Carla Harris

CNR 105th Commencement Speaker


On May 19, 2012, The College of New Rochelle (CNR) will celebrate its 105th Commencement as it graduates the Class of 2012. The College will award approximately 1,000 baccalaureate and master’s degrees during commencement exercises on Saturday, May 19, 2012, 11:00 a.m. at Radio City Music Hall.  Carla Harris, Managing Director, Emerging Manager Platform, Morgan Stanley Investment Management, will give the Commencement address.

This year at Commencement the College will confer honorary degrees on three distinguished recipients: Carla Harris; Wynton Marsalis, internationally acclaimed musician; Archbishop Francis Chullikatt, Permanent Observer of The Holy See to the United Nations.


Carla Harris, Managing Director, Emerging Manager Platform, Morgan Stanley Investment Management, began her career in 1987 with Morgan Stanley in the Mergers & Acquisitions Department. She headed Morgan Stanley’s equity capital markets for the consumer and retail industries and was responsible for Equity Private Placements. She received an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and a B.A. in economics from Harvard University, graduating magna cum laude.

Ms. Harris has been selected by Fortune magazine as one of “The 50 Most Powerful Black Executives in Corporate America” and by Essence Magazine as one of “The 50 Women Who are Shaping the World” among other national magazine recognitions. She is the bestselling author ofExpect to Win. Also an accomplished singer, she has recorded three albums, Carla’s First Christmas, a CD of gospel music entitled Joy is Waiting,  and her most recent CD, Unceasing Praise.

She is the Chair of the Board of the Morgan Stanley Foundation and sits on the boards of the Food Bank for New York City, The Toigo Foundation, Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO), A Better Chance, The Apollo Theatre Foundation, Mt. Sinai Hospital, and Xavier University.

Wynton Marsalis, internationally acclaimed musician, composer, bandleader, and educator will play a short musical selection in addition to receiving an honorary degree. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1961, he began studying the trumpet seriously at age 12 and two years later he was invited to perform the Haydn Trumpet Concerto with the New Orleans Philharmonic. His prominent position in American culture was solidified in 1997 when he became the first jazz artist to be awarded the Pulitzer Prize in music for his work, Blood on the Fields, which was commissioned by Jazz at Lincoln Center. He has served as the arts organization’s artistic director as well as music director of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra since its inception. Among his many honors and achievements, in 2001 the United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan proclaimed Mr. Marsalis an international ambassador of goodwill. He has also received a citation from the United States House of Representatives for his outstanding contribution to the arts.

He also composed All Rise for big band, gospel choir, and symphony orchestra, which was performed by the New York Philharmonic orchestra under Kurt Mazur, the Morgan State University Choir, and Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra in 1999. In 2009 the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra premiered his composition, Blues Symphony, and in the next year the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra premiered Swing Symphony with major orchestras signing on to perform these in the future.

Just after Hurricane Katrina he organized the Higher Ground Hurricane Relief Concert, raising over three million dollars for musicians and cultural organizations impacted by the hurricane.  He assumed a leadership role on the Bring Back New Orleans Cultural Commission.  He has donated his time and talents for many other non-profit organizations including My Sister’s Place (a battered women’s shelter), Graham Windham (a shelter for homeless children), the Children’s Defense Fund, Sloan Kettering Cancer Institute, Food For All Seasons and Very Special Arts, which provides experiences in the arts for disabled individuals.

Archbishop Francis Chullikatt, Permanent Observer of The Holy See to the United Nations, will offer the invocation and benediction at Commencement and receive an honorary degree. Born in Bolghatty, India, Archbishop Chullikatt was ordained in 1978 and completed his Doctorate in Canon Law in 1988. He entered the diplomatic service of the Holy See in the same year and was appointed Apostolic Nuncio to Iraq and Jordan in 2006 and was appointed Permanent Observer to the UN in 2009. In his career, Archbishop Chullikatt has also served at the Apostolic Nunciatures in Honduras, to various countries of southern Africa, and the Philippines, at the Mission to the United Nations in New York, and at the Secretariat of State in the Vatican. He is fluent in English, Spanish, French, and Latin.

The Archbishop is also President of the Path to Peace Foundation, which was established in 1991 for the purpose of spreading the message of peace. The Foundation sponsors conferences, panel discussions, lectures, and seminars, including an annual Catholic Social Justice seminar for college students, attended by students from The College of New Rochelle, to study the social teachings of the Church and to promote initiatives of a cultural nature which touch on the Christian heritage of art, music, and the humanities.


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The first Catholic college for women in New York State, The College of New Rochelle was founded in 1904 by the Ursuline Order. Today, it comprises the all-women School of Arts & Sciences, and three schools which admit women and men: the School of New Resources (for adult learners), the School of Nursing and the Graduate School. The main campus of the College is located in lower Westchester County, 16 miles north of New York City. The College maintains five other campus locations in New York City. Visit the College’s website at