Montclair State to Award Honorary Degree to Univision Television Host Raúl de Molina

Richard D. Parsons to Receive Honorary Degree From School of Business

Montclair State University will confer 3,928 degrees in science and mathematics, humanities and the social sciences, business, the arts, and education at the 2011 Commencement exercises on Friday, May 20, 2011 at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The University will award 2,901 baccalaureate degrees, 1,013 master's degrees, and 14 doctoral degrees at the event.

The University will award an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters, honoris causa, to Univision television host Raúl de Molina. De Molina is the multiple Emmy Award-winning co-host of Univision network's top-rated entertainment news show El Gordo y la Flaca and among the best-known television personalities in the Hispanic world.

Widely known by the nickname "El Gordo," De Molina was born in Cuba, grew up in Spain, and arrived in the United States at the age of 16. After graduating from the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, he worked for the Associated Press as a freelance photographer during the 1980s. His photographs have appeared in such publications as Time, Life, Newsweek, National Geographic Traveler, and Paris Match. In 2008, Random House published de Molina's second book, La Dieta del Gordo, in which he wrote about his personal struggles with weight.

The 2011 Senior Class Speaker at Commencement will be Kodi Lee Milde, a resident of Mahwah, who is graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in acting and a 3.777 cumulative grade point average. Following graduation, she plans to pursue an acting career in New York City and continue her studies in American Sign Language.

The 2011 Graduate Student Speaker will be Michelle Hernandez who resides in Union City, New Jersey. Michelle is 29 years old and is the first member of her family to graduate from college with not just a bachelor's degree, but also a master's degree. She will receive a Master of Science in Molecular Biology at the Commencement ceremonies. As the graduate coordinator for the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, a program that aims to increase the number of underrepresented minorities in the sciences, she mentors undergraduates for the College of Science and Mathematics. Following graduation, Hernandez will be pursuing a PhD in Environmental Health Sciences at New York University.

Convocations Honor GraduatesPrior to commencement, Montclair State's six schools and colleges will hold convocations to honor graduates and confer honorary degrees as follows:

School of Business: Richard D. Parsons
Friday, May 13, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.
Richard D. Parsons rose from a working-class background to become one of the most respected corporate executives in the nation. He is chairman of Citigroup, which boasts the world's largest financial services network, and was formerly the chief executive officer and chairman of Time Warner. Parsons was appointed president of Time Warner in 1995. The merger of AOL and Time Warner in 2001 led to his elevation first to chief executive officer and then chairman. He was credited with providing a steady hand during an unsettled period at the company.

College of Science and Mathematics: Jeffery D. Sachs
Saturday, May 14, 2011 at 10:00 a.m.
Widely regarded as the leading international economic advisor of his generation, Jeffrey D. Sachs is an expert on sustainable development and is actively engaged in the global issues of economic development, poverty alleviation, and health and aid policy. Sachs serves as special advisor to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and is the president and co-founder of Millennium Promise Alliance, a non-profit organization aimed at ending extreme poverty around the world.

College of the Arts: Byron Pitts
Saturday, May 14, 2011 at 2:00 p.m.
A multiple Emmy Award-winning journalist, Byron Pitts is the chief national correspondent for CBS News with Katie Couric and contributing correspondent to 60 Minutes. He won an Emmy for his coverage of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and covered the invasion of Iraq as an embedded reporter. Over the course of his career, Pitts has won four Associated Press Awards, a National Association of Black Journalists Award as Best Journalist of the Year in 2002, and six regional and one national Emmy Award for his work.

College of Education and Human Services: Gabriella E. Morris
Monday, May 16, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.
Gabriella E. Morris is president of The Prudential Foundation and corporate vice president of the Community Resources unit of Prudential Insurance Company of America. Under her leadership, Prudential has made substantive philanthropic contributions to education reform, youth leadership, and economic development. She has also supported such Montclair State University initiatives as the Minority Student Assistance Program, the Upward Bound Program, and the Prudential Teaching Scholars Program.

College of Humanities and Social Sciences: John T. Riordan
Tuesday, May 17, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.
Throughout a career that took him from the classroom to book publishing to president and chief executive of the International Council of Shopping Centers, John T. Riordan ('59) remained true to his first passion—education. During his tenure at ICSC myriad programs for professionals were developed. The ICSC John T. Riordan School for Professional Development and the John T. Riordan Professional Education Scholarship are named in his honor.

The Graduate School: Warren T. Farrell
Wednesday, May 18, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.
Warren T. Farrell ('65) is an acclaimed educator and the author of seven best-selling books about gender issues. He has written from both male and female perspectives, often courting controversy with his subject matter. His books have been published in 50 countries and in 15 languages. Chosen by the Financial Times as one of the world's top 100 thought leaders, Farrell has taught at the university level in five disciplines (psychology, women's studies, sociology, political science, and gender and parenting issues) and has appeared on more than 1,000 television and radio shows, including Oprah, 20/20, and Larry King Live.

The convocations take place on campus. Information about Commencement and the Convocation ceremonies can be found online at

Montclair State University
Montclair State offers the advantages of a large university -- a comprehensive undergraduate curriculum with a global focus, a broad variety of superior graduate programs through the doctoral level, and a diverse faculty and student body -- combined with a small college's attention to students.