Newswise — Irvine, CA – (February 5, 2015) – Paul Merage, noted entrepreneur, chairman and CEO of MIG® investment companies, and namesake of The Paul Merage School of Business at UC Irvine, will give the commencement address at the 2015 business school graduation ceremony to be held Monday, June 15, 2015, in the Bren Events Center on the UC Irvine campus.

"I am honored to be a part of this momentous occasion as we recognize the tremendous accomplishments of these fine graduating students and celebrate the 50th anniversary of a truly outstanding learning institution,” said Paul Merage.

Merage, a long-time and most generous supporter of the Merage School, will share his insights and advice to a graduating class of more than 535 students made up of 160 undergraduates, nine PhDs, 85 Full-Time MBAs, 128 Fully Employed MBAs, 43 Executive MBAs and 34 Healthcare Executive MBAs. Also in this year’s graduating class will be 78 students from the Master of Professional Accountancy program.

“Paul is a globally recognized business leader who has been instrumental to the success of our business school,” said Eric Spangenberg, dean of the Merage School. “As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of our university, we are also celebrating the 10th anniversary of Paul and Lilly Merage’s gift that led to the naming of our School. The generosity of the Merage family and Paul’s business acumen have helped us create a world-class program that continues to ascend among ranked business schools worldwide. Having Paul speak at this year’s commencement is a privilege.”

About Paul MeragePaul Merage is a philanthropist, an innovative and successful entrepreneur, and a champion of education. Paul and Lilly Merage’s $30 million gift to UC Irvine’s business school in 2005 was the most significant donation in the University’s history. Merage was born in Iran and came to the U.S. in the 1960s to attend college. He excelled as a top student and, by the age of 22, had earned both his bachelor’s and MBA degrees from the University of California, Berkeley.

In 1975, Paul Merage and his brother David established Chef America, a consumer frozen food manufacturing company best known for its now iconic products, Hot Pockets and Lean Pockets. During Paul’s 27-year tenure as CEO, Chef America became one of the largest and most profitable privately held food companies in the U.S. The Merage family sold the company in 2002 to Nestle for $2.6 billion. In 2003, Paul, Richard and Greg Merage established MIG® investment companies, which include MIG Capital and MIG Real Estate Holdings, where today Paul Merage serves as chairman.

Paul and Lilly Merage are active in other educational philanthropies, including the Merage Institute for U.S.-Israel Innovation Bridge program.

About The Paul Merage School of Business at UC IrvineThe Paul Merage School of Business offers four dynamic MBA programs, a Master of Professional Accountancy – plus PhD and undergraduate business degrees – that deliver its thematic approach to business education: sustainable growth through strategic innovation. It graduates leaders with the exceptional ability to help grow their organizations through analytical decision-making, innovation and collaborative execution. In-class and on-site experiences with real-world business problems give students the edge needed to help companies compete in today’s global economy. To learn more, visit:, or go to:, for details about the program.###

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