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MSNBC Anchor Stephanie Ruhle to Deliver 2017 Commencement Address

Financial expert and accomplished journalist Stephanie Ruhle ’97, will return to her alma mater to deliver the commencement address to Lehigh’s Class of 2017 on Monday, May 22.

The former anchor and managing editor for Bloomberg Television and editor-at-large for Bloomberg News is now an anchor at MSNBC and contributor to NBC News, where she is credited for her deft handling of breaking news, hard-hitting interviews and insightful analysis.

“In 1997, I was sitting at commencement surrounded by those who would become my lifelong friends and extremely proud of the foundation Lehigh helped me build,” Ruhle said. “But I never expected the honor of returning 20 years later to send off an esteemed group of next-generation leaders. I am truly honored to be in such great company.”

Lehigh President John Simon said, “We are very honored to have Stephanie accept our invitation to return to Lehigh and address the members of the Class of 2017. She represents the best in her field, and I’m sure that her informed insights and words of advice to our graduates will be both thought-provoking and inspiring. We look forward to welcoming her back.”

Class of 2017 President Freddy Coleman said that the opportunity to hear from Ruhle as he and his classmates conclude their Lehigh experience is highly anticipated.
“We’ve experienced many life-changing events and have had opportunities to learn from some of the greatest minds the world can offer,” he said. “It is only fitting to conclude this great journey at my alma mater hearing from one of Lehigh's own. I, as well as the members of my class, look forward to hearing Stephanie Ruhle’s story from South Mountain to her experiences as a managing director of Deutsche Bank, and anchoring at MSNBC. Most of my fellow seniors are getting prepared to make our goodbyes to Lehigh and start writing the next chapter of our lives, and helpful tips from Stephanie Ruhle would be warmly received.”

A stellar career

At Bloomberg, Ruhle co-hosted Bloomberg <GO>, Bloomberg TV’s flagship morning show featuring global thought leaders across business, tech and media. In that role, Ruhle regularly interviewed industry titans such as Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, President-elect Donald Trump, legendary investor Stanley Druckenmiller, NBA MVP Stephen Curry, Chairman and CEO of JP Morgan Jamie Dimon, TV personality Martha Stewart, entrepreneur Sean Parker, former Vice President Al Gore, Masters winner Jordan Spieth, Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade, CEO and Chair of Macy’s Terry Lundgren, and music moguls Sean “Diddy” Combs and Kanye West.

When starting at Bloomberg in 2011, she quickly drew praise from reviewers, who called the veteran derivatives salesperson from Deutsche Bank “the most important new name in financial television.”

Wrote Joe Weisenthal of Business Insider: “While there have been plenty of folks on TV who are ex-Wall Street, there aren't many who bring the metabolism and perspective of the trading floor to the screen like Ruhle.”

Her journalistic ventures went beyond finances. In 2015, Ruhle produced and hosted the documentary Haiti: Open For Business?, which shed light on the country five years after it was hit by a devastating earthquake and explored its viability as the next emerging market. She also participated in a short-form documentary, Sharkland: A Mission Blue & Fusion Expedition, which brought attention to the plight of sharks and the urgent needs to conserve our oceans.
Prior to Bloomberg, Ruhle worked at Deutsche Bank, serving as a managing director in Global Markets Senior Relationship Management. Ruhle began her career at Credit Suisse, where she was the highest-producing credit derivatives salesperson in the U.S.

Ruhle graduated from Lehigh in 1997, with a bachelor’s degree in international business, and used her time at Lehigh to study abroad in Kenya, Guatemala and Italy. While in Italy, she made the decision to study international business, and said she reached out to Lehigh alumni to help her gain her first banking job.

She has stayed connected to Lehigh, returning in October 2013 to moderate a panel in the Rauch Business Center titled “Millennial Generation: Paying the Price for Washington’s Paralysis,” which included Ken Langone, co-founder of The Home Depot; Geoffrey Canada, president of Harlem Children’s Zone; and investor and philanthropist Stanley Druckenmiller.

Ruhle also participated in the Rivalry 150 activities in November 2014, leading a panel discussion hosted by the Lehigh Alumni Wall Street Council in New York City. The “Creating Investor Value” event featured expert opinion from a distinguished panel including Joe Perella ’64, co-founder and partner of Perella Weinberg Partners; Barry Rosenstein ’81, founder and managing partner of JANA Partners, LLC; and Mark Neporent ’79, chief operating officer at Cerberus Capital Management, L.P.

Advancing women

Ruhle plays an active role in women’s leadership development, having founded the Corporate Investment Bank Women’s Network and co-chaired Women on Wall Street. She is a member of the board of trustees for Girls Inc. NYC, an organization that provides life-changing programs inspiring girls to be strong, smart and bold; in 2016, she was honored as one of its Women of the Year.

Ruhle currently sits on the board and advises for "React To Film," an issue-based documentary film series, and formerly served on the corporate councils of iMentor and The White House Project, a non-profit organization that works to advance women in business, government and media.

Ruhle’s off-camera accomplishments dovetail with the driving goal she articulated in late May 2016, when she joined the MSNBC and NBC News family.

“I want to talk more about great women,” she said. “We are so hard on ourselves, especially working mothers. I want us to work hard on ourselves, not be hard on ourselves…..Let’s do great stuff and have a great time doing it.”

A New Jersey native, Ruhle resides in New York City with her husband Andy Hubbard and their three children, Harrison (10), Reese (7) and Drew (3).


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