Montclair State to Award Honorary Degree to Author James Bradley

Steve Forbes to receive honorary degree from School of Business

Montclair, NJ -- Author James Bradley, who wrote about how his father helped plant the American flag on Iwo Jima during World War II in his best-selling book Flags of Our Fathers, will receive an honorary degree at Montclair State's 2010 Commencement exercises.

The ceremony will be held Friday, May 21, at the Izod Center in East Rutherford. Montclair State will confer 3,745 degrees in science and mathematics, humanities and the social sciences, business, the arts, and education. Bradley will receive the degree of Doctor of Letters, honoris causa.

Bradley specializes in historical nonfiction chronicling the Pacific theater of World War II. In 2000, he published Flags of Our Fathers, which tells the story of six U.S. Marines, including his own Navy corpsman father, who raised the American flag on Mt. Suribachi during the Battle of Iwo Jima. The book spent 46 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list and was made into a film directed by Clint Eastwood. In 2003, Bradley published Flyboys: A True Story of Courage, which tells the story of an air raid that took place during the Battle of Iwo Jima. Like Flags of Our Fathers, Flyboys also topped The New York Times bestseller list.

Last year Bradley published The Imperial Cruise, which concerns a 1905 diplomatic mission led by then Secretary of Defense William Howard Taft and Alice Roosevelt, as well as the larger implications of President Theodore Roosevelt's foreign policy, particularly with regard to Japan.

The 2010 Senior Speaker at Commencement will be Linden resident Kathleen Banzon, a communication studies major with a 3.5 cumulative grade point average.

Preceding the May 21 commencement, Montclair State's six schools and colleges will hold convocations to honor their graduates and confer honorary degrees to:

Alumnus Charles Magliaro, former superintendent of East Hanover School District, from the College of Education and Human Services on May 13

Steve Forbes, president and chief executive officer of Forbes and editor-in-chief of Forbes magazine, from the School of Business on May 14.

Bruce "Cousin Brucie" Morrow, radio personality, from the College of the Arts on May 15.

Alumnus John Wallace, president, NBC Local Media Division, from the Graduate School on May 15.

Richard Axel, professor at Columbia University and Nobelist in Physiology or Medicine, 2004, from the College of Science and Mathematics on May 16.

Fahima Vorgetts, Afghani women's advocate and activist, from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences on May 16.

The convocations take place on campus. Information about commencement and convocation ceremonies can be found online at

Outstanding Montclair State graduates

The following students represent the best of the graduating class of 2010. (Home town information is included):

Nathanial White, age 30, College of the Arts, John J. Cali School of Music, Bachelor of Music in Performance, Summit, New Jersey
Nathanial White has been performing for over twenty years. He has studied bass at both the Manhattan School of Music and Montclair State University. In 1999, Nathanial won the Grand Prize in the New Jersey American String Teachers Association (ASTA) State Solo Competition and in 2008 he won the Montclair State University Concerto Competition. He has performed with the New Jersey Youth Symphony, The Philharmonic Orchestra of New Jersey, and the Doctor's Society Orchestra of New York. He currently maintains a large private studio, performs professionally in New York and New Jersey and serves on the faculty of the New Jersey Youth Symphony.

Matthew Hyde, age 20, College of Education and Human Services, Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics, Clifton, New Jersey
Matthew Hyde's interest in this major was motivated by his brother's diabetes and his interest in science and social science. Matthew is the captain of the Montclair State swim team and works after school part time as a lifeguard.

Erika Schnatz, age 21, College of the Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts in Animation and Illustration, Mullica Hill, New Jersey
Erika Schnatz, with a 3.95 GPA, credits her Bloustein Scholarship and other scholarships for making it possible for her to attend Montclair State University, and for giving her the freedom to fully devote herself to her art. She hopes to be a children's book author and illustrator.

Zalaya Ivy, age 20, College of Science and Mathematics, Bachelor of Science, Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey
Zalaya Ivy has wanted to be a doctor for as long as she could remember - and not just any kind of doctor. Coming from a family that has been touched by both sickle cell anemia and cancer, Zalaya made up her mind early to specialize in hematology and oncology. She is already well on her way. She is enrolled in a joint program of Montclair State and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of NJ, Newark, that allows her to go straight from Montclair State into medical school upon graduation. She is also a member of the honor society, Alpha Lambda Delta, and a secretary on the Residential Leadership Council.

Released: May 4, 2010