HACKETTSTOWN, NJ -- Olivia Fiumara from Chatham graduated from Centenary College with a Bachelor of Arts degree at its 138th May Commencement at the John M. Reeves Student Recreation Center recently.
The keynote speaker, Lou Reda, television producer, addressed Centenary's graduating class of 415 students.
Lou Reda Productions is a full-scale television production company with offices located in Easton, Pa., and New York City.
Reda, the company's founder, first made a national name for himself in 1982 when he was the executive producer for the CBS miniseries The Blue and the Gray (starring Gregory Peck as Abraham Lincoln). This began his love for historical programming, and prompted him to move into the nonfiction market.
Over the next 30 years the company produced more than 500 hours of programming for United States and international television networks, including A&E, History, BIO, Discovery, Military Channel, CBS, HDNet and Viacom, while garnering immense praise in the form of a People's Choice Award, eight Emmy nominations, five Cine Golden Eagles and nine Tellys. Among the company's recent productions are the event television series WWII in HD (narrated by Gary Sinise) and Vietnam in HD (narrated by Michael C. Hall), produced for History.
In the 1960s and '70s, Reda managed singers such as Chubby Checker and Johnny Desmond, as well as entertainers like the Amazing Kreskin. In 1971, he created The Amazing World of Kreskin, the first syndicated television series ever for Viacom.
Today, Lou Reda Productions continues to develop and produce entertaining unscripted series and outstanding factual programs. It believes innovative storytelling, engaging characters and high production value regardless of budget are key to the success of any project.
In addition to Reda, Ruth E. Grauert and Norman Worth received Honorary Doctorate degrees in Humane Letters.
Grauert is a lecturer, choreographer and lighting designer. She graduated from Centenary Academy in 1935 and holds a B.A. from Ursinus in 1939 and an M.A. from Columbia in 1941. She studied first at Centenary with Herring and Couch and then with Holm, Graham, Nikolais, Sokolow, Kashmann, Guidone, Stewart and Weidman. She was a member of Nikolais Hartford Company from 1942-43; assistant to Nikolais from 1948-1988; stage director for Murray Louis from 1953-1970; lighting designer and stage manager for Phyllis Lamhut, Beverly Blossom and others from 1948 on; and she taught lighting at the Nik/Lou lab from 1948-1995. In 1979 and 1980, she directed the company of Compagnie de la Danse Contemporaine d'Angers in France. She is founder and director of Bearnstow, a summer arts place, from 1946 to present; and has authored numerous articles on general aesthetics, staging lighting and Alwin Nikolais. She writes concert and book critiques and poetry and continues to lecture, choreograph and design lighting for contemporary dance. She is the recipient of the 2005 Martha Hill Lifetime Achievement Award and received a Doctor of Humane Letters from Ursinus College in 1999.
Norman Worth is co-owner of local Radio Station WRNJ (1510 AM, 104.7 FM, 92.7 FM). He has been deeply involved in community organizations and events for the past 30 years, both personally and through his radio station. "Inside Centenary" is one of the programs featured on WRNJ. A long-time friend of Centenary, Worth has served the College in many capacities during the tenure of three College Presidents. He serves on the Board of Trustees, as well as on the Boards of Fulton Bank of New Jersey; Hackettstown Regional Medical Center; Centenary College Enactus; and is a long-time member of the Hackettstown Rotary Club.
Worth has been honored by the following organizations: New Jersey Hospital Association "Trustee of the Year", Boy Scouts of America "Good Scout" Award; Hackettstown Area Chamber of Commerce Humanitarian Award; ARC of Warren County Humanitarian Award; Big Brothers Big Sisters of Warren County "Leadership Award" Warren County Hall of Fame Inaugural Class; and Centenary College 'Gold Dome' Award.
"I am pleased that we recognized our three honorary degree recipients in this manner," says Dr. Barbara-Jayne Lewthwaite, Centenary College President. "Commencement is a day of celebration in recognition of the hard work and dedication of the graduates. I wish them the best as they continue their professional or academic journey."
The graduating class included undergraduate and graduate students from the main campus in Hackettstown and the Centenary College School of Professional Studies learning centers in Parsippany and Edison. Degrees that will be awarded to the 415 graduates participating in the ceremony are as follows: 18 Associate of Arts; 119 Bachelor of Arts; 28 Bachelor of Fine Arts; 153 Bachelor of Science; 17 Bachelor of Social Work; 28 Master of Arts; 45 Master of Business Administration; and 7 Master of Education.
Founded in 1867 by the Newark Conference of the United Methodist Church, CentenaryCollege is an independent, coeducational liberal arts and career studies college distinguished by an accomplished faculty, small class size and diverse student body. Centenary is the only baccalaureate and master's degree granting institution in northwestNew Jersey.
Centenary College's main campus is located in Hackettstown, N.J., with its equestrian facility in Washington Township (Morris County). The Centenary College School of Professional Studies offers degree programs online and in two locations: Parsippany and Edison, and at corporate sites throughout New Jersey. The School of International Programs recruits international students for study at Centenary and Centenary students for study abroad.