Technology industry leader Jay Bellissimo ’87 will be Commencement speaker

February 24, 2023
Elizabeth Murray
Associate Director of Public Relations

Jay Bellissimo ’87, the Chief Operating Officer at Vonage, will deliver the Commencement address to the Saint Michael’s College Class of 2023 this spring, the College’s President Lorraine Sterritt has announced.


Jay Bellissimo ’87, the Chief Operating Officer at Vonage, speaks to Saint Michael’s College students in 2019.

Bellissimo, a 1987 graduate of Saint Michael’s, currently serves on the College’s Board of Trustees. He will receive an honorary degree during the Commencement ceremony on May 14.

Bellissimo has spent most of his 30-year career in the technology industry. He is a respected thought leader in business strategy and transformation, has been responsible for multibillion-dollar initiatives and has lectured around the world on Artificial Intelligence, including presenting at MIT twice on the impact of AI in business, government, and society.

“From his days at Saint Michael’s and throughout his career beyond his College days, Jay has been a shining example of what we try to bestow upon our students as they enter the world after graduating – from finding purpose and serving others to working to make the world a better place,” Sterritt said. “We are thrilled to welcome Jay back home to Saint Michael’s so that he can spread that same message to the class of 2023.”

As Chief Operating Officer at Vonage – a leader in global cloud communications – Bellissimo is responsible for leading Vonage’s sales and operations worldwide. In 2020, Bellissimo was named to FedScoop’s list of Best Bosses in Fed IT, and he received the 2021 Wash100 Award for leadership, driving company growth and advancing innovation in technology and cloud communications. Prior to Vonage, Bellissimo worked at IBM, where he eventually became General Manager of IBM’s U.S. Public and Federal Market and led IBM’s Latin American Services business based in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Bellissimo holds a B.A. in Political Science from Saint Michael’s College. In 1995, he was inducted into the Saint Michael’s Athletic Hall of Fame, having been the hockey program’s all-time leading scorer at the time of induction. He was the first Ice Knight to ever reach the 100-point plateau, and he played a major role in the College’s three straight winning seasons between 1983 and 1986.

In addition to extensive volunteer work in his local community, Bellissimo has been a mentor throughout his career for both college students and young professionals. He enjoys returning to campus to pay forward the experiences that helped him thrive both at Saint Michael’s and beyond – a perfect example of the tight-knit and extensive alumni network willing to extend help and inspiration to current students.

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