Jonathan Alter, an award-winning author, columnist, and political analyst, will give the keynote address at William Paterson University’s 20189undergraduate commencement ceremony on Wednesday, May 15. The ceremony will be held at 9 a.m. at the Prudential Center in Newark. Alter also will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree.
Fred Gruel, a member of the William Paterson Board of Trustees, will receive the President’s Medal. Gruel, the retired president and CEO of AAA New Jersey automobile club, has served on the Board of Trustees since 1992, and has twice served as chair of the board, from 1996 to 2000 and from 2012 to 2018.
A total of more than 2,300 bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree candidates are expected to be recognized. A separate ceremony will be held for master’s and doctoral degree candidates on Thursday, May 16, at 7 p.m. in the Sports and Recreation Center on campus.
Alumni from the Class of 1969, who graduated when William Paterson was called Paterson State College, will be present at the undergraduate ceremony along with members of the Pioneer Society, those alumni who graduated at least 50 years ago.
Alter is an award-winning author, political analyst, documentary filmmaker, columnist, television producer, and radio host. He is the author of three New York Timesbestsellers: The Center Holds: Obama and His Enemies(2013), The Promise: President Obama, Year One(2010) and The Defining Moment: FDR’s Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope(2006), also one of the Times’Notable Books of the year. Since 1996, Alter has been a contributing correspondent and political analyst for NBC News and MSNBC. A specialist in the American presidency, he has interviewed seven U.S. presidents as well as many other heads of state.
After 28 years as a columnist and senior editor at Newsweek, where he wrote more than 50 cover stories, Alter is now a columnist for the Daily Beastand the co-host, with his wife, Emily Lazar, and their three children, Charlotte Alter, Tommy Alter, and Molly Alter, of “Alter Family Politics,” which airs Thursdays at 10:00 a.m. on RadioAndy on SiriusXM 102. In 2019, he co-produced and co-directed the HBO documentary, Breslin and Hamill: Deadline Artists.
Alter has written for the New York Times, Washington Post, Washington Monthly, Rolling Stone, The Atlantic, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, The New Republic, Esquire, Bloomberg View, and other publications. His other books include Between the Lines: A View Inside American Politics, Media, and Culture, a collection of 20 years of his Newsweekcolumns, and Inside the System, a collection of Washington Monthlyarticles for which he was coeditor.
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