Commencement 2018 for Nyack College and Alliance Theological Seminary

On Saturday, May 5, 2018 at 2:00 p.m., Nyack College/Alliance Theological Seminary will hold the 135th Commencement Ceremony for nearly 650 graduates at the Westchester County Center located at 198 Central Avenue in White Plains, NY. A livestream of the ceremony will be broadcast.

Honorary Doctor of Divinity degrees will be presented to Julio Aponte Acosta, Karen Bernard and Tzuo Yan (T.Y.) Lee. The three will also be inducted into the President’s Hall of Distinction at a pre-commencement brunch held on the Rockland County campus in Boon Campus Center. The Hall of Distinction was established in 2008 by Dr. Michael G. Scales, the College’s 12th president, as an annual tradition to recognize the life work of people of outstanding public influence and models of Nyack’s five core values.

Tzuo-Yan (T.Y.) Lee came to the U.S. in 1967 from Taiwan to pursue his graduate studies and earned his doctorate in biostatistics at the University of Pittsburgh. Before retiring from a career with major companies in pharmaceutical research and development, Dr. Lee founded a pharmaceutical consulting company in 1988. He later established a private foundation as a vehicle for his philanthropic gifts to Nyack College and to a number of charitable organizations. A member of the Nyack College/Alliance Theological Seminary Board of Trustees since 2002, he is also the author of “From 1/3 to 1/2+: Cultivating Your Personal Brand at Work,” which was published in Mandarin Chinese and in English.

Julio Aponte Acosta has served as the executive director of Seminario Teológico de Puerto Rico (STPR), Nyack’s extension site of Alliance Theological Seminary in San Juan, Puerto Rico since 2002. Prior to assuming leadership of STPR in an official capacity, Dr. Aponte voluntarily devoted his time to developing the Seminary in 1990. With a 42-year career in ministry, Dr. Aponte has been a much sought after conference speaker for Hispanic leaders and in demand as a consultant in administration, strategic planning and church growth.

Karen Bernard left her job in the Queens County Court System in 1979 to join her husband, Rev. Dr. A.R. Bernard, Sr., as co-founder of a small Christian fellowship that today is Christian Cultural Center (CCC), a more than 37,000-member ministry in the East New York/Canarsie sections of Brooklyn. In addition to her pastoral role, she is currently vice president of the CCC Board of Directors. Mrs. Bernard’s special love for children fueled the vision for Brooklyn Preparatory School (BPS), established in 1993 for three-to-six-year-olds. With her husband, she also co-founded Cultural Arts Academy Charter School in 2010, to provide K-12 college preparatory arts education. Mrs. Bernard founded the International Christian Sisterhood (ICS), a ministry created to address the interests and needs of women including health, finances, legal rights and personal development.

In the week leading up to Commencement Day, hooding ceremonies for doctorate and graduate level divisions, baccalaureate services for undergraduates and the School of Nursing pinning ceremony will be held at various locations for the Rockland and Manhattan campus graduates and their families. For more information, visit the website at