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Nyack College/Alliance Theological Seminary 2015 Commencement

Posted by Deborah.Walker on Sunday May 3, 2015

Three Nyack College Honorary Doctorates

to Juan Hernández, Frances Pratt, and Datuk Edward Ong

NYACK, NY— On Saturday, May 9, 2015 Nyack College and Alliance Theological Seminary held its 132nd commencement ceremony for nearly 700 graduates at Westchester County Center located at 198 Central Avenue in White Plains, NY.

Juan Hernández, Frances Pratt, and Edward Ong were awarded the honorary Doctor of Letters. The three were also inducted into Nyack’s President’s Hall of Distinction at a pre-commencement brunch at the Tarrytown House Estate, also in Westchester County. The Hall of Distinction was established in 2008 by Nyack’s 12th president, Dr. Michael G. Scales, as an annual tradition that commemorates the life work of recipients of honorary doctorates and other individuals of outstanding public influence.

Dr. Hernández has dedicated himself to the study of U.S. and Mexico relations and established the Center for U.S.-Mexico Studies at the University of Texas, Dallas. In 1996, Hernández introduced then Texas Governor George W. Bush to Mexican State of Guanajuato Governor Vicente Fox, marking a historic new development in Mexico-U.S. relations. This meeting also launched Hernández into the role of political advisor to both President Bush and President Fox. To date, he has advised 22 presidential hopefuls in countries around the world and in many international corporations. Named “Humanitarian Man of the Year” by Latin Trade Magazine, and hailed as one of the “100 Most Influential Hispanics in the U.S.” by Hispanic Business Magazine, Hernández is known for his passion for defending the rights of immigrants and for being the first U.S. citizen to serve as cabinet member under the president of Mexico.

Mrs. Pratt, president of the Nyack Branch of the NAACP, is a dedicated advocate for social justice and was the first recipient of Nyack College’s Social Justice Award. In addition to her civic role with the local branch of the historic organization, which she has filled for more than three decades, Mrs. Pratt began her career in the medical field at Nyack Hospital as a pediatric nurse’s aide. With characteristic determination, she climbed the ranks to become the hospital’s first African American registered nurse and head nurse in the Emergency Room. She will also be recognized at the 2015 Nyack College School of Nursing pinning ceremony.

Datuk Ong, an accomplished builder and property developer, with his OCK group in Singapore, has completed numerous highly acclaimed projects including The Singapore General Hospital, Apollo and Adelphi Hotels, and Regency Park Condominiums as well as developments in Malaysia, Burma, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Island – Saipan and Guam. He is also known for the construction of the $450 million Sutera Harbour Resort project, a world‐class resort in the heart of Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia on 384 acres of prime seafront reclaimed land. His latest project is the development of a $300 million integrated resort in Dili, Timor‐Leste, known as “Asia’s newest nation.” The new project represents a platform for giving back to the society, for providing training to the locals that will lead to a better quality of life for the workers and their families.


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