctor of Business Administration in Travel-Tourism & Hospitality Management (Commencement Speaker)
Eugene H. Zagat Jr., Co-founder and CEO, Zagat Survey, New York, NY

Doctor of Culinary Arts
Jacques G. Pépin, Master Chef, Madison, Conn.