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Author and Nobel Prize Winner Toni Morrison is Ramapo College’s Commencement Speaker

(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)April 28, 2005

(Mahwah) – Author, professor and Nobel Prize-winner Toni Morrison will deliver the commencement address at Ramapo College of New Jersey’s 2005 ceremony Wednesday, May 25. She will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree. The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m.

Toni Morrison was appointed Robert F. Goheen Professor in the Council of the Humanities at Princeton University in 1989. She has held teaching posts at Yale, Bard College and Rutgers University and was a senior editor at Random House for 20 years. She earned degrees from Howard and Cornell Universities. Her eight major novels, The Bluest Eye, Song of Solomon, Sula, Tar Baby, Beloved, Jazz, Paradise and Love, received extensive critical acclaim. She received the national Book Critics Award in 1978 for Song of Solomon and the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for Beloved. She also has co-authored children’s books and published books of essays.

Morrison has received prestigious awards including: the 2000 National Humanities Medal, the 2000 Library of Congress Bicentennial Living Legend Award, the 1996 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, the Pearl Buck Award (1994), the Sara Lee Corporation Front Runner Award in the Arts (1989), the Anisfield Wolf Book Award in Race Relations (1988) and the Distinguished Writer Award of 1978 from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 1993, Morrison was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. She holds honorary degrees from a number of higher learning institutions including Georgetown, Harvard, Brown, Dartmouth and Ecole Normale Supérieure, Oberlin and Yale.

The College’s President’s Award of Merit will be awarded posthumously to Dan Cronin, who graduated from Ramapo College in 1984. While serving in the Navy in 1966, Cronin suffered a severe injury that left him paralyzed from the waist down. Dan lived a good portion of his life in a wheelchair,” remembers a friend, but I never ceased to be amazed by how well he got around — in snow, in every kind of weather, and in every sort of neighborhood — nothing held him back.” In 1980 Cronin enrolled at Ramapo College, received a degree in 1984, and continued his education at Seton Hall University where he earned a degree in law.

He then began a career in poverty and family law, serving as an attorney for Bergen County Legal Services. Among the many honors he received were the New Jersey Certificate of Appreciation for Meritorious Public Service for his work as a member of the Supreme Court’s District Ethics Committee, a Certificate of Appreciation from Shelter Our Sisters, a home for victims of domestic violence, and the Outstanding Attorney of the Year award from Legal Services of New Jersey.


About Ramapo College

Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The comprehensive college is situated among the beautiful Ramapo Mountains, is within commuting distance to New York City, was named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and boasts the best on-campus housing in New Jersey per

Ramapo College provides its students with individualized attention, mentorship, and supports; hands-on learning; and a range of opportunities for service and leadership development. Its graduation and retention rates exceed national averages and it places approximately 1,000 students per year in internships in New York City. The College is ranked #1 among New Jersey public institutions by College Choice; is recognized as the state’s top college on the list of Best Disability Schools by Great Value Colleges; is designated a “Military Friendly College” in Victoria Media’s Guide to Military Friendly Schools; and is recognized as a top college by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger’s, Princeton Review and Money magazine, among others.  

Ramapo College’s over 40,000 alumni are the confident, intellectually curious, self-aware, and humble people who are highly sought after and who make a positive impact at local, national, and global levels.  Ramapo College is distinguished as a Career Development College of Distinction by Every student at Ramapo is enrolled in its unique and award winning Pathways Program which equips and empowers students, across the continuum of their academic career, to secure internships, pursue graduate/professional school, and/or enter the job market. 

Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, data science, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Applied Mathematics, Business Administration, Contemporary Instructional Design, Computer Science, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a Doctor of Nursing Practice.


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