PRESIDENT PAUL G. GAFFNEY II
The Monmouth University Board of Trustees is pleased to announce that its 82nd commencement ceremony will be held on Wednesday, May 22, at 1:30 p.m. at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel. President Gaffney, who is retiring after a successful ten-year tenure as president of Monmouth University, will deliver the commencement address. Monmouth University will award more than 1,000 undergraduate and graduate degrees. In addition, Monmouth University will confer its first doctoral degrees during the ceremony, the Doctor of Nursing Practice.
As part of the ceremony, honorary degrees will be awarded to the Honorable Rochelle R. Hendricks, Secretary of Higher Education for the State of New Jersey, and Monmouth University Life Trustee Alfred L. Ferguson, Esq., Of Counsel with McCarter & English, LLP.
"We are delighted that President Gaffney will speak at this year's commencement ceremony," said Robert B. Sculthorpe '63, chair of the University's Board of Trustees. "His vision has been instrumental in Monmouth's significant improvement and increased recognition as a leading University. Providing a parting message to our graduating students and family members is a fitting culmination to his remarkable career at Monmouth."
Gaffney became the seventh president of Monmouth University in July 2003. Under his leadership, Monmouth has been included in Princeton Review's "Best 377 Colleges" for eight straight years and has been recognized as a "Green College" for being one of the most environmentally responsible colleges in the United States and Canada.
During President Gaffney's tenure, Monmouth University constructed the $57-million Multipurpose Activity Center, debt free; oversaw its largest capital campaign drive raising over $50 million; established its first doctoral program; increased the quality of student academic qualifications; and raised the profile of the University. In addition, Monmouth established Centers of Distinction including the Urban Coast Institute, Rapid Response Institute, Monmouth University Polling Institute, Kislak Real Estate Institute, Center for the Arts, and the Institute for Global Understanding.
A retired vice admiral in the United States Navy, President Gaffney's distinguished military service spanned three decades and included duty at sea and overseas assignments in Japan, Vietnam, Spain, and Indonesia. While president of the National Defense University from 2000 to 2003, he also served as Chief of Naval Research. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.
A 1968 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Gaffney received a master's degree in Ocean Engineering from Catholic University of America in Washington, DC in 1969. He completed a year as a student and advanced research fellow at the Naval War College, graduating with highest distinction. He completed an MBA at Jacksonville University.
Rochelle R. Hendricks was named the first Secretary of Higher Education for the State of New Jersey in May 2011. As secretary, she is responsible for policy and program development to enhance the capacity and competitiveness of New Jersey's higher education institutions.
Prior to her position as Secretary of Higher Education, Hendricks was the Acting Commissioner of the Department of Education and was instrumental in helping the Governor's education reform plans, including the creation and appointment of the Educator Effectiveness Task Force. After joining the Department of Education in 1987, she served in various capacities within the department. Prior to that, she worked at Princeton University in a variety of positions including assistant dean of students. She began her career as a teacher at the Rumson Fair Haven Regional High School District.
Secretary Hendricks is the recipient of numerous academic, leadership, and service recognitions including State Blue Ribbon School Liaison of the Year, US Department of Education; FFA National Honoree; Education Honoree, Center for Women and Work, Rutgers University; Educational and Leadership Award, National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Inc. Delta Pi Chapter. She has been privileged to participate in several White House initiatives and US Department of State-supported international education events.
Life Trustee Alfred L. Ferguson, Esq., is Of Counsel with McCarter & English, LLP, one of the nation's oldest law firms and the largest in New Jersey. The firm engages in litigation before all levels of the state and federal courts and administrative agencies. Ferguson's practice focused on general litigation involving business, real estate and zoning and planning. He is most well known in coastal communities for his advocacy for beach access. In fact, his works are memorialized by the designation of Ferguson Beach in Sea Bright, NJ.
Ferguson joined the Monmouth University Board in 1998. He is a member of the Essex and Monmouth County Bar Association and the American Bar Association. He has served as chairman of the New Jersey Historical Society, and was honored by the organization in 1993.
Ferguson graduated from Yale University with a BA in American Studies. He was a member of the Naval ROTC and served in the United States Navy before returning to Yale Law School where he received his law degree.
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Monmouth University is a leading private institution that offers a comprehensive array of undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The University provides students with a highly personalized education that builds the knowledge and confidence of tomorrow's leaders. Located in West Long Branch, New Jersey, Monmouth University's magnificent and historic campus is approximately one hour from both New York City and Philadelphia and is within walking distance of the beaches of the Atlantic Ocean. Monmouth University is listed in U.S. News & World Report's "Best Colleges" and The Princeton Review's "The Best 377 Colleges," and is recognized by the latter as one of the country's top "green" colleges. To learn more, visit us at www.monmouth.edu.
Media contact: Petra Ludwig at 732-263-5507