May 16, 2009
Bruce Beck, WNBC-TV’s Emmy Award winning sports
anchor-reporter and Carol Kelleher, recognized for her commitment
to the University and philanthropic work on Staten Island, were
honored by St. John’s at its 139th Commencement Exercises earlier
“Bruce Beck is a familiar face and familiar voice that has
distinguished himself in broadcast journalism while at the same
time becoming an even more important part of St. John’s,” said Rev.
Donald J. Harrington, C.M., President of St. John’s. “Carol
Kelleher has been a quiet and supportive presence to our University
community for almost 20 years. Her concern for St. John’s and for
those in need throughout Staten Island is well known. Both are
models of what one can accomplish if he or she works hard and gives
of themselves generously.”
Beck, a staple of the New York sports scene having worked
as a television broadcaster for more than 25 years, gave the
Commencement Address to the more than 400 graduates and 2,000-plus
family, friends and faculty gathered under a cozy tent setting on
the Great Lawn of St. John’s Staten Island Campus.
“I know this is a time where doom and gloom reign supreme and you
can easily get caught up in a tsunami of negativity,” said Beck to
the graduates. “But why embrace the pessimism, when you can
approach things differently. I say these times present the perfect
opportunity. It’s a time for creativity and a time to think out of
Kelleher, a staunch supporter of St. John’s and its Staten Island
Campus, received the President’s Medal at today’s graduation
proceedings conferred by Rev. Harrington, C.M. Her successes and
involvement with Project Hospitality in Staten Island is unique, in
that, the organization’s goals mirror those of the Vincentian
Mission of St. John's.
also received an Honorary Doctor of Letters Degree from Rev.
Harrington, C.M, followed by the procession of graduates read
eloquently by Sharon Lynch-Norton, Vice Provost of St. John’s
Staten Island Campus and Master of Ceremonies for the
On a day filled with words of wisdom, tributes to deserving
honorees and rounds of applause to thank family members for their
love and support – the hour belonged to the student-graduates.
Senior Audree Maldonado gave an emotional and spirited Student
Address in capping her four-year career at St. John’s that has left
a lasting impression on her life.
“Although Staten Island will forever be our home, it is imperative
that we take our talents out into the world. This world is ours,
whether we want it or not, and we are part of its future,” said
Maldonado. “Service, Respect, Opportunity, Excellence, Truth and
Love are the core values responsible for our transformation at St.
John’s. Now that we have this foundation, it is our duty to build
in his own inimitable way closed his remarks with a sports spin on
the day and a plea for students to reach for their dreams and
accept the challenges that lie ahead.
“As legendary UCLA Hall of Fame Basketball Coach John Wooden said,
‘Make each day a masterpiece.’ Let your passion for life and
pursuit of excellence, and your commitment to uphold the values and
ideals of this great institution – carry you to unprecedented
heights,” said Beck to a large ovation from the crowd.
For more information regarding St. John’s University’s Commencement
Weekend please contact Dominic Scianna, Assistant Vice President
for Media Relations at (718) 990-6185, or (917) 374-8266 (cell), or
e-mail inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.