Commencement speakers named for Marymount’s 2024 ceremonies

Commencement speakers named for Marymount's 2024 ceremonies


Next month, 928 students will receive their degrees over three days during Marymount University’s 73rd annual commencement ceremonies. The newest graduates of Marymount, Virginia’s first and only Hispanic-Serving Institution and the state’s most diverse private institution, will hear from three distinguished speakers – Hilton President and CEO Christopher Nassetta, Monumental Sports co-owner Raul Fernandez and Marymount Board of Trustees Vice Chair Marlene Malek. This year, three prominent alumni will also introduce the guest speakers, one for each of the three College ceremonies – President of Asset Health William Cueto ’91, U.S. Diplomat Ian Hopper ’96 and Salus Health and Bravo Ventures CEO Yinka Adepoju ’08. 

All three guest speakers will receive honorary degrees during the following ceremonies, which are organized by College with each including undergraduate and graduate students: 

Click here for more info on all speakers and 2024 commencement events. 

The ceremonies will include students who qualify for graduation from the Fall 2023, Spring 2024 and Summer 2024 semesters, and students who graduated in Summer 2023 but did not participate in last year’s ceremonies. They will be held outdoors on the Converse Family Field on Main Campus.  

Christopher Nassetta

Christopher Nassetta

Christopher Nassetta has served as President and CEO of Hilton since 2007. Prior to his current role, he led Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc. as President and CEO following roles as Executive Vice President and COO. In 1991, he co-founded Bailey Capital Corporation and oversaw the real estate investment and advisory firm’s operations. He also spent seven years as Chief Development Officer at The Oliver Carr Company, responsible for all development activities for one of the largest commercial real estate companies in the Mid-Atlantic region. 

Nassetta’s influence also includes participation in various boards and organizations, including the U.S. Travel Association, World Travel & Tourism Council, Business Roundtable, CoStar Group, Inc., Federal City Council, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Economic Club of Washington, D.C., Arlington Free Clinic and Real Estate Roundtable. 

Nassetta graduated from the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce with a degree in finance, and today serves on the school’s advisory board and shares his expertise with the next generation of business leaders. 

Raul Fernandez

Raul Fernandez

Raul Fernandez is an entrepreneur, investor, executive and board member. He currently is President and CEO of DXC Technology and Vice Chairman and Co-Owner of Monumental Sports & Entertainment. He also serves on various boards that include Broadcom, Inc., DXC Technology, URBANEER, Volition Capital, Carrick Capital Partners and NeuroSync. 

Fernandez brings more than three decades of executive experience in scaling innovative and rapidly growing technology companies. As a hands-on member of the Monumental Sports & Entertainment leadership team, he is involved in various aspects of the business that include global sponsorship, esports, partnerships and technology innovation. He also serves as an alternate governor for the NBA Board of Governors. 

Born in Washington, D.C., to immigrant parents from Cuba and Ecuador, Fernandez is an active philanthropist, focusing his energy primarily on education reform in the D.C. region. Passionate about making higher education accessible to high school students, Fernandez is a board member of the District of Columbia College Access Program and the Fernandez Foundation. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Maryland. 

Marlene Malek

Marlene Malek

Marlene Malek ‘79 is a community activist, health care advocate and patron of the arts. She is currently the Vice Chair of Friends of Cancer Research and is on the boards of M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and Duke University’s Cancer Institute. Additionally, she serves on the boards for the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center Leadership Council, Executive Roundtable of the Republican Governors, Explore Children’s Museum, George and Barbara Bush Foundation, Vital Voices Global Partnership and Public Broadcasting for Greater Washington (WETA). 

At Marymount, Malek serves as the Vice Chair of the University’s Board of Trustees. The Malek School of Nursing Professions is named in honor of Malek and her late husband, Frederic Malek, for their service and commitment to the institution. She also received the Distinguished Alumni Award for the College of Health and Education at Marymount’s inaugural Halo Awards and the University’s Gold Medal for Community Leadership.   

Beyond campus, Malek has received countless accolades that include a presidential appointment to the National Cancer Advisory Board and the board of trustees for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. She was also awarded the Lincoln Medal and named a ‘Washingtonian of the Year’ for her work to build support for cancer research.