SUNY Geneseo Alums Norris and Himelstein to Receive Honorary Degrees

Bruce Himelstein '76, Jackie Dycke Norris '92

Bruce Himelstein '76 and Jackie Dycke Norris '92 (Photos provided/Himelstein photo by Carlos Aristizabal)

SUNY Geneseo alumni Jackie Dycke Norris ’92 and Bruce Himelstein ’76 will receive honorary degrees at the undergraduate Commencement 2024 ceremonies on Saturday, May 18. Norris will be honored at the 9 a.m. ceremony and Himelstein at the 2 p.m. ceremony. 

Norris has extensive experience as a high-level government aide, in nonprofit organization leadership, and in education. She is also president and owner of the Horizon Group, an Iowa-based research and management consulting group. 

Norris is a veteran of several successful political campaigns and has held positions in the White House, U.S. Capitol, and Department of Urban Housing and Development. She worked for former Vice President Al Gore and served as the first White House chief of staff to Michelle Obama. 

Norris has served as an advisor to corporate leaders and Fortune 500 companies, aiding them in directing volunteerism and philanthropy in strategic and measurable ways. She launched Billion + Change and The Civic 50 with Bloomberg News. 

Before her political career, Norris taught high school government and history and was an adjunct professor at American University in Washington, D.C., and John Cabot University in Rome, Italy. She currently chairs the Des Moines School Board and serves on the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships. 

Himelstein '76 has been selected to The American Marketing Association Hall of Fame and in 2005 was named one of the “Top 25 Minds in Sales and Marketing” by the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International. He is an accomplished brand and corporate strategist, speaker, and consultant who is credited with transforming the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company into a leader in the luxury hotel industry while he served as the company's chief sales and marketing officer. Previously, he was vice president for sales at Marriott International, the world’s largest hotel chain.  He started his career in hospitality as a bellhop in Albany, NY.  

After Ritz-Carlton, Himelstein developed several innovative marketing campaigns as the chief marketing officer at Loews Hotels & Resorts. In 2015, Himelstein created the BJH Group, where he works as a consultant and speaker for businesses, hospitals, universities, and healthcare organizations that depend on customer service for success. 


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