Nadya Zhexembayeva '01, speaker for 2018 Commencement

Hartwick Names Nadya Zhexembayeva ’01 2018 Commencement Speaker

February 9, 2018

Hartwick College today announced its 2018 Commencement speaker is renowned “reinvention” expert Dr. Nadya Zhexembayeva ’01. The College’s Commencement ceremony will be held on Saturday, May 19, 2018 at 11:30 a.m. on Elmore Field on the College campus.

Zhexembayeva graduated from Hartwick with a double major in business and psychology – becoming a JCH Scholar along the way – and earned her PhD in Organizational Behavior from Case Western Reserve University.

She is the Co-founder and Chief Reinvention Officer of WE EXIST Reinvention Agency. An international speaker, TEDx presenter, educator, and author, she has helped nearly 5,000 executives from 60 countries and 20 industries develop themselves and their businesses.

She served as the Coca-Cola Chaired Professor of Sustainable Development at IEDC-Bled School of Management, an executive education center based in the Slovene Alps, where she continues to teach courses in leadership, strategy, change management, design thinking, and sustainability. In addition to IEDC, Nadya has taught in other business schools, including Case Western Reserve, CEDEP-INSEAD (France), and IPADE Business School (Mexico).

In September, Zhexembayeva spent a day on campus, meeting with students in the College’s new Makerspace during the day, and giving a presentation called “Leadership and the Art of Reinvention: How to Reinvent Yourself, Your Team, and Your Organization” at Stevens-German Library that night.

“The most memorable commencement speeches are those that address an issue of timely importance to our graduates,” said Hartwick College President Margaret L. Drugovich. “Today’s college graduates enter an ever-evolving workplace, where change is constant, spurred by applications of technology and the increased impact of globalization. Dr. Zhexembayeva’s work in the areas of corporate and personal reinvention provides a perfect antidote for anxieties that arise when we are confronted with the challenges that come with change.

“We are proud of her success, and so pleased that she will return to Oyaron Hill to share what she has learned since her own Hartwick graduation,” she added.

For more information on Zhexembayeva’s work, visit

For additional information on Hartwick’s 2018 Commencement ceremony, contact Paul Habernig, Commencement coordinator, at 607-431-4501 or