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MEDIA ADVISORY: Designer and social activist Kenneth Cole to speak at Emory Class Day tonight

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Kenneth Cole

American designer, social activist and Emory alumnus Kenneth Cole will speak to Emory University seniors tonight at 6 p.m. as part of Emory's 12th Annual Class Day. The student-organized event allows graduating seniors to hear from a well-known speaker of their choice. Note: The event is not open to the public, but media are allowed to attend.

Cole's global company, Kenneth Cole Productions, creates modern and functional clothing, shoes, and accessories for inspirational urban lifestyles under the brand names Kenneth Cole New York, Kenneth Cole Reaction and Unlisted, as well as footwear under the name Gentle SoulsIn the 1980s, Cole pioneered the first of many AIDS awareness campaigns for amfAR, which rooted the brand in social activism. He joined the board of amfAR in 1987, has been chairman since 2004, and spearheaded initiatives that have changed the face of HIV/AIDS for the betterment of millions.

Student awards also will be given out during the event. The University’s central commencement ceremonies are Monday, May 11 at 8 a.m., and will feature a keynote address by renowned author and human rights advocate Sir Salman Rushdie, University Distinguished Professor at Emory whose archives are housed in the university's Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library.

WHO:  American designer, social activist, and visionary Kenneth Cole, a 1976 graduate of Emory University

WHEN:  6 p.m. Thursday, May 7

WHERE: Glenn Memorial Auditorium, 1660 N. Decatur Road. Media seating is available at the front, to the right of the stage.

PARKING:  Media parking for TV trucks will be available on the left side of Fishburne Drive next to Glenn Memorial. All others should park in the Fishburne Deck visitor parking located at the end of the street. Fishburne is the first right turn once you enter the main gates of campus off N. Decatur Road. 

Other Photo Opportunities: Class Day is the first of three events for seniors. At the Class of 2015 reception from 7-8:30 p.m. at the Emory Conference Center Hotel, seniors will offer the traditional Coca-Cola toast. Following the reception, graduating seniors will take part in a ceremonial candlelight walk across the Houston Mill Road pedestrian bridge to Emory's Miller-Ward Alumni House.

CONTACT: Media interested in covering should contact Beverly Clark,, 404-712-8780 or 404-275-4771, by 5 p.m. today.

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