Distinguished Leaders Honored at 62nd Commencement

Teaneck, NJ (May 16, 2005) – Distinguished leaders received Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees at Fairleigh Dickinson University’s 62nd commencement exercises on Monday, May 16. The ceremony, at Continental Airlines Arena, East Rutherford, NJ, saw more than 2,000 graduates receive doctoral, master’s, bachelor’s and associate degrees.

University President J. Michael Adams and Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees Robert Hallenbeck conferred honorary degrees on Malcolm A. Borg, Chairman of the Board of North Jersey Media Group; Rami Chhabra, an activist, writer and journalist from India; and investigative journalist Seymour M. Hersh. New Jersey Acting Governor Richard J. Codey, an alumnus of FDU who was not able to attend the ceremony, was recognized for his achievements and his honorary degree will be conferred at a later time.

Malcolm A. Borg represents the third generation of his family to lead the company that started with ownership of the Bergen Evening Record, now The Record, and New Jersey’s award-leading newspaper and flagship of North Jersey Media Group. In 2004, the company was ranked as the 103rd largest media company in the United States. In addition to his corporate accomplishments, Mr. Borg’s prodigious contribution to and involvement in civic, educational, health and environmental activities is a testament to his deep commitment to New Jersey and the nation. He has served more than 40 civic, professional, and charitable organizations.

Rami Chhabra, an activist and a pioneer journalist in both print and the electronic media, has focused on population issues and women’s development. She has served as a senior administrator with the Indian government in national family planning efforts and has worked with many non-governmental organizations worldwide. Chhabra has been and remains a steadfast and independent voice for women in India.

New Jersey’s Acting Governor Richard J. Codey, an alumnus of Fairleigh Dickinson University, has long played a significant role in the state. His distinguished legislative career began in 1973, when he became the youngest legislator ever elected in New Jersey. In 2004, Codey became Senate President and has been a leading advocate for education as well as health and mental health issues. He has earned a reputation as a skillful leader who brings people together to achieve bipartisan goals. Numerous organizations and associations have recognized Acting Governor Codey for his contributions to the State and to the people of New Jersey, awarding him “Legislator of the Year” many times over.

An Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree was to be conferred on Acting Governor Richard Codey. Due to the Peter Rodino memorial service, the Governor was unable to be present at Commencement, but videotaped a message to the graduates and the audience. The greeting was shown to the audience on the giant screens above the arena floor. Codey said:

“I want you to know that I am proud to be a graduate of FDU and Governor of the State. I know there is nothing more important than a quality education. FDU has been a steady presence in the field of higher ed, attracting some of the brightest students, and producing some of the most promising minds.

“Today’s graduates are a testament to that. I know that you have worked hard, and I know your time at FDU has prepared you well. Today’s commencement is a great accomplishment of which you should be proud.

“As the workforce of the future, and the leaders of tomorrow, possibly even a Governor of New Jersey, it is clear that the State is in good hands. Again my congratulations Class of 2005.

“Keep up the good work and make me proud.

“And remember, humans are the only species that welcome their children back home.”

Seymour Hersh, one of the nations leading investigative journalists and the author of eight books, is a regular contributor to The New Yorker. His journalism and publishing prizes include the Pulitzer Prize, five George Polk Awards, the National Magazine Award, and more than a dozen other prizes for investigative reporting on the My Lai massacre in Vietnam, the C.I.A.’s bombing of Cambodia, Henry Kissinger’s wiretapping, and the C.I.A.’s efforts against Chile’s Salvador Allende, among other topics. In 2004, Hersh was responsible for exposing the Abu Ghraib prison scandal in a series of three pieces in The New Yorker. In 2005, he was awarded the National Press Club’s Lifetime Achievement award. Mr. Hersh delivered the commencement address.

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Fairleigh Dickinson University

Gretchen Johnson

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This release authored with FDU Pagetoaster.