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(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)April 8, 2000

(Mahwah) — The May 22 commencement at Ramapo College of New Jersey will be the final one presided over by Dr. Robert A. Scott, the College’s president for the past 15 years. Scott will assume the presidency of Adelphi University in New York on July 15.

Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York City and visiting research scientist at Princeton University, will deliver the commencement address. Honorary doctoral degrees will be awarded to Helen C. Fenske, David F. Moore and Richard J. Sullivan. The President’s Award of Merit will go to alumnus Keith D. Kulin (1973) a cinematographer and documentary photographer. Janine Maris of Hamburg was chosen to represent the senior class.

In addition to his responsibilities at the Hayden Planetarium and Princeton University, Dr. Neil D. Tyson is project scientist on the $200 million reconstruction of the Hayden Planetarium, and associate astronomer in the Department of Astrophysics at the American Museum of Natural History. He is the author or co-author of five books including One Universe: At Home in the Cosmos and The Sky Is Not the Limit: Adventures of an Urban Astrophysicist, and numerous articles in research publications such as Astronomical Journal and Astronomy & Astrophysics. In addition he writes two monthly columns, “Merlin” for Stardate magazine, and “Universe” for Natural History magazine.

As director of the Great Swamp Committee, Helen C. Fenske led the grassroots fight in the early 1960s to defeat the Port Authority’s plans to create the world’s largest “jetport” on environmentally sensitive land in Morris County. The group’s efforts resulted in the creation of the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge.

Moore, executive director of the New Jersey Conservation Foundation for 30 years, helped design the blueprint for open space preservation in New Jersey, saving tens of thousands of acres from development. At the time of his retirement last December as executive director, many others had been convinced to join his cause, as evidenced by the state’s commitment to spend $1.8 billion on open space over the next 10 years.

Sullivan, the founding commissioner in the Department of Environmental Protection, began his New Jersey State government tenure in 1950 as a public health engineer in the Department of Health, and later was appointed chief in the Department of Labor. In 1967, Governor Richard J. Hughes appointed him director of the new Division of Clean Air and Water. In 1970, Governor William T. Cahill appointed him as the first commissioner of the newly created Department of Environmental Protection, serving until 1974.

A cinematographer and documentary photographer for CBS, Kulin received the Emmy Award for Outstanding Interview in 1997 for his work on “An Interview with Andrew Wyeth” for CBS News Sunday Morning. In 1985 he received the Eastman Kodak Company Award for Outstanding Photographic Achievement and an Emmy nomination.

A leader in national and international higher education circles, Scott is co-founder and past chair of the Council on Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC). In 1994 he served as Governor Christine Todd Whitman’s appointee as senior consultant to the newly formed New Jersey Commission on Higher Education and chaired the Higher Education Restructuring Implementation team. As senior advisor to the U.S. State Department Scott represented the United States at UNESCO’s (United National Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization) 1998 Paris conference to negotiate a treaty on the transferability of academic credits and credentials. In 1999 he was a member of the U.S. delegation at UNESCO’s World Conference on Higher Education. He is a member of the Congressionally-mandated Study Group of the federal student loan programs; director, Global Kids, Inc.; and past chair, American Council on Education Commission on International Education.

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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 College is ranked #1 among New Jersey public institutions by College Choice, has been named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and is recognized as a top college by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger’s, Princeton Review and Money magazine, among others. Ramapo College is also distinguished as a Career Development College of Distinction by CollegesofDistinction.com, boasts the best campus housing in New Jersey on Niche.com, and is designated a “Military Friendly College” in Victoria Media’s Guide to Military Friendly Schools.

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, Business Administration, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Technology, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a post-master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice.

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