NEWS RELEASE: New York Restaurateur, Entrepreneur, Humanitarian and Hospitality Leader Danny Meyer as Honorary Degree Recipient and Speaker at 2012 Pace New York Undergraduate Commencement

Danny Meyer, an icon in the restaurant industry, will address graduates of Pace University’s Class of 2012, New York City campus, their families and friends when Pace holds its Commencement on Wednesday, May 16 at 10:30am at Radio City Music Hall.

Pace University Announces New York Restaurateur, Entrepreneur, Humanitarian and Hospitality Leader Danny Meyer as Honorary Degree Recipient and Speaker at 2012 New York Undergraduate Commencement 

Commencement to be Held on Wednesday, May 16 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City

NEW YORK, NY, April 26 2012 – Danny Meyer, an icon in the restaurant industry, will address graduates of Pace University’s Class of 2012, New York City campus, their families and friends when Pace holds its  Commencement on Wednesday, May 16 at 10:30am at Radio City Music Hall.

“Danny Meyer is a ‘transforming power in the restaurant business,’” said Stephen J. Friedman, Pace’s President, who will bestow on Meyer an honorary doctorate at the ceremonies. “As our graduates take the first steps in applying their education in the world, they will be motivated by Danny’s remarkable entrepreneurial success and service to society.”

In October 1985, at age 27, Meyer launched his career as a restaurateur by opening his first restaurant. Union Square Cafe pioneered a new breed of American eatery pairing imaginative food and wine with caring hospitality. A critical success from the start, Union Square Cafe has been voted Zagat Survey’s Most Popular Restaurant in New York City an unprecedented nine times. His second restaurant, Gramercy Tavern, has earned that same top rating six times. In addition to redefining the casual fine
dining restaurant, the “Union Square Greenmarket/farm-to-table concept” restaurant is widely credited as having sparked the dramatic resurgence of the Union Square neighborhood over the past 20 years.

Now 27 years later, at the age of 54, Meyer is the CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group.  His business employs over 2,400 people and includes his flagship Union Square Cafe, as well as unique dining destinations Gramercy Tavern, Blue Smoke, Jazz
Standard, Shake Shack, The Modern, Café 2 and Terrace 5 (at the Museum of Modern Art), Maialino, Untitled (at the Whitney Museum of American Art) and North End Grill in Battery Park City, plus Union Square Events and Hospitality Quotient (HQ). The latter is a learning business of interactive classes and training programs focused on helping individuals, companies and even college students understand the power of hospitality.

Meyer, his restaurants and chefs have earned an unprecedented 24 James Beard Awards, including: Outstanding Restaurant of the Year; Outstanding Service; Outstanding Wine Service; Humanitarian of the Year; Who’s Who of Food & Beverage; Best Restaurant Design; and Best Restaurant Graphic Design. Four of USHG’s restaurants have earned three stars from The New York Times; in 2009, Eleven Madison Park was upgraded to four stars. Three of the five “Most Popular” restaurants in the 2011 New York Zagat Survey are part of Union Square Hospitality Group.

Meyer co-authored The Union Square Cafe Cookbook (HarperCollins, 1994) with his business partner, Chef Michael Romano. The book earned the IACP Julia Child Award for the best new cookbook by a first-time author, and was followed up with the highly acclaimed Second Helpings from Union Square Cafe (HarperCollins, 2001). He has also authored the New York Times bestseller Setting the Table (HarperCollins, 2006), which examines the power of hospitality in restaurants, business, and life.

For more information on Pace’s Commencement ceremonies in Manhattan, Pleasantville and White Plains, please visit: www.pace.edu/commencement

About Pace University For over 100 years, Pace has produced thinking professionals by providing high quality education for the professions on a firm base of liberal learning amid the advantages of the New York metropolitan area. A private university, Pace has campuses in New York City and Westchester County, New York, enrolling nearly 13,000 students in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in its Lubin School of Business, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, College of Health Professions, School of Education, School of Law, and Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems. www.pace.edu

Media contact: Cara Cea, 914-906-9680, ccea@pace.edu

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