Montclair State University Celebrates 2009 Commencement on May 22

Newark Mayor Cory A. Booker and Businessman John J. Cali to receive Honorary Degrees

Montclair, NJ--Montclair State University will hold its 2009 Commencement exercises on Friday, May 22 at 10:00 a.m. at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, NJ, conferring 3,573 degrees in science and mathematics, humanities and the social sciences, business, the arts, and education.

"This year's Commencement celebrates our first class of graduates as Montclair State enters its second century," said President Susan A. Cole. "Throughout its history, the University has granted more than 114,000 degrees, and we look forward to another 100 years of preparing students to lead productive, rewarding and responsible lives in society and the world."

Newark Mayor Cory Booker will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws and Businessman John J. Cali will receive an honorary Doctor of Letters.

Additional honorary degrees will be conferred at the 2009 school and college convocation ceremonies:

Lucille E. Davy, New Jersey State Commissioner of Education, will receive an honorary doctor of laws from the College of Education and Human Services on Thursday, May 14, at 7 p.m. (Rescheduled because of inclement weather to Monday, May 18, at 7 p.m.)

Kornel Terplan, a telecommunications expert, will receive an honorary doctor of letters from the College of the Arts convocation on Friday. May 15, at 7 p.m.

Lisa Perez Jackson, administrator at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, will receive an honorary doctor of science from the College of Science and Mathematics on Saturday, May 16, at 11 a.m.

James M. Cracchiolo, chairman and CEO of Ameriprise Financial, will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters from the School of Business on Saturday, May 16, at 3 p.m.

Jonathan H. Alter, senior editor and columnist for Newsweek, will receive an honorary doctor of letters from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences on Sunday, May 17 at 1 p.m.

Rev. Audrey V. Leef, professor emerita, Montclair State University, will receive an honorary doctor of letters from the Graduate School on Sunday, May 17 at 7 p.m.

The convocations take place on the Montclair State University campus.

Information about Montclair State's commencement and convocation ceremonies can be found online at www.montclair.edu/commencement.

Notes from the Class of 2009:

This year's senior speaker is Vaughn A. McEnough, Jr. of Neptune, New Jersey, who will receive a bachelor's degree in molecular biology. McEnough plans to attend medical school with the goal of becoming a pediatric surgeon.

The graduate speaker is Julie R. Parr Brady, a public school teacher in West Orange who holds a 4.0 grade point average and will receive an MA in history. Brady has been a volunteer with the American Red Cross since she was 9 years old. In high school, she began working summers with the Red Cross creating Braille textbooks. She will speak about the importance of volunteerism, particularly during these difficult economic times.

Born in Guyana, Decosy Hercules came to the United States in 1995 and graduated first in his class from Neptune High School. He came to Montclair State through the Honors Program and Health Careers Program, with the dream of one day entering the medical field. He has been accepted to the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey- School of Osteopathic Medicine.

Student Government Association President Ronald Chicken of Stanhope will receive a bachelor's degree in philosophy and religion and has been accepted to the Princeton Theological Seminary, where he will begin graduate studies this fall.

Erica Emmich will receive a bachelor's degree in Broadcasting. She covered the recent presidential election with the polling firm Rasmussen Reports and is working as a digital reporter for Fox 5, providing Web-exclusive reports for college-age viewers. Her goal is to be an on-air television reporter. She is a resident of Roseland.

Released: May 4, 2009