Last week, our Office of Student Life sponsored LIM College’s third annual Student Leadership Conference. Featuring speakers from leading businesses and nonprofit organizations, including Time Warner, Inc., Henri Bendel, Bottomless Closet, the American Society for Muslim Advancement, and The Ms. Foundation, this two-day event also included presentations and workshops from several LIM College faculty and staff members.
This year’s theme was “Leadership Without Borders” and the focus was on dialogue about leadership from a global perspective, which is especially critical, given the rapid globalization of not only the business of fashion, but also of the wider world in which we live. Students who participated were encouraged to explore their unique leadership styles in sessions on a diverse array of topics, including mentorship, communication, career change, conflict resolution, and issues unique to women in today’s workplace.
In addition to our own students, we were pleased to host student leaders from St. Francis College, Berkeley College, Kean University, East Stroudsburg University and the City University of New York’s Baruch College. I am confident that everyone who attended this innovative event learned a great deal about their individual leadership potential and is now better prepared to bring positive change to their communities.
I read with great interest the recent news that Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts is leaving that company to join Apple as their Senior Vice President of Retail and Online Stores. Similarly, this summer, Yves St. Laurent CEO Paul Deneve left his position to become a Vice President at Apple.
What does this mean for fashion? For many, the term “fashion” may once have simply conjured up apparel and accessories, but in our increasingly visual, design-conscious world, fashion is now everywhere. It is no longer just a “look” – it is a lifestyle, and its presence is in almost everything -- from the various products we choose for our homes, to the personal electronic devices we carry all the time, to the sports and entertainment enjoyed by fans throughout the world.
Regardless of what field they are in, more global brands are recognizing the need to develop deeper connections with consumers and elevate all aspects of the customer experience. The rest of the business world is waking up to what we have in the business of fashion have always known. Understanding consumers’ aspirations and how they make purchasing decisions, and forging authentic and true brand connections, is now more important than ever.
What does this mean for LIM College students? It means that the knowledge and skills acquired during the course of an LIM College education are eminently transferable, as today’s recipe for global success requires not just understanding the customer, but also continual innovation to meet that customer’s evolving expectations. That ability to adapt, that constant innovation -- that is the essence of fashion itself.
It gives me great pleasure to welcome all of our new and returning students, faculty and staff to campus for the start of the 2013-2014 academic year.
This is a very auspicious time for LIM College. This September marks the start of our 75th Anniversary year. We have been in New York City, the center of the fashion world, for nearly three quarters of a century. During that time, an untold number of changes have transformed the industry, and the College itself. Yet our mission has always remained the same – to prepare our students for successful careers in the business of fashion.
What my grandfather Maxwell F. Marcuse founded in 1939 as a one-year certificate program exclusively for women, is now, 75 years later, a master’s degree-level institution with Middle States and ACBSP accreditation, multiple graduate programs, and a growing global footprint.
Today, the world continues to evolve. Therefore, so does LIM College. One of the reasons we’ve been able to stand the test of time – and not just endure, but flourish, is because we have never stopped evolving and progressing as the world has changed around us.
Yet one thing that will never change is our unwavering commitment to our students. As we look forward to the next 75 years, we will continue to transform and elevate the LIM College educational experience and enhance our students’ prospects for rewarding careers in the business of fashion.
Here’s to the start of another great academic year!
On May 31 LIM College held its Commencement exercises at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall. Families, friends, faculty, staff, and Board members joined us en masse to recognize the accomplishments of our amazing Class of 2013.
In my address I referenced the “Smart is beautiful” tagline Amazon uses in ads for its Fashion division. I did so because our graduates have learned how much more there is to the world of fashion than glitter and glamour and superficial ideas of what is beautiful.
They know there is a hidden force behind what those outside the fashion industry see as effortless beauty and glamour. That force is made up of smart businesspeople who put in a tremendous amount of effort behind the scenes.
Our graduates also know that image can only take one so far. In today’s intensely competitive and technologically advanced global business society, worth is measured mainly by what a creative and strategic mind can envision and what relentless hard work can accomplish.
I have been privileged to witness how an LIM College education has transformed so many of our graduates from enthusiastic but inexperienced college students to competent and confident young professionals. I hope the Class of 2013 will continue to live their lives with the attitude that each new experience is an opportunity to learn more and every new day is another chance to become smarter. Those who heed that advice will always come away with something valuable and, quite often, something beautiful.
From left: Ellen Tracy President & CEO Mark Mendelson, LIM College President Elizabeth S. Marcuse, Class of 2013 undergraduate Valedictorian Samantha Mellone
It’s difficult to believe that we are approaching the conclusion of the Spring 2013 semester. So much has happened here at LIM College over the past few months.
Our newly-expanded Student Center (including a Good to Go café) opened on the first floor of Maxwell Hall at 216 East 45th Street. We also made major curriculum announcements, including the addition of a new Master of Professional Studies (MPS) degree program in Fashion Marketing and the introduction of a brand-new track in Home Fashions within our existing Fashion Merchandising major.
During the course of the semester we hosted nearly 40 guest speakers on campus, including Chris Fiore, President of Henri Bendel, along with a diverse array of entrepreneurs, authors and fashion professionals. Fashion legend Patricia Field (of Sex and the City fame) also made a special guest appearance at our annual student fashion show. In another big April event, 78 students and six administrators and faculty members were inducted into our newly-established chapter of the Delta Mu Delta International Honor Society in Business.
The semester may almost be over, but we still have a lot to look forward to. Commencement will take place on May 31 at Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center, where Ellen Tracy President & CEO Mark Mendelson will be give the keynote address and receive the LIM College Distinguished Award and an honorary Doctor of Commercial Science degree. On June 6, six of our Visual Merchandising students will participate in DDI’s annual Student Window Challenge, spending an entire day creating displays inside the windows of Saks Fifth Avenue’s flagship store. And on June 25 LIM College will be part of NASDAQ’s official closing bell ceremonies as one of the sponsors of FashInvest’s “Speed Dating” business pitch event.
I look forward to celebrating these exciting occasions - and more - with the entire LIM College community as we bid farewell to a great spring and welcome what is shaping up to be a wonderful summer.
I am pleased to share the news that LIM College has been granted a charter by the Delta Mu Delta International Honor Society in Business. Delta Mu Delta will now serve as the College’s official business honor society, replacing Sigma Beta Delta.
LIM College’s chapter of Delta Mu Delta has been designated as the Mu Rho chapter, and it will be an active presence on campus. Our chapter will elect officers and organize activities, as well as offer a variety of scholarship opportunities to Delta Mu Delta inductees.
The College became eligible to apply for membership in Delta Mu Delta upon achieving ACBSP accreditation of our business programs last year. Students who are now members of the Sigma Beta Delta honor society will, if eligible, be invited to join Delta Mu Delta. Dual membership in both organizations is permitted. Sigma Beta Delta members who do not meet the eligibility requirements for Delta Mu Delta will still retain lifetime membership in Sigma Beta Delta, although there will no longer be a chapter on our campus.
Undergraduate students who are currently in the top 20 percent of their class and have a cumulative GPA of 3.50 or higher, and graduate students who are in currently in the top 20 percent of their class and have a cumulative GPA of 3.80 or higher, will be invited to join Delta Mu Delta.
Those who accept that invitation will be formally inducted into Delta Mu Delta at a ceremony on April 17 at the New York Institute of Technology. Several LIM College faculty members and administrators will also be inducted as honorary Delta Mu Delta members at the ceremony, which will be presided over by Dr. Charles Finn of the College of St. Rose.
Our Office of Institutional Advancement is also in the process of creating an LIM College Alumni Honor Society. This organization will be open to all LIM College graduates who belong to either Delta Mu Delta or Sigma Beta Delta. More information on this new group will be distributed in the coming months.
Establishing a chapter of Delta Mu Delta helps us continue to serve our students’ academic and professional interests and is yet another example of LIM College’s ongoing recognition as a leader in business education.
It’s always a pleasure, a treat and an honor to travel abroad with a group of LIM College students and faculty as part of our annual Cross-Cultural Analysis trip. I relish the opportunity to get to know the students who go on this trip on a more intimate, and casual, basis. The chance to develop and deepen my relationships with students (and faculty) doesn’t always present itself as often as I’d like it to while we are all so busy on campus during the academic year.
The last time I was able to take the Cross-Cultural Analysis trip was back in January 2008, so this journey to Italy was long overdue. Our itinerary took us to Milan, Lake Como, Florence, Siena and Rome. The field trips that were part of each city visit were a real highlight. La Rinascente, the department store in Milan, was mind-boggling. There is no store in the States quite like it. Siena was a favorite of pretty much everyone in our group, and our day in Lake Como was also extremely enjoyable. Lake Como is such quaint town and the students all wished they had more time there to wander around and explore.
Although Florence was my personal favorite, our time in Rome was incredible – from visiting the Forum and the Coliseum in the pouring rain, to our stop in Vatican City….what can you possibly say when you are standing where Caesar sat and Nero walked?
Traveling to another country and experiencing another culture together was definitely a bonding experience. It was wonderful to witness the students’ reactions at each stop, especially if this was their first trip abroad or their first time in Italy. From the many historic sites we explored, to the retail and department stores and showrooms we visited, to the delicious food and fascinating Italian people we encountered along the way -- the students’ eyes and hearts were wide open to all of it -- and I was just grateful for the opportunity to be able to share in this incredible adventure.
The holiday season is now upon us, although in many ways it seems like only yesterday that the Fall semester began. The last few months have been filled with activity – LIM College students have completed internships, won scholarships and competitions, and partnered with companies in the fashion and related industries on high-profile projects and events in New York City – all while attending classes and completing challenging coursework.
At the same time, the faculty and staff at LIM have been hard at work -- teaching, advising, and assisting our students, and collaborating on positive change throughout all levels of the institution.
We have faced a host of individual and collective challenges this year, not least of which was the devastation wrought by Hurricane Sandy, which had a significant impact on many members of the College community and their families. However, we came together to support those affected with a donation drive, targeted scholarship funds, volunteer work, and our current “Totes of Hope” project for the Food Bank of New York.
I would like to take this opportunity to commend our students for all you have accomplished so far this year, and acknowledge the efforts of everyone in the LIM College community who makes it possible for us to continue to provide a superior education in the business of fashion.
May your holidays be happy and healthy. Here’s to a wonderful 2013!
Hurricane Sandy has had a profound impact on thousands upon thousands of residents throughout the Tri-State area. Among their ranks are many LIM College students, faculty, and staff members. In light of these unfortunate circumstances, our community is currently engaged in a number of efforts to assist those whose lives have been upended by the storm.
LIM College’s Office of Residence Life is now holding a donation drive for needed goods. Boxes are set up at all of our campus locations and we are encouraging students, faculty and staff to donate food, clothing and toiletries. These donated items will be distributed to several organizations, so that a wide range of those affected receive support. Our Office of Student Life also sponsored a Community Breakfast this week at which attendees were asked to donate non-perishable and ready-to-eat food items.
Additionally, the LIM Fashion Education Foundation, which provides scholarship and grant aid to deserving students, will earmark a portion of funds specifically for those students affected financially by the storm – and whose ability to pursue their education goals may now be in jeopardy.
We’ve also postponed certain deadlines, including those for tuition payment and withdrawing from a course without penalty.
LIM College has always offered a variety of support services to students in need. During this difficult time we remain committed to helping the members of our College community however we can.
LIM College will hold its second annual Friends & Family Weekend October 12-14. These three days of events provide a great way for our students and their families, as well as our faculty, staff and alumni, to spend time together on the LIM College campus and enjoy a bit of the excitement that New York City has to offer.
We’ll start off with Casino Night on Friday, where everyone will be able to “gamble” for prizes – and one lucky winner will go home with a $5,000 raffle prize. Saturday’s daytime activities include a student-run Pop-Up shop selling apparel and accessories; the “Build the LIM Sub” contest sponsored by Subway; a Visual Merchandising “Iron Merchant” display challenge; and presentations by our faculty on an assortment of fascinating fashion topics. In the evening, you can buy a ticket to see Spider-Man on Broadway, or head out for a night of bowling, food and fun at the ultra-modern Bowlmor Lanes in Times Square.
On Sunday, I’m hosting a brunch at LIM College’s flagship Townhouse, where I’m looking forward to being able to speak one-on-one to our students and their families and answer any questions about the LIM College experience.
If you are an LIM College student, parent, alum, faculty or staff member, I hope you’ll be able to join us for as many activities as you can fit into your schedule.
For more details about Friends & Family Weekend visit: www.limcollege.edu/friendsandfamily