On Saturday, May 9, Rev. A.R. Bernard, Sr. will be the 2009 Commencement speaker for nearly 600 graduates of Nyack College and Alliance Theological Seminary (ATS). The 2:00 p.m. ceremony will be held at the Westchester County Center located at 198 Central Avenue in White Plains, NY. Rev. Bernard will also receive an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree. Last year he was appointed president of The Council of Churches of the City of New York, the nation's oldest ecumencial organization. Bernard has earned two master’s degrees, a Master of Professional Studies in Urban Studies and a Master of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary. He is the founder and CEO of Christian Cultural Center (CCC), a 30,000-member church located on an 11.5 -acre campus in Brooklyn, NY.
Bernard is a member of the New York City Economic Development Corporation Board and the New York City School Chancellor’s Advisory Cabinet and a part of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Transition Team in 2001. A lengthy list of accolades includes the most influential New York Clergyman (NewYork Daily News, February 2008); most influential African American New Yorker (New York Post, February 2008); and one of New York’s Most Influential People (New York Magazine, 2006). In 2007, the Consulate General of Israel in New York, Jewish Community Relations Council, and Jewish National Fund honored him with a lifetime achievement award. His television shows, “Faith In Practice” and “A. R. Bernard” air nationally and in New York. Touchstone/Simon & Schuster published his book, Happiness Is… Simple Steps To a Life of Joy. A radio broadcast can be heard nationwide on Salem Communication stations and locally within New York’s tri-state area.
Two other honorary degrees will be awarded. J. Douglas Holladay, a former U.S. Ambassador to South Africa under President Ronald Reagan and co-founder of Park Avenue Equity Partners, L.P. with offices in New York and Washington will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws from Nyack College. Abraham M. Lackman, the sixth President of the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (cIcu), will receive an honorary Doctor of Letters.