News & Announcements

Centenary College to Hold its 139th May Commencement on May 17, 2014

05/08/2014, 01:54 PM

Hackettstown, N.J.– Centenary College will hold its 139th May Commencement at 1 p.m. May 17, 2014, on the front lawn of the Edward W. Seay Administration Building.  The keynote speaker 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.  He will address Centenary’s 384 participating graduates and will 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 and 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 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 Chris 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.

Dr. Stanley P. Caine also will be receiving an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters.  Dr. Caine was the President of Adrian College in Michigan from 1989 to 2005 and was named President Emeritus.  He also served as the Interim President at North Carolina Wesleyan College in Rocky Mount, N.C from 2008 to 2009.  His professional career also includes positions such as Assistant Professor of History at Lindenwood College, Associate Professor of History at DePauw University and Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor of History at Hanover College.  He is on the Board of Trustees at Centenary College, as well as a board member at Wilmington College in OH.

Dr. Caine holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History with minors in Philosophy and Political Science from Macalester College, St. Paul, Minnesota, as well as a Master of Arts in History and a Ph.D. in History from the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

“It is a privilege to have the Honorable Thomas H. Kean serve as keynote speaker, and I am pleased that we will be honoring our own Trustee, Dr. Stanley P. Caine,” says Dr. Barbara-Jayne Lewthwaite, Centenary College President.  “I also would like to congratulate our almost 400 graduates on their accomplishment and wish them the best as they embark on their future professional and academic journeys.”
The coveted Dominick V. Romano Volunteer Award will be bestowed upon Trinity United Methodist Church during the ceremony for their community service efforts locally, regionally and abroad.

The graduating class will include undergraduate and graduate students from the main campus in Hackettstown and the Centenary College School of Professional Studies learning centers in Parsippany and Edison.  Degrees that will be awarded to the 384 graduates participating in the ceremony are as follows:  12 Associate of Arts; 1 Associate of Science: 123 Bachelor of Arts; 34 Bachelor of Fine Arts; 141 Bachelor of Science; 15 Bachelor of Social Work; 21 Master of Arts; 34 Master of Business Administration; and 3 Master of Education. Forty-one of the graduating seniors are from the School of International Programs.

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.