Press Releases Index

Contact: Stephen J. Hudik

Contact: Paul C. DiNero

Maya Angelou to Speak at Kean University's Graduate Commencement Ceremony at NJPAC

UNION - Award-winning author and celebrated poet, Maya Angelou, will be the featured keynote speaker at the Nathan Weiss Graduate College commencement ceremonies on Tuesday, May 12 at 7 p.m. at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) in Newark, N.J. More than 730 graduate students will receive degrees.

Angelou has authored 12 bestselling books, including her most famous work, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, which was nominated for a National Book Award and later turned into a television movie. Her volume of poetry Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ‘Fore I Diiie, was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Angelou, who is well known for her ability to touch the hearts of her audience, gave a moving reading of her poem On the Pulse of Morning at William Jefferson Clinton’s inauguration in 1993.

Honorary Degree Recipient
Joseph Wilf, who has served on the Kean University Board of Trustees for more than 15 years, will receive an honorary degree at the graduate commencement ceremony. Wilf, a businessman and philanthropist, emigrated from Europe to the United States with his family in the early 1950’s.

Wilf is the founder of the Wilf Family Foundation, an organization that generously supports numerous organizations in New Jersey and throughout the nation, with a focus on education and healthcare. He is also the president of the Garden Homes Management Corporation, a nationwide leader in retail, commercial and private residential development, and a founding member of the U.S. Holocaust Museum and the Kean University Holocaust Resource Center.

Founded in 1855, Kean University has grown to become one of the largest metropolitan institutions of higher education in the region. Kean University is a hub of educational, technological and cultural enrichment, offering 50 undergraduate degrees and more than 45 options leading to a master’s degree, professional diploma and/or state certifications in an assortment of concentrations. In September 2008, Kean University began its first doctoral program offerings: the Ph.D. in school psychology, and the Ed.D. in urban educational leadership. Five undergraduate colleges and the Nathan Weiss Graduate College now serve more than 14,000 students.