Lasell announces commencement speaker

Judy Smith, crisis management expert and the inspiration behind “ Scandal,” is this year’s commencement speaker. (Photo courtesy of
Judy Smith, crisis management expert and the inspiration behind “ Scandal,” is this year’s commencement speaker. (Photo courtesy of

By Natalie KfouryCo-Editor-in-Chief

President Michael Alexander announced Judy Smith as the 2015 commencement speaker in a recent email to the Lasell community. Smith, an expert in crisis management and the inspiration behind the hit television show “Scandal,” will deliver the guest speaker address during Commencement on May 17.

“I was shocked that Judy Smith was chosen as our commencement speaker,” said senior and Student Government Association President Jenessa Agnew. “I think she was a great choice for the position because of her expertise in the field and her many accomplishments.”

Smith is the founder and president of Smith & Company and has served as a consultant for celebrities, sports, high-profile individuals, and Fortune 500 companies including Kobe Bryant, Michael Vick, Monica Lewinsky, United Healthcare, and Union Pacific. In addition to her daily work, she serves as a Co-Executive Producer of “Scandal” and has written “Good Self, Bad Self,” a book on crisis management.

“When I heard Judy Smith would be the guest speaker at our commencement I was pretty excited,” said Brianna Robbins, Vice President of the senior class. “She has worked with so many different celebrities and athletes, which
makes for an impressive resume and a way to connect with many in the audience.”

Smith also has numerous work experiences in the realm of politics. In addition to being a partner at several Washington D.C.-based public relations agencies, she worked at the White House as the Special Assistant and Deputy Press Secretary giving advice on domestic and foreign issues to President George H.W. Bush. She also worked as the Senior Vice-President of Corporate Communications at NBC.

“[Smith] understands that many graduates are at a critical transition point in their lives and offers first hand problem-solving experience. She can also provide insight for future endeavors as we move beyond commencement into the real world,” said Senior Class President Dan Mickens.

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