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

Commencement Speaker

Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson
The Frederick P. Rose Director, Hayden Planetarium
Visiting Research Scientist and Lecturer, Princeton University

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. He has been interviewed on PBS (American Photography and Charlie Rose), A&E Biography, ABC World News Tonight, and NBC Nightly News, among many others.

Dr. Tyson is a technical advisor to the “Chess in the Schools” program, which brings chess to inner city schools as a curriculum supplement, a scientific consultant to the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal, science instructor with the Science in the City Program for inner city children of homeless single parents, and a consultant to the New York Times “Science Times.” He is a presenter at conferences worldwide and gave the keynote address at the State Department in honor of the 1998 Presidential Awardees for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science degree from York College, CUNY, and in 1996 was voted by Craines magazine to be among the 40 most influential New Yorkers under the age of 40.

He is on the boards of directors of the American Astronomical Society, the Amateur Astronomers Association, and the Planetary Society, and on the National Research Council’s Committee for the Decadal Survey in Astronomy & Astrophysics Subcommittee on Education and Public Policy.

A graduate of the Bronx High School of Science, Dr. Tyson earned a B.A. from Harvard University, an M.A. from the University of Texas and a Ph.D. in astrophysics from Columbia University.

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Receiving Honorary Degrees

Helen C. Fenske
Environmental Activist

As director of the Great Swamp Committee, Helen 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.

She went on to serve as special assistant to Richard Sullivan (the first commissioner of New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection), and as assistant commissioner for natural resources at DEP under Governor Thomas Kean. At the end of Governor Kean’s second term in office, Ms. Fenske became the commissioner and, in just one month, completed several projects she had previously urged other leaders to accomplish.

Now known as the “grande dame” of New Jersey’s environmental movement, Ms. Fenske inspired, initiated or helped achieve the following during her career: the New Jersey Conservation Foundation, the Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions, Patriot’s Path, the Hudson River Walkway, protection and preservation in the Skylands/Highlands/Farny Highlands region, the Common Wealth of New Jersey, Inc., the Morris Parks and Land Conservancy, and the Environment New Jersey section in Recorder Publishing Company’s weekly newspapers, among many others.

Last December she received the Hartley Dodge Memorial Award. On that occasion it was noted that Ms. Fenske, “. . .by her example, has set an impossibly high standard of citizen leadership and inspired grassroots activism.”

David F. Moore
Executive Director, New Jersey Conservation Foundation
1969-1999

As head of the New Jersey Conservation Foundation for 30 years, David F. Moore 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.

Hired by the state in 1961 as a park superintendent responsible for setting up project applications for the then-new Green Acres program, he also put together a report that provided the first comprehensive strategy for identifying and preserving important parcels of land. He gained a reputation for knowing every field and forest worth saving across the state. Mr. Moore spent several more years with the state, as park superintendent for Allaire State Park in Monmouth County and as the state’s chief naturalist.

In 1969 he was asked by Helen Fenske to succeed her as head of the nonprofit group she had organized to protect the Great Swamp. That group became the Conservation Foundation, and Mr. Moore guided it until 1999. Under his leadership, NJCF has been a major force behind the Pinelands Protection Act, the Freshwater Wetlands Protection Act, the Open Lands Management Act, the Agriculture Retention and Development Act, and every Green Acres bond (including the most recent, funding one million acres of open space protection). He was instrumental in helping found such organizations as the Stockton Alliance, New Jersey Future, ANJEC, and the Pinelands Preservation Alliance.

His weekly column, “The State We’re In,” was published for 28 years in more than 100 newspapers throughout New Jersey. He has received numerous awards including the first-ever New Jersey Monthly magazine Pride Award for the Environment and the Morris 2000 Leadership Award. He was named the New Jersey Environmental Lobby Man of the Year.

Richard J. Sullivan
Founding Commissioner, Department of Environmental
Protection
Environmental Educator and Advisor

Richard J. Sullivan 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.

Upon leaving state government, he was appointed to the faculty of Princeton University in the Center for Environmental Studies. He later joined in the creation of New Jersey First, Inc., an environmental service firm, where he served as president until 1999. He continues to serve as an environmental advisor to industry, government and foundations. In 1983, he led an environmental delegation to the Peoples Republic of China.

He served as president of the Fund for New Jersey, a private philanthropy, for 12 years until he retired in 1998, and still serves on the board of trustees. He is president of the Environmental Endowment for New Jersey and the Treasurer of the Common Wealth of New Jersey. In 1988, Sullivan was appointed chairman of the Pinelands Commission by Governor Thomas Kean, and was reappointed by Governor Jim Florio and Governor Christine Whitman. He served until his retirement in 1998. He continues to serve in two gubernatorial appointments: New Jersey representative on the Northeast Low Level Radioactive Waste Compact with Connecticut, and chairman of the New Jersey Drinking Water Quality Institute.

Mr. Sullivan is a mechanical engineering graduate of Stevens Institute of Technology. He has a master’s degree in English from Seton Hall University and a master’s in public health from Columbia University. He has received honorary degrees from Monmouth University, New Jersey Institute of Technology and Princeton University.

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The President’s Award
of Merit

Keith D. Kulin ’73
Cinematographer and Documentary Photographer

Keith D. Kulin ’73, a cinematographer and documentary photographer for CBS, 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 Vietnam veteran, Mr. Kulin attended Ramapo College full-time on the GI Bill, majoring in political science. While at Ramapo he began working as a freelance still photographer for magazines and the New York Times, and on weekends as a disc jockey and news reader for a New Jersey radio station.

He was hired by CBS News in 1975, first in a temporary position working on a multi-part documentary with Dan Rather, and then as a staff news photographer. Hard news stories he covered included Love Canal, Three Mile Island, the Iranian hostage crisis and return of the hostages, the gas crisis, political conventions and the U.S. invasion of Grenada. He spent many weeks in Teheran, Iran covering the return of the Ayatollah Khomeini from exile in Paris and the revolution that followed. In 1985 he switched from hard news coverage to documentaries, working primarily for 60 Minutes, but also for CBS Reports, 48 Hours, Saturday Night with Connie Chung, Crossroads with Bill Moyers, Charles Kuralt and Walter Cronkite. In addition, he has worked for The History Channel, Biogrpahy, and the Discovery Channel.

Currently Mr. Kulin is associate producer, photographer and editor for “A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney” on 60 Minutes.

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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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