Press Releases Index

April 9, 2003
CONTACT: Tom McLaughlin
Office of University Relations
908-737-NEWS (6397)

Kean University to Hold 148th Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony

UNION, N.J. – Kean University will hold its 148th Commencement ceremonies on Thursday, May 8, at 11 a.m. at the PNC Bank Arts Center, located off exit 116 on the Garden State Parkway in Holmdel, N.J. More than 1,900 undergraduate students are expected to receive their degrees.

This marks the first year that Kean will stage its Commencement exercises off campus. "The size of this activity has outgrown our campus capacity, and, as was evidenced by last year’s rain, it is time to offer a more weatherproof site for this important event," said Interim President Dr. Frank J. Esposito. "This new venue will provide substantial covered seating, ample parking and superior sound and video capabilities."

Esposito added that, since many of the University’s students are first-generation graduates, it is critical to ensure that they are able to invite as many family members and friends to this celebration as they wish. "The move to the PNC Bank Arts Center will accomplish that goal," he said.

Esposito, who was appointed interim president of Kean University on March 4, 2002, will be the featured Commencement speaker. Before assuming his current position, Esposito served as dean of the Nathan Weiss College of Graduate Studies. During his tenure, he led the internal reorganization of the graduate school and graduate office, while collaborating with University deans on program development. He also previously served as vice president for Academic Affairs, developed the University's academic policy and budget, and headed the general and cooperative education and honors programs.

There will be two honorary degrees given by the University at the ceremony. Robert H. Busch, president and chief executive officer of New Jersey-based ALL-STATE International and a member of the Board of Directors for the Kean University Foundation since 2000, will receive a Doctor of Laws (L.L.D.). Busch was appointed company president in 1990, crowning a career that began there in 1969. As CEO, Busch has given much of his own time and money to a number of charitable endeavors in New Jersey and served on the board of directors and the executive committee of the Union County Chamber of Commerce.

Jay Siegel, a singer, record arranger and producer associated with some of the most popular music in American history, will receive a Doctor of Humane Letters (L.H.D.). As the lead singer of The Tokens, a Brooklyn-based group formed in the mid-1950s along with future solo star Neil Sedaka, Siegel sang lead vocals on most of their hit songs, including The Lion Sleeps Tonight. The group has also produced many American pop classics, including the Chiffons’ One Fine Day and He’s So Fine, Randy and The Rainbows’ Denise, Tony Orlando and Dawn’s Candida, Knock Three Times and Tie a Yellow Ribbon, as well as I got Rhythm and See You in September by the Happenings.