Richard Parsons to Deliver Commencement Address

33rd Annual Commencement Ceremony to Take Place May 17 at 6:30 pm at the Tilles Center for Performing Arts in Brookville, NY

April 30, 2015

Touro Law Center Dean Patricia Salkin is pleased to announce that Richard Parsons, the former chairman of Time Warner and Citigroup, a trusted advisor to three presidents, and one of the most prominent African-American businessmen in the world, will be the Law Center's 2015 Commencement speaker. The legendary CEO will deliver the commencement address at Touro Law’s 33rd annual graduation ceremony on Sunday, May 17 at 6:30 pm at the Tilles Center for Performing Arts in Brookville, NY.

Dean Salkin stated, “The entire Touro Law community is excited that Richard Parsons will be this year’s commencement speaker. He walks the talk on giving back to the community and his career has been an inspiration for many.”  Dean Salkin also noted that, “Unlike the typical commencement speaker, Mr. Parsons has taken the time to get to know some of the graduating students and our school in preparation for delivering remarks that are both meaningful and inspiring. I am looking forward to his speech.”

A native New Yorker, Parsons was born in Brooklyn, raised in Queens and graduated from high school when he was 16. He attended the University of Hawaii, and, though he wanted to be a fighter pilot, he followed his wife's advice instead and went to Albany Law School. She turned out to be right: he graduated first in his class, and got the highest score on his New York bar exam.

Parsons, whose grandfather had been a groundskeeper at the Rockefeller family's Westchester estate, joined New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller's legal staff after law school. He followed Rockefeller to Washington when he became vice president, and served as a senior White House aide under President Gerald Ford.

After practicing with a major New York City law firm (with fellow partner Rudy Giuliani at Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler) where he was made partner after only two years, he was appointed CEO of the Dime Savings Bank in 1988.  In 1995 he became President of Time Warner and in 2002 he was named Time Warner CEO, expertly guiding the company through the aftermath of its merger with AOL. He became Chairman of Citigroup in 2009, retiring in 2012 after successfully shepherding the financial giant through the financial crisis. He is currently a senior advisor at Providence Equity and he serves on the Board of Estee Lauder Companies, Madison Square Garden and Lazard Freres.

In 2001, he co-chaired President George W. Bush's commission on the future of Social Security, and in 2008, he was member of President Barack Obama's economic advisory team. 

His professional life has not been all bottom line and high-stakes politics though. Since 2007, he's been the chairman of the board of directors of the Jazz Foundation of America, a national non-profit that provides emergency housing, financial assistance, medical care and creates performance opportunities for elder masters of jazz and blues. He's also chaired the New York City Partnership and took a leading role in the campaign to save Harlem's legendary Apollo Theatre, where he is now Chairman of the Board. In June of this year, Time Warner renamed its 33-year tradition of employee community service awards in his honor, recognizing him as "a national role model for civic and community service." 

Last May, he was the go-to guy for the National Basketball Association, who named him interim CEO of the Los Angeles Clippers, preserving the franchise in the wake of the racial remarks controversy sparked by former owner Donald Sterling. 


Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center’s 185,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art law school is located adjacent to both a state and a federal courthouse in Central Islip, New York. Touro Law’s proximity to the courthouses, coupled with programming developed to integrate the courtroom into the classroom, provide a one-of-a kind learning model for law students, combining a rigorous curriculum taught by expert faculty with a practical courtroom experience. Touro Law, which has a student body of approximately 650 and an alumni base of more than 6,000, offers full- and part-time J.D. programs, several dual degree programs and graduate law programs for US and foreign law graduates. Touro Law Center is part of the Touro College system.

Touro Law’s newly implemented Portals to Practice is a cutting-edge, experiential learning program that reconceives and restructures the law school experience. Portals to Practice expands the scope and quality of legal education by focusing on the development of legal professionals, from pre-law through post-graduation. 

About the Touro College and University System 
Touro is a system of non-profit institutions of higher and professional education. Touro College was chartered in 1970 primarily to enrich the Jewish heritage, and to serve the larger American and global community. Approximately 19,000 students are currently enrolled in its various schools and divisions. Touro College has branch campuses, locations and instructional sites in the New York area, as well as branch campuses and programs in Berlin, Jerusalem, Moscow, Paris and Florida. New York Medical College, Touro University California and its Nevada branch campus, as well as Touro University Worldwide and its Touro College Los Angeles division are separately accredited institutions within the Touro College and University System. For further information on Touro College, please go to:

For more info contact:
Patti Desrochers
Director of Communications
(631) 761-7062

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