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April 17, 2013, volume 3, number 15
I am pleased to announce that former New Jersey Governor Thomas Kean will deliver the keynote address at the University’s 2013 Commencement ceremony on Wednesday, May 15, beginning at 10 a.m. at the Izod Center in East Rutherford. Governor Kean was nominated by a committee of faculty, staff, and students for his commitment to service on the state and national level, and we are delighted that he will speak to our graduates and their families on this milestone event in their lives. In addition to serving as governor from 1982 to 1990, and as chair of the 9/11 Commission that investigated the terrorist attacks, Governor Kean has been dedicated to furthering higher education in New Jersey, both as president of Drew University from 1990 to 2005, and more recently as chairman of the state’s Higher Education Task Force and as a strong proponent of the passage of the “Building Our Future” Bond Act that provides funds for facilities projects at the state’s colleges and universities. Given his exemplary role in public service, his insight into state and national issues, and his impact on higher education in New Jersey, his remarks will be particularly relevant to our students as they complete their college careers.
We will also present honorary doctoral degrees to philanthropist David F. Bolger and entrepreneur Spyros Lenas. Both of these individuals have had a significant impact on William Paterson University and the communities in which they live.
Mr. Bolger, a native of Pennsylvania whose parents migrated to the United States from the Netherlands, founded Bolger & Co., Inc., a real estate development firm, in 1966. He will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree in recognition of his outstanding philanthropic contributions to society. Mr. Bolger is president of The Bolger Foundation, which provided funds for William Paterson’s Nel Bolger, RN Nursing Laboratory in memory of his aunt, a Dutch nurse who was a leader in the underground movement in Holland during the Nazi occupation. Mr. Bolger was a Legacy Award honoree in 2007 in recognition of his generous contributions to the University.
Entrepreneur and real estate developer Spyros Lenas also will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree. A resident of Wayne, Mr. Lenas is the founder and chairman of Lenfam Management Company and its affiliates. His vision of assembling the vacant land at the intersections of Route 23, Route 46, and Route 80 led to his arranging the development of the Willowbrook Mall as well as a number of other commercial properties throughout New Jersey. After emigrating from Greece to the United States as a young man, he began investing in movie theatres and later in real estate for shopping malls, residential properties, and restaurants. Mr. Lenas was a founding member of the University’s Foundation Board.
We are proud that these three individuals will join us on Commencement day and we look forward to a wonderful celebration with our graduates.
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