Bharat B. Bhatt, Christine K. Cassel, and Robert E. Evanson.

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NYIT Announces 2016 Honorary Degree Recipients

April 25, 2016

Photo: From left to right are Bharat B. Bhatt, Christine K. Cassel, and Robert E. Evanson.

NYIT will award three honorary degrees at its 55th commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 22 at the Old Westbury campus. The university will honor highly accomplished and noteworthy individuals, including: Bharat B. Bhatt, partner and senior advisor at EJF Capital; Christine K. Cassel, M.D., planning dean of the Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine; and Robert E. Evanson, retired president of McGraw-Hill Education.

The recipients will be honored before an expected audience of more than 9,000 people. Bhatt will receive a Doctor of Humane Letters; Evanson will receive a Doctor of Science; and Cassel will receive a Doctor of Science and speak at the NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine Hooding ceremony on Monday, May 23.

NYIT President Edward Guiliano, Ph.D., said, “We are honored to recognize these role models who have contributed so much to business, education, medicine, and science, and who embody the values and attributes for which NYIT stands as a global university.” President Guiliano will preside at commencement and salute graduates, as well as acknowledge relatives and friends during his address to the Class of 2016.

In addition, NYIT announced the Class of 2016 student marshals and orator. Ayowande Ayodele (Lagos, Nigeria; Business Administration/Human Resources Management); Siddharth Sachdev (Mumbai, India; Computer Science); and Noelle Scindian (Staten Island, N.Y., Communication Arts), will assist in the hooding of the honorary degree recipients. Ana Robakidze, (Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia; Computer Science), was selected as the Class of 2016 student orator and will speak during the commencement ceremony.

Following is more information about each honorary degree recipient.

Bharat B. Bhatt
Under Bhatt’s leadership, the investment advisory firm EJF Capital has grown from $100 million in assets in 2006 to over $5 billion today. Previously, he served as president and chief operating officer of GreenPoint Financial Corporation until its acquisition by North Fork Bancorporation in 2004; as chief financial officer of Shawmut National Corporation until it merged with Fleet Financial Group in 1995; and as senior vice president, risk management, at Mellon Bank. Read full bio.

Christine K. Cassel, M.D.
Cassel is a leading expert in geriatric medicine, medical ethics, health policy, and quality of care. She became the planning dean of Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine in March 2016. Previously, she was president and CEO of the National Quality Forum, and has served as president and CEO of the American Board of Internal Medicine and the ABIM Foundation. She is one of 20 scientists chosen by U.S. President Barack Obama to serve on the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. Read full bio.

Robert E. Evanson
Evanson joined McGraw-Hill Education in 1992 as executive vice president and chief financial officer of the company’s K-6 elementary school group. McGraw-Hill Education is a $2.5 billion global provider of educational and professional materials and services in all media formats. Earlier in his career, he held various posts at Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc., including chief operating officer and chief financial officer of the corporation and chief executive officer of its Sea World Theme Park Group. He is also a Certified Public Accountant. Read full bio.