Kendall Announces President and CEO of Choose Chicago, Don Welsh, Will Deliver Commencement Address

With theme “Own It”, ceremony set for June 22 at Chicago Symphony Center – Orchestra Hall

CHICAGO—June 04, 2013—President and CEO of Choose Chicago, Don Welsh, will deliver the commencement address at the Kendall College 2013 graduation ceremony. This year’s ceremony, which will celebrate the theme “Own It!” will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 22 at Chicago Symphony Center – Orchestra Hall. More than 360 students from the college’s Schools of Business, Culinary Arts, Education and Hospitality Management will be awarded degrees.

A seasoned tourism executive with more than 30 years of experience, Welsh is responsible for marketing Chicago to visitors worldwide through Choose Chicago, the official destination marketing organization for Chicago. Since joining the organization, Welsh has doubled the organization’s fiscal budget and created the Chicago Sports Commission. He has also assisted in opening nine international offices, further raising the profile of Chicago overseas.

“We’re proud to have such an accomplished individual address our students at this year’s graduation ceremony,” said Emily Williams Knight, president of Kendall College. “This year’s graduation theme is Own It!, and Don Welsh clearly embodies that attitude with the energy he has brought to his position with Choose Chicago. His career is no doubt inspirational for students across all four of our programs, showing that fresh ideas, the right attitude and determination are essential for success.”

The college is closely aligned with Choose Chicago’s mission of establishing the city as a top domestic and international travel destination. Kendall College is the No. 1 ranked Chicago program for preparing students for culinary and hospitality management careers (ORC International – 2011 Survey). 

In the past year, Kendall has provided students with new concentrations and opportunities across all programs. Most notably, three hospitality management concentrations were added to address the evolving needs of the industry, including Sustainable Management in Hospitality and Tourism, Beverage Management and Sports Management. Kendall aims to prepare its students with the unique skills and knowledge necessary to meet the demands of whichever career path they choose, from early childhood education or business, to culinary arts or hospitality management. 

For more information on Kendall College’s commencement ceremony and degree programs, visit

About Kendall College:
Kendall College, founded in 1934, is located in Chicago, Illinois and is a member of the Laureate International Universities network. Kendall offers undergraduate degrees in business, culinary arts, early childhood education and hospitality management to a diverse and passionate community of more than 1800 students. The curriculum combines strong academics with practical experience and international educational opportunities that help give students in business, hospitality and culinary arts programs the skills and expertise to be leaders in their professions. Kendall College was ranked the number one program in Chicago for preparing students for careers in hospitality management and culinary arts in a survey of management at Chicago’s leading hotels and Michelin Guide restaurants (ORC International – 2011 Survey). Kendall College  is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA),; 1-312-263-0456. For more information, visit