STATEN ISLAND, N.Y., April 3 — Wagner College President Richard Guarasci announced today that N.Y. Gov. David A. Paterson will be the school’s 2009 commencement speaker on May 22. The Rev. Dr. Arthur Caliandro, the recently retired senior minister at Manhattan’s Marble Collegiate Church, who succeeded Dr. Norman Vincent Peale in that office, will join Paterson at the ceremony. Both will receive honorary doctoral degrees from Wagner College.
“We are delighted that Gov. Paterson will join us on this very important day in the life of our students,” said President Guarasci. “This will be a wonderful opportunity for them to learn first-hand about the challenges our government’s leaders face.”
Dr. Caliandro will offer the annual address at Wagner’s baccalaureate ceremony, an interfaith service of thanksgiving, on May 21.
“I was fortunate enough to hear Dr. Caliandro speak during the last holiday season,” said President Guarasci. “His words were moving and timely, and I look forward to hearing him once again at baccalaureate.”
Gov. David A. Paterson
David A. Paterson became New York’s 55th governor on March 17, 2008. In 1985, at the age of 31, Paterson was elected to represent Harlem in the New York state Senate, becoming the youngest senator in Albany. In 2003, he became the Senate minority leader, the first non-white legislative leader in New York’s history. He made history again in 2004 when he became the first visually impaired person to address the Democratic National Convention. He became New York's first African-American lieutenant governor in 2007, and he is now New York's first African-American governor.
The Rev. Dr. Arthur Caliandro
Arthur Caliandro was born in Portland, Maine, the son of a Methodist minister and one of three brothers who joined the ministry. He knew at a very young age that he, too, wanted to be a minister. A graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and Union Theological Seminary, Caliandro began preaching in rural churches in Ohio and Brooklyn, New York. In 1967 he accepted a call from Marble Collegiate Church and, as a young associate minister, was given the mission to “build community.” In the fall of 1984, Caliandro succeeded the Rev. Dr. Norman Vincent Peale as senior minister and was formally installed on March 8, 1985. Now retired, Caliandro gave his farewell sermon to the Marble congregation earlier this year.
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