2022 Honorary Degree Recipients

Johnson & Wales University honorary degrees are presented to individuals who have achieved national and/or international prominence and a distinguished reputation within their chosen field. The university seeks individuals who embody the tenets of a JWU education and will inspire our students on both a professional and personal level. Honorary degrees recognize an individual’s achievements, but just as importantly, they elevate the university’s reputation by honoring those whose success are widely known and respected. These chosen individuals will be forever connected to JWU, serving as ambassadors for our university.


20160322_robstiles_successprofile_081.jpgRobert Bruce Stiles ’80 is the founding Principal and Managing Director at RobertDouglas. After graduating from Johnson & Wales University, Stiles pursued his fascination with how hotels are built, taking his career to Asia and beyond. He went on to found hotel and resort development and investment advisory platforms throughout Asia, ultimately with offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, Jakarta, Shanghai and Beijing. In 2013, he co-founded RobertDouglas, which structures and arranges capital for investors as well as hotel and resort owners. As managing director and founding principal, Stiles and his team have advised on more than $50 billion of hospitality, leisure and gaming transactions, including many of the largest and most complicated structured financings completed in the industry.

Stiles will deliver the keynote address at the Providence Campus Graduate Studies Commencement Ceremony and receive an honorary Doctor of Business Administration on Friday, May 6, at the Dunkin' Donuts Center at 10:00 a.m.


brucepoontip1.jpegBruce Poon Tip is an entrepreneur, author, philanthropist and the founder of G Adventures. At the age of 22, Poon Tip started G Adventures, a tour operator designed to bridge the divide between backpacking and mainstream travel, and to connect travelers with local people in the countries they visit. Thirty years later, G Adventures has two international headquarters with 28 offices worldwide, hosts 200,000 travelers per year, and offers more than 700 tours to 100 countries across all seven continents. With a strong company culture that celebrates happiness and freedom, and rewards innovation through risk-taking and fun, G Adventures has been named one of the 50 Best Managed Companies for more than 10 years and is repeatedly recognized as a “best place to work” in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Poon Tip will deliver the keynote address at the Providence Campus Undergraduate Morning Commencement Ceremony and receive an honorary Doctor of Business Administration on Saturday, May 7, at the Dunkin' Donuts Center at 9:00 a.m.


stanleycheng2.jpgStanley K. Cheng is a culinary inventor, entrepreneur and the Chief Executive Officer at Meyer Corporation — the largest cookware manufacturer in America and the second largest in the world. Under his leadership, Meyer Corporation daily produces over 160,000 pans that are sold in stores as varied as Walmart to Williams Sonoma. Dominating the cookware market was only the start of Cheng’s success. More than twenty years ago, Cheng and his wife, Helen, converted a Napa Valley cattle ranch into a vineyard, dubbed Hestan. The picturesque estate is located on Napa Valley’s remote eastern slopes and has produced wines that were served at the Obama White House. In 2017, Wine Spectator named Hestan’s 2014 cabernet sauvignon the eighth best wine in the world, leading wine critic Robert Parker rated it an extraordinary 96 points, just shy of the perfect score of 100.

Cheng will deliver the keynote address at the Providence Campus Undergraduate Afternoon Commencement Ceremony and receive an honorary Doctor of Business Administration on Saturday, May 7, at the Dunkin' Donuts Center at 2:00 p.m.