The Honorable Thomas H. Kean to serve as keynote speaker for Centenary College’s 139th May commencement

(PR NewsChannel) / March 27, 2014 / HACKETTSTOWN, N.J. 

Thomas Kean PhotoCentenary College is pleased to announce that its keynote speaker for the 139th  May Commencement is the Honorable Thomas H. Kean, former Governor of the State of New Jersey, Past President of Drew University and past Chairman of the 9/11 Commission. The Commencement will take place on the Hackettstown, N.J. campus on May 17, 2014 where he will also receive an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters.

As Governor from 1982 to 1990, Kean was rated among America’s most effective state leaders by Newsweek magazine; noted for tax cuts that spurred 750,000 new jobs; a federally replicated welfare reform program; landmark environmental policies; and more than 30 education reforms. He delivered the keynote address at the 1988 Republican National Convention. He was re-elected for a second term by the largest margin in state history. While Governor, he served on the President’s Education Policy Advisory Committee and as chair of the Education Commission of the States and the National Governor’s Association Task Force on Teaching. He remains one of the most popular governors in New Jersey’s history. 

Kean served as president of Drew University from 1990 until 2005. During his presidency, applications to Drew increased by more than 40 percent; the endowment nearly tripled; and more than $50 million was committed to construction of new buildings and renovation of older buildings, principally student residence halls.

In 2002, Kean was named by President George W. Bush to head the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States. The Commission’s work culminated in 2004, with the release of the 9/11 Commission Report, which quickly became a national best-seller. Its recommendations resulted in the largest intelligence reform in the nation’s history. Kean served as the chairman of the 9/11 Public Discourse Project, a nonprofit entity created with private funds to continue the Commission’s work of guarding against future attacks.

In 2010, Kean was appointed as Chair to the Higher Education Task Force by Governor Christie, which resulted in the Higher Education Task Force Report. One of the recommendations of that report was to re-prioritize State resources toward the benefits of New Jersey’s college students. In 2012, the Building Our Future Bond was passed by New Jersey voters, as a result. The referendum authorized $750 million in State bonds that would provide grants to New Jersey’s higher education institutions for construction and modernization of academic and research facilities.

Kean currently serves as chairman of the board of Carnegie Corporation of New York. In addition, he has served on a number of corporate boards and is chair of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, co-chair of JerseyCan and is co-chairman with Congressman Lee Hamilton of the National Security Preparedness Group.  He serves on the board of the Environmental Defense Fund and the Seeing Eye and is the former chair of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation the nation’s largest health philanthropy. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, American Academy of Art and Sciences and the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations.

He holds a B.A. from Princeton University and an M.A. from Columbia University Teachers College and has served as a trustee of both institutions. Kean is the author of The Politics of Inclusion, published by the Free Press, and is co-author of Without Precedent, published by Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc.

“It is such a pleasure that the Honorable Thomas H. Kean will be serving as keynote speaker in May,” says Dr. Barbara-Jayne Lewthwaite, Centenary College President.  “Our graduating students are very fortunate to have the opportunity to hear him speak about his experience and can benefit from his advice.”

Founded in 1867 by the Newark Conference of the United Methodist Church, Centenary College is an independent, coeducational liberal arts and career studies college distinguished by an accomplished faculty, small class size and diverse student body.  Centenary is the only baccalaureate and master’s degree granting institution in northwest New Jersey.

Centenary College’s main campus is located in Hackettstown, N.J., with its equestrian facility in Washington Township (Morris County). The Centenary College School of Professional Studies offers degree programs online and in two locations: Parsippany and Edison, and at corporate sites throughout New Jersey. The School of International Programs recruits international students for study at Centenary and Centenary students for study abroad.

Annamaria C. Lalevee
(908) 852-1400, ext. 2238

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SOURCE:  Centenary College

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